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How to Reflect with Your Teachers [PDF Cheat Sheet inside!]

Chanie WilschanskiComment
DiscoverEd Consulting - How to Reflect with Your Teachers - End-of-Year Reflective Questions for Teachers

While out to lunch with a friend of mine a few weeks ago, we began talking about her past school year as a teacher. 

She said something so interesting: “I’m not sure I will always do my morning meeting this way -- I guess it’s just how I started doing them, but it really doesn’t work well at all…”
 
I nodded quietly and listened as she continued on about her year, and all the mistakes and regrets she had.

Finally, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I asked her,

“What are you proud of this year? What did you do this year that makes you feel joyful and happy?”

She sat quietly for a few minutes, stirring these words around in her head.
 
I dared not break the silence, after asking such a question.
 
Then, she started slowly: “Well… I’m really happy I did more with parent involvement this year. Every parent came to my classroom at least once, and I’ve never done that before…”
 
Suddenly, the floodgates had opened. Her wins and success from the year poured from her like Niagra Falls. She has so much to share and so much be proud of.
 
I watched intently as her body language shifted. She sat up and her hands moved as she demonstrated different activities. Her eyes lit up when she spoke about her coffee outing with a new colleague at work that she became close with… and so much more. 
 
When she finished, she looked up and said, “Thank you! I needed that!” 
 
“It’s important to learn from our mistakes, and it’s important to ask for feedback” I said. “And yet it’s equally important to honor our successes and the commitments we’ve made and honored.” 
 
It’s critical for teachers to reflect on their year. If not, their memories of the year just remain as a bunch of loose ends and random work that doesn’t carry continued meaning for everyone on the team.
 
I learned so much from listening to this teacher share her wins! I was able to see how far she stretched herself and it was truly inspiring. 
 
Sometimes we look and dig for inspiration and ways to motivate our teachers. 
 
But really, it’s right there in our school building. 
 
Every teacher has a powerful story and a unique journey to share. 
 
To help you find those stories, I’ve compiled a list a twenty great questions to ask your teachers at your final reflective meeting. 
 
Set aside enough time for your teachers to dig into each question and answer it thoughtfully. In addition, make the time for them to collaborate and share their responses with each other. 

Here are some ideas on how you can help your teachers get the most out of this exercise:

  1. Teachers can swap questions with another teacher and read each other’s answers to learn from one another .
  2. You can group teachers in small pods and ask them to reflect together on what they wrote. Then, allow one member from each pod to share a story from their group with the rest of school.
  3. Take the time as a director to fill out these questions and share some of the answers with your teachers. 
  4. Some of you artistic staff can create an art panel or story board that documents what everyone learned this year. You can hang it up in the hallway as a reminder for everyone when they return in September. 
     

Warmly, 
Chanie

The Big Secret (part 4 of 4)

Chanie WilschanskiComment

I’m going to tell you something right up front

If are like most directors, you’ll think this is counter intuitive. 

Ok- I’ve warned you

Here it is 

“Plan your tomorrow --- TODAY” 

I meet with directors all the time. 
I’ve actually personally spoken with over 100 directors from 6 continents and 45 different countries. 

Here is what I hear:

  • “My school is different” 
  • “I have state issues” 
  • “I don’t have money”
  • “I’m having a baby in 2 months” 
  • “We don’t have an outdoor space” 
  • “I have red hair” 
  • “I’m introverted” 
  • “My teachers aren’t like that” 
  • “I can’t do that” 
  • “I have a unique situation here” 
  • “There aren’t any good teachers here” 
  • “My teachers don’t really get along
  • “I want to do more teacher retention”
  • “My school is going through changes now”
  • “I want my teachers to go the extra mile without pushing them” 
  • “I want to focus on more thoughtful feedback”

And this is just getting started…… 

If you have ever said any of these things, welcome! 
You are a preschool director like the thousands of other EC leaders across the globe who all struggle with the same things! 

And what you do is. 
You deal from crisis to crisis.

You move the needle slowly on different things - telling yourself one day, we’ll get there 

Massaging your brain and saying “change takes time” 

Yes, change can take time. But the decision to make a change happens in an instant. 
It’s the moment you truly commit and decide NO MORE!

