Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Watching Children Age

In my line of work, I have the privilege of watching many young infants grow and change and eventually move on from our center.  It's hard when they leave and we think back on our time together and how we've essentially been a part of that child's family from the beginning.  That's our baby too!

Then today I started to think about my life as a teacher, when I would work with preschoolers and then send them on their way to kindergarten (big kid school).  Occasionally, some of those littles return and enjoy making me feel older than old as they share their stories from third grade.  Ummm, didn't you just learn to write your name?  And here you are, looking all grown up, no baby fat....... where did my baby go?!

Truth:  I am not a parent and have not yet had to go through this with a child of my own flesh and blood but I have to imagine that going through it once or twice within your family is different than sending batches of children who are like your own off each year.

Which is worse?  Watching your baby grow a little each day or sending them away and having them knock at your door years later with stories of their big kid life?

Jury is still out on that one.

I am a teacher first, last, always!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Leading a team

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just stand there.
-Will Rogers

I accepted the position of director because I wanted to guide the team through a difficult time as they transitioned from serving the spectrum of early childhood to focusing on infants, toddlers, and two's.  They emerged victorious.

Some times I wonder if this is really my calling.  And then I have this glorious moment with a teacher where I get to share my view on professional development and how much I want to improve the center environment as well as the people in it and we connect and I'm on top of the world.  And there's this less than glorious moment when someone approaches me, ever so cautiously, to hand me a letter of resignation.  

After a brief moment of taking it personally (seriously, who wouldn't want to work with me?), reality sets in.  Just like I wouldn't hold a teacher back from a promotion, I simply cannot be upset that someone wants to do what's best for them.  It takes a lot of self-reflection to know what you want next and perhaps I'm jealous that someone has had that "next" realization, but I am not upset.  Life is short.  We have to do what makes us happy, even if it means moving on.  I'm a huge believer in life-long learning and hope to somehow impart that on my colleagues.

I only want the best for the tiny humans we serve, within the agency and throughout the city, so that they might grow up to feel that same wonder of learning.

When we stop learning, we stop growing.