If you love Ted Lasso, then you’ll love this post. For those who haven’t seen Ted Lasso, it is a series on Apple TV about an American Football coach (Ted) who attempts to turn around a losing professional soccer team (AFC Richmond) in England. Although he has no experience coaching soccer, and little understanding of the British culture, Ted’s relentless optimism wins over players and fans. To instill faith and confidence in his new team, Ted taped a Believe sign above the door leading out of the locker room. The imperfect sign symbolized optimism, faith, and hope. Believing in something is a choice and the symbolism of the yellow background reminds us of light and happiness. As Ted says, “I believe in believe.
How can we apply this feeling of relentless optimism, faith, and hope in education? What if we all channel our inner Ted Lasso and create a one word goal, like Ted did with the word Believe? A word to remind us of the goals we want to achieve this school year; a symbol of hope when so many need it most.
I’m lucky to work with a great team of educational leaders. Our team of four brainstormed goal setting and how to communicate this to a staff already feeling burnout in late September. There are so many frameworks we talked about. There’s SMART Goals, OKRs, Backwards Goals, Tiered Goals, Golden Circle, Locke and Latham’s 5 Principles, and more. It felt overwhelming just talking about goal setting with teachers in a year following so much trauma and uncertainty. What if we put a spin on a Ted Lasso theme and have teachers create one word, focused goals? What we love about one word goals is that it really does help teachers narrow their vision and focus on one goal, which serves as an umbrella for all the goals they wish to achieve. One word goals also eliminates this over-complicated process of goal setting frameworks and avoids “analysis paralysis,” which many teachers already feel this year.
I share this with you because I really do feel that it is a morale booster and makes the school feel more positive, and who does’t love a little joy and positivity right now! We delivered the presentation, which I will attach the template for you to download here. Feel free to add, change, or adjust to fit your needs. Once we set the stage with the teachers, we had them write down their goals for the year. Next, we had them brainstorm words that summarized those goals, and finally we had them choose one word. Once they chose a word, we had them fill out a Google Form, indicating their word and room number. We then printed their words on yellow paper and hung each corner of the sign with less-than-perfect straight lines and torn black painter’s tape. The one word goals are displayed over their doors as a symbol and a reminder of their goals and hope moving forward.
“Be a Goldfish.” Spread relentless optimism where you can. 💙