Sometimes as a director you wonder what is truly worth your time and money. What trainings can really move the needle in the direction I want to take my school. 

“It was apparent that Chanie has had many years of experiences - she was so relatable.They felt it was really worth their time! I saw them put out the provocations and the loose parts. I’m excited to see what else they will put into practice.”
-- Frumie Fieg, Director of Yeshiva Ketana 

A few weeks ago I started telling you about Wendy, check out the rest of her story here. She shares some of the most meaningful lessons for her personally and how her school has changed since then. 

Wendy shared that “Too many times we bring someone to come down and do training in September and by December it’s all forgotten - this time it was different!” 

Ready for a completely different experience of staff development?
One where your teacher will have follow up and accountability all the through?

Here’s a brief response I got from a director after the Intentional Play Training. 

“My teachers aren’t dictating how the children should learn but rather observing what the children want to learn. They are used to being spoonfed and with this training they felt so empowered. They aren’t talking AT the kids anymore. 
It has also given me more confidence as a director. My teachers respect my opinion and are willing to go with it. They aren't paying lip service anymore. I feel that ar making better decisions together.”
-- Leslie
“The biggest wins for me as a director is that the teachers are solving their own problems. Instead of constantly coming to me, they are thinking of their own solutions. They are using the strategies that they learned and adapting it.”
-- Alexa Cohen 

Then I would love to chat with you - book a free call right here

“Apathy - now what?” (part 3 of 4)

Chanie WilschanskiComment
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I was observing in a 3 year old class a few weeks ago and I noticed the teacher hustling and breaking a sweat as she moved around the classroom. 
She was cleaning up and transitioning the children from cleanup to snack. 

With 18 little 3 year old there was a lot to be done. 
But there were 2 other assistants in the room, who were really just standing and watching her move around like fire in lightning speed. 

They picked up a few toys here and there and then waited for the next instruction. 

This is APATHY. 

The teachers who consistently ask you questions about all these things “they should know” or that you have in the handbook or wherever else you share it. 

There is a disconnect
They aren't really part of the school

Their body is in the classroom, but their mind and everything else is somewhere else. 


Your job as the leader is to get them out of this state. 
Sometimes it’s an inspiring training that jolts them and drives them to take more action.
 Also teaching them how to really collaborate with the teachers is the ultimate game changer. The teacher can’t lead the classroom alone. 

They need to learn how to work together with their co teachers and assistants and ASK for help. 

I did a training for a JCC on a Wednesday morning, I got this email 2 days later on Friday. 

“We already started implementing your strategies on Thursday. The children were a little confused at first but then loved the new approach. It was and is empowering. Thank you!”
-- Sharon Levine, JCC in Five Towns 

Growth and change don’t need to take months and years. Sometimes a simple strategy or tweak can make a powerful impact. 

Sometimes you don’t even need to wait a few days. When there has been a mindset shift and the teachers connect with the strategies and they have the road map….. Then the growth can be a matter of a few minutes. 

“Minutes after Chanie completed her workshop for my teachers, the staff was already asking me for time to reset up their classrooms and move furniture. 
Some teachers redid their centers immediately, while other teachers added original sensory activity and games that were inspired by these workshops.”
-- Elana Fertig 

Warmly, 
Chanie 

Ps. I’ll share with you some specific strategies I give directors to get their teachers out of APATHY- in the next email (so stay tuned)

If you want

  • Team players
  • Creative leaders
  • Ownership
  • Compassion
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability

If you want growth, change and innovation in your school….

THEN, we need to talk. Book a “Directors that Lead” strategy call right here.

PPS. Want some quick tips on building more of a collaborative culture and get your teachers out of apathy?
Check out this recent article I wrote on the Huffington Post.

It's not the people on the bus, IT'S THE BUS

Chanie WilschanskiComment

Last week I started sharing with you something called the “Teacher Matrix" -  if you didn't get a chance to read it yet, check it out here.

I have a question for you as the leader.

How much of your day is spent on growing and building the school?

