We’re happy to share this perspective on leadership from educational consultant (and DAL committee member), Christina Fecio.
“What is leadership?”
When I ask that question in a group, at least one person is always compelled to google it and/or someone answers it with an inspirational quote.
As a self-admitted “word nerd” I do love a good quote — but when I’m asking you a question, I’m more interested in your own response, in your own words. Your words give me insight about how you think and that insight is important to me.
So I’ve changed my approach a little and now I ask this:
Whose leadership has positively impacted your life? Think about that influential teacher, or coach, or supervisor who immediately comes to mind when you think “leader” and when you can see that face in your mind, ask yourself: “What did that person consistently do well?”
My next question is usually, “… and how did that make you feel?” That focus on feelings makes many people feel uncomfortable; vulnerability is uncomfortable. Yet, when we wait through the awkward pause and one brave soul speaks up? That’s where the magic happens.
When that first response makes it okay (for most people) to be vulnerable, we hear some powerful responses. We hear words likevalued, appreciated, seen, andempowered. We hear words likehappy, loved, respected, andjoyful.
In those moments, we find an authentic answer to that very first question, “What is leadership?” — because we’re ready to focus on our potential to inspire those same feelings in others.
Directors in WNY have shared questions regarding the recent regulatory changes. Our first tip, of course, is to suggest open, honest communication with your licensor — don’t be afraid to call him/her with your questions.
Separately, we’d like to suggest checking out this informational video from OCFS, if you haven’t seen it yet:
Engaging in warm, positive, 1:1 daily interactions with children is recommended as a key strategy for building relationships with young children — but did you know it’s equally essential for adults?
Whether you’re commenting on something that you observed (“Hey, I appreciated that engagement you had with Dion”) or offering a simple, sincere “thank you” at the end of a shift, make it a point to connect with every team member, every day.
Your personal attention says, “I see you” — and being noticed helps team members feel valued and appreciated.
Many thanks to Julie Pelletier for sharing today’s Quick Tip.
When you have a loooooooong to-do list that is interrupted by bathroom breaks, phone calls, and other things that reliably pop up, it’s easy to be busy all day long and still wrap up the day feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything.
A short list can help you stay focused and productive — and it’s as easy as it sounds. At the beginning of each day, make a short list of your top priorities; the short list becomes your to-do list…and it’s magical because it’s manageable!
Need a specific strategy? Try the 1-3-5 rule, explained in this article; 1 big thing + 3 medium things + 5 small things = a super satisfying to-do list!
A new school year, like every season of change, is busy and can feel overwhelming to children and adults alike.
To help teachers manage the transition, add a little pick-me-up to your staff lounge. Show them you care with a “de-stress basket” that contains various teas, coffees, snacks, a stress ball and/or adult coloring pages, and most importantly, chocolate.
In a world where we’re bombarded with negative information — social media, news, advertisements, and more — it can help your mindset (and your productivity) to focus on the positive.
Consider posting a few positive, inspirational quotes around your office and in shared spaces. Whether you jot them on sticky notes or create a fancy display, you’re adding a “feel good” vibe to your program — and that can never hurt!
Many thanks to Kim Suminski, CEO of Child Care Resource Network, for sharing today’s quick tip — and for sharing some of her favorite quotes, too!
Even on the days that it seems impossible — actually, especially on those days — take a break.
Ideally, take an actual lunch break (check out 7 great reasons why here) but at minimum, take a few minutes to walk outside. The act of physically exiting the building and breathing fresh air can be the mental reset you need to tackle the rest of the day.
… and if you can, put your feet in the grass! The very simple act of walking barefoot on grass is a powerful and natural stress reliever.
Many thanks to Christina Fecio for sharing today’s Quick Tip.
A valued member of the DAL Advisory Committee, Christina is an independent educational consultant. You can find her at www.christinafecio.com
Juggling backpacks, diaper bags, traffic, and a busy work schedule means that the morning routine can be hectic and overwhelming for parents — especially during transition times like the back-to-school season.
One easy way to show families some love during the morning drop off is to place an unexpected treat at your front desk. A simple spread of portable breakfast items (think cereal bars, whole fruit, and coffee in to-go cups) will have parents smiling as they are headed out the door.
Many thanks to Lana Diaz for sharing today’s Quick Tip.
Talking about self-care sometimes conjures up images of bubble baths or a fancy latte, but at its heart, it’s really just a reminder to give deliberate time and attention to your own well-being. As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” One solid self-care strategy is to lighten your “mental load” by letting go of things you cannot control. Check out this quick video to learn more: Professor Teaches Important Lesson (3 minutes)
Many thanks to Sara Lamoreaux for sharing today’s Quick Tip.
A valued member of the DAL Advisory Committee, Sara is a Quality Improvement Specialist for QUALITYstarsNY.