When I first started as a director in an early childhood program, let’s just say I was in over my head. I was fortunate enough to have predecessors who were only a phone call away and able to throw me a life vest now and then. Even so, it seemed like the life vest would quickly deflate and weeks or even months would pass before I was able to come up for air. Every day I would walk in to my center with a list of things I wanted, needed, to do before I walked out the door. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time putting out fires, and that list caught fire and burned up before naptime.
I think that’s just part of the job. There was filling in when teachers called out, comforting sick children, doing bus runs, talking to parents and although these “fires” were enjoyable to me, there were other things I needed to be doing. What really wore me out was the administrative stuff: hiring the right people, motivating those who were already hired and keeping morale high. Even though I was the person people looked to for leadership, the person responsible for making the big decisions, I didn’t see myself as “the boss.” Passion is a huge part of being an effective child care provider and I wanted to be the one to keep the passion, not manage time off requests. And because most of the time I was busy with the everyday stuff, I never really understood the administrative side of being a director.
I remember after one particularly busy day, I went home and said to my husband, “I just wish I had a manual.” I wanted a guide on how to be a more effective administrator. 4C’s Beyond Survival series was developed for directors like us, for directors that want to do more than put out fires. If you want to to keep the passion and still get the job done, register for the Beyond Survival series.