There was a study done that the average business owner spend only 29 minutes a day actually doing activity that will build their company.

If you think about it in education - How much time in your day is dedicated to actually connecting with teachers, parents and building the school?

I bet you are super busy - or more like busy work….

Understanding where you teachers are on the matrix will help you realize where you need to focus your energy, time, money and resources.

FLOW

  • What are you doing that is allowing the teachers to perform at this level?

“It’s not the people on the bus, it’s THE BUS!”
- Simon Sinek

If you have teachers that live in FLOW it’s because you have created this environment. This isn’t dumb luck or karma. You actively create this.

  • Successful people aren’t just successful - they have habits and rituals that bring them there.

  • So the question is how do you consistently keep your teachers in the FLOW state - (I’ll be chatting about this in a FB live that’s coming up.)

Here’s a message from Jaimee Stulberg. She is a teacher of three years who lives in FLOW. She is constantly working to improve and grow as a teacher. 

Here is what she said after the Intentional Play Training I did in her school.


"After participating in Chanie's workshop and employing her strategies, I feel like I am a better teacher. I am appreciating both my students and my job in ways I hadn't before. I think the key take away from the training is to take a step back and allow the children to use their imaginations and learn through play. They are more capable than most give them credit for. My teaching is becoming less teacher-directed and more student driven.” 
 

BURNOUT

  • Why are your teachers living in burnout?

  • Why are they consistently coming late?

  • Why aren't newsletters being submitted on time?

  • Why aren't they performing to the expectations and standards that you set?

These are tough questions to answer. It’s hard to look at yourself and say, “maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the one that needs to do some growth and change.”

My first action step to you is to ask yourself

  1. Where are my teachers level of competency?

  2. What are my teachers truly competent in doing?

I worked with Wendy Gerson who is a committed and hard-working preschool director.

She has many veteran teachers in her school and was looking for a real transformation in a few key areas.

Check out how one strategy had all 80 teachers taking action!

That is not a typo - every single teacher took action on this strategy and it’s been game changing!

Check it out here.

 

Warmly,
Chanie

 

When I was 8 years old I created a responsibility chart of everything I had to do in the morning and my younger siblings. And made incentives and races to get everyone ready in the morning. (I have 5 younger siblings)

When I was 10 I had a snack system conveyor belt down to a science. I had all my younger siblings lineup and we packed 6 bags of lunch in under 10 minutes!! And I kept trying to beat that record. (I’m super competitive with myself)

That’s all for now. 

Next time I’ll share how I you can create systems and process for everything you want in your school. Including the culture, relationships, accountability and follow up.


PPS. If you want to learn how you can create a more collaborative culture with your teachers, more consistent routines and systems and be able to actually follow up with teachers that doesn't feel like more work or exhausting -- then check out this recent interview I did on the preschool podcast.

 

What is the Teacher Matrix?

Chanie WilschanskiComment

For now, forget about culture

It’s something I’ll address later 

For right now you need to understand where your teachers live before you can see where the pain points of your culture are and what you need to work on. 

Most school leaders run in the dark with a flashlight in their pocket - and need to be reminded to turn that flashlight on and then I can show where to shine it. 

There are so many things that are unique and special about teachers and educators - I mean the list goes on and on. 

What is NOT unique no matter where you live on this planet, or what the socio economic status is of your parent body, or how much money the school has, or what your teachers get paid, or even if your teachers are certified or not. 

All teachers are humans. 

And as humans we have certain capacities, needs, wants and desires ---- and then with the right leader or coach we can push ourselves beyond what we thought was the norm. 

I’ve created something called the Teacher Matrix. 

ALL teachers live in one of these areas. 

  1. Flow
  2. Burnout
  3. Boredom
  4. Apathy 

It’s fairly simple to figure out where each teacher lives. Use the matrix right here to figure it out. 

The challenge is knowing how to empower each teacher depending on where she lives in the matrix. And then also follow up with her and create accountability while still inspiring creativity and innovation. 

(To be continued)

Right now, download the matrix and place your teachers in the different quadrants.

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Warmly, 
Chanie 

PS. Ever heard of the “Toothpaste Trap”? 

