Consulting, Mentoring, and Coaching

When I was a Director, my mind was completely filled with things to do. There were deadlines to meet, meetings to plan and conduct, things to fix, unexpected situations and sometimes crises to deal with, and problems – sometimes many problems – to solve. I was a juggler extraordinaire – unless I dropped a ball.

I needed to think through a lot, and come up with solutions. Sometimes, things worked beautifully, other times, not so well.

I used to dream about having a confidante, a mentor, a coach – someone I trusted and someone I knew who had already done this job well, and most likely had run into the very same situations.

Depending on the many and varied “challenges” that crossed my path, I could have used this person in many different ways. To name a few:

  • Having a quick conversation
  • Planning a strategy
  • Designing and planning a project
  • Conducting workshops and training for my teachers
  • Providing advice and counsel for a staff, parent, or child situation
  • Observing – being a second set of eyes
  • Researching and finding resources
  • Partnering in a brainstorming session
  • Organizing my paperwork and files
  • Preparing for state licensing, national accreditation, or QRIS (Quality Rating Improvement System) assessments.

After more than twenty-five years of directing, supervising, and managing all types of programs, and working with hundreds of early childhood educators, I decided to be what I’d always wished I could have had – a consultant, mentor, coach, resource, strategist, trainer, workshop presenter, etc.

I know your life as Director.

I know the joys and satisfactions. I also know the problems and pitfalls – and the solutions and strategies to avoid them.

I know how many things demand your attention in the course of a day. I also know the tools and techniques to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

I know how much training and instruction is needed to keep your team and program running optimally. I also know that it doesn’t always happen. I can help.

I know that directors cannot discuss many things with their teams – but need a sounding board while working through a situation. I can do this for you.

In addition to working with directors of programs, I also work with teachers – helping them to assess and redesign their classroom environments; observing children, sharing and discussing, and creating a plan of action; brainstorming solutions to conflicts with colleagues or parents; or, actual modeling and coaching in the classroom.

My focus is to provide the highest quality early childhood experience for the youngest of our children. To that end, I am available to assist, support, motivate and, hopefully, inspire. I want you to succeed!

So, I spend time getting to know you and your program, in order to shape productive and effective consults, visits, and training. I visit your facility before I work with you, so that I have a snapshot (using all of my senses) of your environment, your staffing, your program. This helps me in my preparation – and ultimately, in the effectiveness of the consult or training session.

My goal is to help you fix or eliminate the problem; offer information and techniques; provide training that will positively impact your program; and provide you a sounding board when needed. To do this, I follow these six steps:

  • I visit your program.
  • We agree on what I will do.
  • I research, create, develop, and prepare.
  • I consult, coach, mentor, teach and, after the event,
    • I follow up, and
    • I return, if and when needed.

I can assist and consult with you in person – at your program site; over the phone; via
e-mail message, or via Skype – whatever works best for the situation at hand.

And, for those times when directors can break away from their programs, and share with and be inspired by one another, I facilitate:

Workshops and Training for Directors
Director Roundtable Discussions
Director Retreats

Some topics for these events include:

I Am Managing, but Am I Leading?
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”     – Jack Welch
A reflective time to assess where directors find themselves at this point in their careers, and strategies to move toward true leadership.

A Word About Setting High Expectations
This workshop for Directors and their management teams will result in the creation of written and relevant expectations for their particular programs. We’ll set the bar high.To get there, we will combine the elements of quality principles, professionalism, and  characteristics of effective early childhood teachers into the Director’s vision and goals for the organization.

Managing Performance
This session is the nuts and bolts of teacher and supervisor performance evaluation. This workshop is designed to assist Directors as they set expectations, monitor progress, and build accountability into their programs. It begins with creating clearly defined job tasks and responsibilities, setting goals toward improving performance, and ends with self-assessment and the annual performance review.

Lessons from a Child Care Center Director
From A-Z, learning from successes and failures – what are they teaching us?

Pitfalls and Pleasures
Lively discussion topics, time to share, and more importantly (from our collective experiences), ways to avoid many of the pitfalls we encounter!

Keeping the Inner and Outer Me Balanced and Well
Inspirational! Joy-filled! Positive! Open your heart and learn some new techniques that will balance the inner and outer you, and keep you healthy and well.
A little breathing, a little stretching, a little yoga, and much more.

Building Trust – Earning Respect
A self-reflective workshop to help participants look at their expectations and performance, and where appropriate, make the changes needed in order to build trust and earn the respect of those who matter.

The Life Cycle of a Child Care Center
From start-up to closing the doors twenty years later – one director’s story,
and the many lessons learned.

Creating a Zero-to-Three Program
This is the story of one program’s shift from separating infants, toddlers, and young three-year-olds, to combining them in a zero-to-three program. This is about attachment and continuity of care. The children and teachers stayed together for three years, but their classroom changed as children’s developmental needs changed. The substance of this presentation is how we did this, what we learned in the process, and how we evaluated the experience. It also includes numerous stories and anecdotes from our program’s many zero-to-three cycles.

Developing a Mentor Teacher Program
Adding another rung to the career ladder may be one way to
keep the best teachers teaching. A how-to workshop.

Seven Things that have Transformed my Life and Work
And, during the process, growing in wisdom.
Taking a step back and reflecting on life itself.

Reiki For Directors
Reiki is a gentle way of balancing our energy systems. It deeply relaxes, and restores us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For more than a decade, I have used Reiki in my life. It has centered me, kept me from becoming overwhelmed, helped me to think clearly, and kept me in good health. As a Reiki Master (teacher), I have shared this technique with my teachers and supervisors – adding another tool to their “wellness” toolboxes. Together, we used Reiki in our child care center with incredibly positive outcomes. I offer Reiki, now, to you, my Director colleagues.

Passing the Torch
When we know we are nearing the end of our careers,
planning for succession while exiting gracefully.

Each session/event is created for, and delivered to, the specific audience and venue for which it is intended. And so, each is unique and relevant, and is a blend of solid, researched information, real life experiences, participation, humor, and inspiration.

To begin the process of discussing your needs and how best to work together, send an
e-mail message to marciahebert@earthlink.net, or call me at 978-502-7973. I will respond within twenty-four hours.

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