In every career we all go through stages.
Before we began as child care professionals, we were wide-eyed, excited, full of fabulous ideas, and couldn’t wait to get to the center every day to work with the children.
We had every intention of providing the very best care and education to the children in our center. We had more great ideas than we thought we would ever be able to implement. We just couldn’t wait to get going every day.
This cycle lasted for quite a while, because we are passionate about helping children and families. And, we know how absolutely critical our work is: we must build the foundation for children to grow up and become all that they can be.
Now, we find ourselves in a completely different role. Much less time with children, lots more time with staff and parents. Often, instead of teaching children, we are refereeing adults. Not what you signed up for in this profession?
The realities of how adults interact with one another, and with us, is confusing, and many times just plain annoying!
Adults (and children) seem to behave differently than they did in years past. Much less inhibited. Much more outspoken. More opinionated. More demanding. More self-centered. Less willing to “wait”.
Now is a challenging time for many center directors and owners. Practices that have worked for many years, just don’t work anymore. Staff and parents won’t accept “the way we’ve always done it”.
Now takes a whole new set of understanding and management skills. These are not skills that we were taught in college.
We must realize that some change in how we have been operating is necessary.
Change? Not really a word we like to hear (unless it’s our idea).
Coming Soon… a new you! A happier you. A less-stressed you. A more-engaged you. A “you” that will be more creative, have more time to spend with the children, and will reach more of the dreams that you have always had for running your center.
- Work to understand how people are different today. Decide what you will have to do to connect with them and be able to lead them.
- Examine the way you do things in your center. Are you considering the needs and wants of the various generations in your center when assigning tasks? Are you using their talents and engaging them to be the best that they can be?
- Consider how you can make decision-making in your center more inclusive, and how you can empower your staff and parents more. Don’t let this scare you – it definitely can be done without you losing control.
- Be proud that you are taking this forward step in changing the “same-old, same-old” to managing in the 21st
Just as we work very hard to help our children grow every day, we need to work hard to help staff and parents grow every day. And, we need to grow every day so that we can be an Incredible Leader of this village.