There is a 100% chance that you are victim of it - no doubt about it. 

It’s the thing that separates truly successful leaders from others. 

I’ll tell you about this another time…. It will be a real Aha moment for you! 

It took me a long time to learn this, I’m a recovering victim myself 

Want your teachers to take more initiative?

Chanie WilschanskiComment
ECLC Promo - Blog Post.png

Do you ever lay in bed at night thinking,

“I really wish my teachers took more initiative” 

Do your days feel like you're sucked into a vacuum as you walk into the school doors and then get spit out at the end of your day?

Wondering why your days are so exhausting? 

Over the past few months I’ve been really listening to your questions, comments and one of the common threads is

  • Teacher accountability
  • Ownership
  • Responsibility
  • Take more initiative
  • Share your ideas
  • Be more creative

I could go on and on 

So when I was interviewing the leadership speakers for the conference I asked them your toughest questions! 

Here is a sneak peak to 3 of the interviews. 

Alyssa Gallagher -  Are you a rescuer?    

Alyssa Gallagher -  Are you a rescuer? 
  

To get access to all the interviews for FREE - check out www.ecleadershipconference.com 

What culture and mud pit have in common?

Leadership, CultureChanie WilschanskiComment

When I was kid I loved to play with dirt, mud and anything that could get me the most dirty. Lucky for my parents we grew up in a large suburban home with a hose in the back. 

Before we entered, we all needed to hose down and then were allowed into the house :) 

I loved the mud pits and swirling mud circles of water my brothers and I used to make. 

If you take a stick and stir into a puddle full of mud, the water and mud will blend and then when you stop stirring the mud separates and gets lumpy and choppy in the water. 

School cultures are very similar to the mud pit. 

“It’s lonely on the top” is a famous saying. The journey from teacher to director to becoming a truly successful leader is like rocking in turbulent waters and swimming in mud pits. 

It stretches every fiber of your being and it can get real messy sometimes. 

As a director you work really hard, spinning the mud pit with multiple sticks. 

Multi tasking and trying to keep everyone happy. 

But eventually you exhaust yourself and let go of all the sticks, and then the mud starts to get lumps. Your teachers aren't as happy as you would like. 

The mud gets choppy, there is division with your team and not everyone is on board with the new changes you want to implement. 

That’s the fun thing about leadership- it’s an ever changing journey

One thing remains the same! -

 “Leadership is about serving those who serve others”
- Simon Sinek. 

Simon is one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time. 
Simon has written and published 3 books:

  • Start with Why
  • Leaders eat Last
  • Together is Better

For many of you, Simon is not a new name. You’ve heard of him before and perhaps read his books. I’ve shared his Ted Talk several times (here is the link for you to check out if you’ve never seen it!)

Simon is known as the WHY guy. And his vision is to have a world where people wake up in the morning and are happy to go to work, feel safe and come back home and feel the same way. 

As an unshakable optimist. It’s pretty amazing to be in this person’s presence. 
I recently went to a book signing of his and got a chance to listen to him speak live. 

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When he opened the floor for Questions and Answers - I raised my hand and asked. 

“How can a director in a school create a culture of innovation and risk taking where teachers want to be innovative and creative?” 

Simon replied:

“ A leader needs to truly have people’s backs! Be there for them like no one else will! And then be able to give them real authentic feedback so they can continue to grow” 

He then went on to answer another gentleman’s question who was there from Russia to hear him speak! 

I was determined to speak with Simon again. I wanted to dig in more. 

  • What is a culture?
  • How does a director create one?
  • What are the daily actions and small things a director can do to switch this paradigm even when she thinks there is no hope. 
  • Even when she feels it's the point of no return
  • Even when she has very old and veteran teachers who are stuck in their ways
  • Even if…….

I wanted to unshackle every single excuse and hiccup that any director has ever thought of of why she doesn’t have the culture that she wants in her school.

And here's the deal - I got an interview with Simon! 

So as I told you last week, as a loyal subscriber you get to hit reply and
I want you to tell me
Every single little thing that stands in your way of creating the culture you want. 

Tell me EVERYTHING - no one reads this, it’s only for me.

