In the January/February 1991 issue of Child Care Information Exchange, it’s editor, Roger Neugebauer, wrote and published the article “12 Reasons People Love to Work for You.” In it, Neugebauer focuses on the practices of directors at childcare centers where teacher turnover is low. Based on his observations, he determined twelve practices you can implement to motivate people to remain in your employment.
REASON #5: You build team spirit.
Regardless of the skill and knowledge the administrator has she will not have a quality program without the help of a well-trained knowledgeable staff. But even training and experience are not enough if we do not work collaboratively. I believe one of the most significant roles the administrator of an early education program plays is that of team leader.
A team is not a bunch of people working together, a team, as defined by 50 activities for Team Building Vol. 1 “ …is a group of people with a high degree of interdependence focused on the achievement of the same goal or task.” That goal or task is high quality, developmentally appropriate, engaging activities for the children in our care, coupled with a healthy and safe environment – that will not happen accidentally. As the team leader, first we must communicate the goals of our program and then make sure the members have what they need to do it well. They may need resources, training or encouragement. The training and resources are in large part your responsibility. In the programs I have considered most successful over the years, the encouragement comes from many places. Strong leaders make sure everyone has what they need and when I have what I need I am more inclined to share. These leaders set an expectation that team members accept responsibility for helping all the members improve. They are expected to share ideas, to give each other feedback, to solve problems together, and to provide each other supports.
Team building needs to be a conscious activity promoted by the administrator attended by the administrator and rewarded by the administrator.