Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The things I have learned in the past two and a half months!

I'm almost to my third month as a Preschool Center Director. I've learned a significant amount and I've made some mistakes along the way. Some what I've learned has come from the observations from moving from one employer to a new employer and some has been through my own mistakes as a new director.
  • Be an excellent listener. I'm a talker. What I've learned in my first few months is that I need to push my listening skills to a new level. This is something that I actively need to do every day and, I'll be honest, can be a challenge. If you do not have excellent listening skills, start working on them.
  • Know your day care regulations,staff, and parent hand books. I live in the state of Wisconsin. My regulations can be found here. Not only is it imperative that one spend time reading and understanding these, it is also important to understand how your licenser, staff, and parents will interpret the information found in these works. Be prepared to explain to any one of these individuals how what you are doing is with in compliance of your state regulations, staff, or parent handbooks. If you're able to do this, it will save you some headache in the future. Also, make sure that what your staff are telling parents matches what is in your parent hand book. This seems to be a "no brainer," however, the center where I'm at currently has some inconsistencies. As a new director, I'm put in a very sticky situation when the messages being conveyed to parents contradict the messages being conveyed in our parent handbook.
  • If your center does not have them already, please develop clear policies and procedures. This will cut down on confusion and make the hiring of new staff much easier. In addition, this will make your staff training clear-cut and will ensure that staff are "on the same page" with the messages that are being conveyed to parents.
  • You can't make everyone happy, so stop trying right away! I'm not saying don't strive for excellence. Do. Be the best Director you can be. I'm saying, don't try and please everyone at one time. There will never be a single situation where everyone; parents, staff, the administration team, or the governing board; will be happy.

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