I want this interview to be epic and I will have Simon unpack every strategy he has in his tool chest, besides for the stories he will share. 

As a brilliant story teller - I always get emotional by one specific story her shares and I hope he will share it will you as well. 

All right, send me an email and let me know - :) 
This is your chance to get answers on how to create the culture you want in your school! 

What's gossip?

Leadership, ParentsChanie WilschanskiComment

Gossip! The very words sends shivers down a director’s back.

No one wants to be in that in position.

You walk into the building in the morning and parents are circled together whispering in hushed tones. 

You pass by then, saying your silent prayers that they aren't complaining about anything. 

Your birthday is actually around the corner, maybe they're planning a surprise party for you- really? It's not 9th grade. 

Breathing and sighing to yourself you plop your things done and look at the long to do list from yesterday that only has 5 things crossed off. 

Cup half full or empty?

There is still 15 other things you need to do. 

And then the day starts. 

Teachers walk in and out demanding your attention 

Your assistant walks in and needs approval, there is stare inspections today and you need to clean your office. 

The phone rings, you have to get it. 

It's in a irritable parent on the phone. 
She starts going into a long monologue about what she heard when she went to yoga yesterday and what her friends said, and is is true?
And how could it be?
And she's so upset.
And whats the school gonna do about it. 

You sit listening and start getting faint, looking at the clock you realize it's 11am and all you had was a cup of coffee this morning that you chucked down in 3 gulps as you ran for your car keys. 

Gosh, how am i going to deal with this other crisis? Is there ever a dull moment?

If you resonate with my story- you are not alone! 
Directors all over the world will deal with some form of parent or teacher gossip happening in your school. 

The key is learning the strategies to prevent it, and then deal with it as a professional the right way! 

So much easier said than done. 

Which is why I'm thrilled to introduce to you Kathy Lee, speaker and author of the book, Solutions for Directors. 

At the EC Leadership Conference she will reveal strategies to deal with parent gossip in your school.
Or when teachers start gossiping with each other or talking behind your back. 

No one is immune to this and learning how to deal with it the right way is key to becoming a more successful leaders. 

Want more details on how to connect with Kathy Lee and all of the other speakers at the EC Leadership conference?

Sign up below to stay up-to-date!

What a preschool director can learn from Seinfeld’s $180 million deal with Hulu?

Leadership, MarketingChanie WilschanskiComment

Many of you grew up in the 90’s and may have heard of show called “Seinfeld” 

For those of you who don’t know - I'll quickly enlighten you. 

Jerry Seinfeld is a comedian and he had a sitcom back in the 90’s that was a huge hit!!

Once again - you’re wondering. 

Seriously Chanie! You tell us about CEO coaches and now a sitcom actor and stand up comedian - what in the world does this have to with preschool?

I’ll tell you - as you know, I love to study other markets and see what they do to become successful. 

Then I brainstorm ways that I can bring this into early childhood. 

Here is the cool thing about Seinfeld- he build himself a brilliant asset. 

“The streaming video on-demand company has signed a deal to stream all 180 episodes of the NBC comedy TV series, Seinfeld, according to Variety. That did not come cheap - Hulu reportedly paid almost $180 million for the show.”
-- Business Insider, April 29, 2015

You read right! $180 million dollars for a show that ran in the 90’s! 

He’s getting paid for the re runs! 

I thought to myself- this is pretty cool- and really smart! 

Create something once - and get value from it again and again and again!!!

So when I sat to think about it - I wondered 

How can a preschool director adapt this concept?

What can a director do once - and then get tremendous value from over and over and over again without thinking about. 

Seinfeld sits and drinks coffee or runs on the beach while cash is streamed into his account for something he filmed over 2 decades ago! 

And then I got it!

What if a director could create something that attracted parents to her school over and over again without any manpower or hustle?

If you are a school who is looking to increase enrollment and every school should always be doing marketing = because the circle of life turns, and sometimes you're bursting with a waiting list and some years, you're trying to fill empty slots. 

So I thought of the most prized piece of real estate in a school- 
the HOMEPAGE of your website. (check out more info  
https://ecleadershipconference.com 

If your tech geek and know how to check the analytics on a site - you’ll be surprised how much traffic comes to your site. 

