This principle is all about recognising everyone’s strengths but also being inclusive in your approaches. Here are 5 tips to help with this principle …
- Everyone is capable of greatness: This can sometimes be something that we forget when our expectations of everyone becomes a uniform approach that expects everyone to have the same strengths and abilities. Everyone has skills and something that they can offer and be amazing at, and it might not be documentation or running a group time. It might be arranging the environment, talking to families or keeping the team moral high. Valuing everyone for what they can bring to the service allows everyone to shine and feel encouraged to work harder as well as building a more equitable approach to what the role of an educator is.
- Avoid one size fits all approaches: If everyone is expected to do things the same way it restricts some people from being their best selves. It also means that there is a restriction on creativity and different approaches to tasks. Allowing all levels of the service (children, families, educators) to get involved in the curriculum in ways that allow them to feel supported and engaged is likely to lead to a more secure and collaborative environment than one that assumes there is only one way to document, one way to show milestones have been reached, one way to run a routine, one way to celebrate events etc. etc. etc.
- Never stop challenging the status quo: As soon as mediocrity becomes accepted we stop aiming for high expectations, and these high expectations come from a willingness to challenge and be challenged. A willingness to debate and critically analyse why things are happening in the service. A willingness to have open critically reflective discussions that support different ideas and allow for innovative thought.
- Have a service vision: Without a vision in place a number of service strive only for compliance and get so caught up in compliance they forget what makes them unique and what their goals are in their own community. Having a vision can align everyone to think greater than compliance and strive for high expectations that make them stand out from other services, not blend into uniformity. If you would like help with creating a vision RARE can offer consultation around this or there is a webinar next year on this topic.
- Recognise when people stop reaching their potential: If we are all doing the best that we possibly can, and one day someone drops their standards this is a sign of something going wrong. A symptom, if you like. Either the person involved has something going on outside of the service that is pulling their attention and energy, or they no longer feel supported/challenged/accepted, or they may have disengaged with the service because it no longer meets their needs. As soon as someone dips in their potential take time to explore what it going on and reflect on what may need to be put in place to correct this, before others start to go down the same path.
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