Category Archives: Training for Early Childhood Directors

Let them be Little

The longer I live, the less I understand the “rushing,” the “hurriedness,” the “sense of urgency” that accompanies everything we do today. Why the fast lane? Where are we going? What are we racing to? Can’t we slow things down – for our children? Can’t we celebrate the ordinary moments – that, as we know, are anything but ordinary! Can’t we follow the children’s lead in this? And, can we let them be little? Continue reading

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All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

One of the most delightful and inspirational writers about life is Robert Fulghum. He writes with wit and wisdom – you will smile and nod as you read . Enjoy this excerpt from one of his most popular books, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, published in 1989. It begins – “Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there, in the sandbox at preschool.” Enjoy!
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Posted in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Leadership, Early Childhood Teachers, For Early Childhood Directors, Managing Early Childhood Programs, Performance Management Skills, Training for Early Childhood Directors | 2 Comments

Plotting the Course …

“How do you know when you’ve arrived, if you don’t know where you’re going?”
A good question, particularly for the one-in-charge – the director, the manager, the leader of the organization. But, unfortunately, a question not often asked. Sadly, many of us squander our precious time, energy, and resources spinning our wheels – just going through the motions of dealing with those things that demand our immediate attention. This will get us through the moment and perhaps the day, but there is no real feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment. We feel pushed and pulled in many directions, and no longer in control. Reactive! Playing defense!
There is another way. Continue reading

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Beginnings – A Shared Vision …

A good question to reflect upon at the beginning of each school year is this: What is important to us in our work with young children, their families, and one another?
Because, ultimately, shouldn’t we see evidence of what matters, what is important – in the child care center, and in each classroom? Shouldn’t the words in our philosophy, our mission statement, our goals, come to life? Shouldn’t we see, hear, and feel the reality of our conceptual thoughts and ideas?
Yes! Yes! And, yes! Continue reading

Posted in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Leadership, Early Childhood Teachers, For Early Childhood Directors, Managing Early Childhood Programs, Training for Early Childhood Directors | 1 Comment

Professionalism …

At the beginning of each school year, required reading for my teams of early childhood teachers and supervisors was an article by M. Parker Anderson entitled, “Professionalism: The Missing Ingredient for Excellence in the Workplace.” It was required because, after years of living, working on this planet, and interacting with thousands, I agreed with Ms. Anderson’s assessment that, “professionalism is missing and unaccounted for” in so many places of work. Read on … Continue reading

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Beginnings …

What a gift! To start fresh – to take what I learned from the previous year and add it to my practice. To remember those things that went especially well, and keep them in this year’s repertoire. And, yes, to reflect upon those things that didn’t go as well as I had planned. As I saw it, that was my job as the leader of the program, school, organization – to set the course. And, the best part of beginning is that I could reset the course annually. What I learned is that how I began each school year, each training session, each presentation, each meeting, set the tone for what was to come, and the expectations that we were all to meet or exceed. The beginning was that important!
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Strategic Planning …

It has been said that there are three types of early childhood directors: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. To make things happen, a director must have a strategic plan. Strategic planning is the process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between the organization and its changing marketing opportunities. It relies on developing a clear company mission, objectives, and goals. Continue reading

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Places of Delight and Wonder …

“We become attached to spaces that charm, delight, or move us. What brings this on? – a certain slant of light; an intriguing staircase; an alcove; the feel of smooth wood; or, unexpected beauty or form. Children have, or can acquire, more taste than we expect.” – Jim Greenman
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Posted in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Leadership, Early Childhood Teachers, John Hancock Child Care Center, Managing Early Childhood Programs, Training for Early Childhood Directors | 1 Comment

Just Playing …

The value of play cannot be underestimated. It is the child’s work. Play is how he makes sense of the world; how he sees himself within it; and how he learns. This is a timeless poem with a message from a child – “please don’t misunderstand me when I play; I am learning as I play. I may someday be a father, mother, artist, inventor, teacher, scientist, businessman, chef, doctor, nurse, or athlete.” Continue reading

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The Effective Director …

In order to open and then manage a child care center, conventional wisdom says that the director must be trustworthy, helpful, friendly, kind, cheerful, thrifty, and brave.
Conventional wisdom also says that the director should be a good planner, evaluator, decision maker, problem solver, conflict resolver, budget keeper, motivator, communicator, trainer, and advocate.
But the most effective directors I have known have other intangible strengths as well. And, they are the true leaders of their programs. Continue reading

Posted in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Leadership, Early Childhood Teachers, Managing Early Childhood Programs, Performance Management Skills, Training for Early Childhood Directors | 2 Comments