If you don’t know how to do this, or even if you have never checked the homepage of your site- you SHOULD. 

The website is the 1st place any parent will come when they want to learn more about your school. 

Even if they heard it from their absolute bestie who lives next door! They will check your site before they call to schedule a tour or interview or whatever your process may be. 

So if people are coming to the homepage- what should it say?

You have exactly 59 seconds to grab their attention before they start scrolling! FACT!!!! 

Here are the most common mistakes with a homepage. 

1. They leave when they don’t get what they are expecting.

Parents come to the site to learn more

I can't tell you how many preschool website i've checked out - looking for the director contact info and I had to search for 3 minutes till I found it!!!

The parents wants to see what this school is about- which brings me to mistake # 2
 

2. They don’t know what to do - way too much information!!!! 

As the business saying goes “ a confused mind never buys”
You want it to be super simple - if a parent lands on your page:

  • Do you want them to come for a tour?
  • Do you have pictures of the classroom?
  • Do they need to come for an interview?

What does the parent need to do next - be the leader- walk them through this journey on the website.

3. People leave when they don’t see the trust or authenticity. 

Make sure your homepage reflects what’s valuable about your school

Are you a small school?
Warm?
Inviting?
Academic driven?

What is special about your school?

These are just 3 simple tips to get started. 

But I want to take you even further. 

I’ve invited expert Copywriter Cheryl Binnie to share with you an exact walk through of your homepage. 

She will share what you should write so that parents drop everything they are doing and call your school right away to schedule a tour. 

She will teach you what to put on your homepage so it’s a valuable asset - think Seinfeld assets (I'm not promising $180 million but it's a similar concept)

She'll teach you how to leverage your homepage so it’s always working for you! 

Want details on how you can watch this interview and Marshall’s interview?

Check out the conference here - IT'S FREE- https://ecleadershipconference.com 

A recovering control freak!

Chanie Wilschanski1 Comment

What do the president of the world bank, Ceo of Walmart, Ceo of Ford, and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies have in common?

They have a leadership coach and his name is Marshall Goldsmith. 

If you google “helping successful leaders” all the searches will point to one person - Marshall. 

Why am I sharing this with you? 

Why should you care about Fortune 500 companies and the world bank?

And even more, why should care about who coaches these CEO’s?

For those of you who have been reading my blog for some time know that I LOVE to find what works in other markets and industries and apply them to early childhood. 

I believe the most successful people are ALWAYS learning from everyone. 

I’ve read 3 of Marshall’s books, 

What got you wont get you there is a brilliant book on the 20 toxic success blockers of successful leaders - I've read it 3 times!!!! 

As a recovering control freak - I am slowly learning how to let go and delegate more. And my husband, kids and team members are grateful and thankful for it. 

More importantly, I’m learning how to speak less, ask better questions and transfer ownership. 

When I do, my kids are surprisingly smarter than I think.

My husband remembers to do the things I need and he even adds his special touch, if I just let go!!

And my team members are truly brilliant! They ask me great questions and have made my life so much more fulfilling! It so amazing to have incredibly, smart, dedicated and creative people working with me. 

Habit 2 in his book is - adding too much value. 

  • As a leader in your school teachers are constantly sharing their ideas with you. 
  • During a meeting you might be asking for feedback from teachers. 
  • Parents will share their input at morning arrival or a meeting
  • The school board, the dean, everyone has something to say to you.

And you probably have opinions about each of them and in some cases very strong opinions. Or even mild suggestions. 

Here’s a typical scene I’ve witnessed countless of times (not with the exact materials- but similar concept)

Teacher
“Hey, I wanted to share with you this amazing creative idea I'll be doing with the children today, it involves acorns and paint and the children will be exploring the different mediums, I'll see how it goes”

You listen and nod your head, excited that the teacher has a great idea and then….

Director
“I love this idea, it’s really amazing and i'm sure the kids will love it, if you want there are also some pine cones in the supply closet and you can add that to your table as well.” 

Seemingly harmless? Right?

