Feedback and the Educate! Culture
Induction is a two week intensive training for Educate!’s passionate field staff (Mentors, Youth Leaders and Program Officers) where they reflect on the successes and challenges of the previous term and prepare for the next. It is a powerful intersection of work and play. “Camp Rules” are posted to the wall and there truly is an overnight camp atmosphere. Staff form Induction families to create a sense of community; they bunk together in the dormitories; they play games together during down time; they form essential bonds between those who are newcomers and those who are exiting the Educate! family, on to bigger and better endeavors. But most importantly, they learn together, challenge one another, and look forward to the next school term together. It’s an exciting environment, a mixture of determination and contagious laughter.
The unique nature of Induction stems from two of Educate!’s core values: "Always Learning" and "Only Solve a Problem Once". These tenets are a promise to ensure that all aspects of the organization are continually evaluated and improved upon and that we proactively solve and communicate problems to create long-term solutions. Embedding these principles in our culture enables Educate! to remain nimble as we navigate new terrain and work toward long term, sustainable impact.
At Induction, the focus is no different and all activities orbit around learning: the days kick off with “Knowledge Shares” where staff teach one another valuable life and business skills. Mentors then lead mock Leadership & Entrepreneurship classes. Following the mock lesson, the Mentors receive sharp, constructive feedback from their peers that helps to guide their growth, so that when their classroom is full of Educate! Scholars, they are prepared, confident and effective.
Mentors are not the only ones who receive feedback. Field staff are often given the platform to assess elements of the Educate! program in a continuous effort to improve and advance quality and efficiency. For example, two months ago, the Mentors requested that the color of their curriculum books be changed from white to red; the white covers got dirty very quickly and no longer appeared professional. Educate! listened, and at Induction Mentors received their freshly printed red curriculum books.
Finally, staff are trained on the latest programmatic upgrades whether it be new reporting protocols, updated policies or advancements in the curriculum. All staff exit Induction with a renewed sense of purpose and passion along with an arsenal of sharpened skills.