All you did was tell her that there are pine cones in the closet. 

You added maybe 10% value to the project and stripped away close to 80% commitment. 

It’s not her idea anymore, it's yours. 

As Marshall says, the higher you go in the chain of command the more your suggestions and seemingly harmless opinions become commands. 

I will recommend his book as a must read for all leaders! 

And I don’t just recommend any book. 
I read an average of 2-3 books per week, so I know which books are truly worth your time, since we don't have a lot of it. 

So why am I suddenly sharing with you about Marshall….

I have landed the opportunity to interview Marshall! 
I have prepared a line up of great questions where I'll be asking him for strategies on being a successful leader

I’ve been following Marshall’s work for years! I read his books, blog and listened to interviews that he has done. And I’m thrilled to be interviewing him through the Early Childhood lens. 

  • We’ll talk about how to add value the right way
  • How to keep your team motivated
  • And how to become more self aware as a leader so you can truly serve your people! 
  • And much more

Since you are my valued friends and loyal subscribers, I wanted to give you a heads up and give you a chance to email me any questions you would want to ask Marshall.

And of course, as a subscriber - you will get FREE access to this interview as soon as it becomes available. 

So leave a comment below with your biggest questions about leadership so I can weave these questions into our interview. 

"What can I document?"

Chanie WilschanskiComment

So often I hear from teachers, “What can I document?” 

There are so many activities, experiences and discoveries that happen during one day!

  • How do you really decide what is worth the time?
  • Your energy?
  • The school resources?
  • What can wait or doesn’t make sense to have a whole board for it right now?
  • What types of formats are there for documentation?
  • Do I have to create a whole story board and a panel?

(Below is a documentation display I created a few years ago that was inspired by the children's snowman creations.)

 

All these options and different ways to document can instill paralysis in a teacher, and then cause her to do nothing.

It’s just too much!

So I often I find directors struggling to offer the right support for their staff when it comes to documentation WITHOUT pressuring them too much.

So then what is the solution? 

There are many different ways to document. 

Today, I want to share with you one format for documentation.

In this FREE cheat sheet you will learn everything about the picture of the day. 

The picture of the day is one way to document the learning process that

  • doesn’t cost any money
  • No extra resources needed
  • And you can do it in less than 3 minutes! 

Download the picture of the day cheat sheet

Now I want to hear from you, 

What are some of your biggest frustrations around documentation?

Or 

What would you really like to know how to do? 

What are some of your wishes when it comes to documenting?

Leave a comment and let me know :) 

This picture of the day sheet came about from a director who asked for some formats for documenting. So I put this together!

 I look forward to hearing from you 

To creativity and Innovation!

When I Became a Hostage to My Inbox

Chanie WilschanskiComment

Last week I went on vacation with my husband. Just the two of us and we left our 3 children at home with a good friend of mine.

For those of you who don’t know me well, this is an annual tradition for us. Every single year, no matter what is going on in our lives we make it our business to get away for 2-3 days without our kids.

The secret to hiring the BEST teachers!

Chanie WilschanskiComment

You know that moment when you tell yourself, “this year will be different!”

In your head you commit that this year you will learn from your hiring mistakes of last year.

You tell yourself, “I’m only going to hire qualified and dedicated teachers that WANT to be part of my team.”

“Only teachers with experience.”

“Only teachers with degrees.”

How Well Do You Play?

Chanie WilschanskiComment

I used to make generalizations about why a day was good or bad. I would assume it was good because of this, and it tanked because of that. As I started to build, grow, and expand, I started to realize the simple yet eye opening patterns of my day that really predicted what kind of day I would ultimately have.

These patterns are the 5 Performance Pillars

Pull Back The Curtain On My Morning - In My Kitchen :)

Chanie WilschanskiComment

My morning alarm clock goes off and I start thinking about the day. New ideas start churning in my head, “Gosh, that’s a great idea!” I quickly take out my notepad and jot down some notes.

I hear my baby Chayale talking to herself in her crib. Walking into the room I notice a stain on the pink shades, “Hmm, these shades would be awesome for some Jackson Pollack painting.” My mind continues wandering about where I will get some paint…