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 #8:  You remove obstacles to people’s success.

In an effective team, everyone has a role.  Without a doubt, I have always believed that the most important member of the team in an early education setting were those who have direct contact and supervision of the children.  Well trained, caring and knowledgeable staff typically create nurturing learning environments where children develop and thrive.  In return, you get a great bi-product, happy, satisfied families/customers.  So, what do we need supervisors for?  To assist teachers.  We assist by providing guidance, knowledge and resources and when things get in their way of providing the best care they can, we are the ones to move or assist in moving that obstacle.  Sometimes the obstacles are tangible, ie. replacing worn equipment or providing addition supplies but many times those obstacles may be intangible, ie. lack of understanding or a clear vision of best practices, skills needed to perform delegated responsibilities or simply the encouragement when the teacher is finding a particular situation has stretched their limits.

It seems too many supervisors don’t understand the difference between being the boss and being bossy.  Any of us can be bossy but to be a boss, a good one, you will need to understand the needs of your business, find the most talented team you can afford, and then make sure they have what they need to do their job well.  “The most effective directors I see do not view themselves as making things happen by sitting atop the chain of command issuing orders and making inspirational speeches.  Rather, they view themselves as servants to the team.”  Roger Neugebauer.  And if you are not totally convinced about who are the MVP’s of your team, think about yourself out for two days with an illness and then think about your lead two year old teacher out for two days, which thought sends a shiver down your spine? J  So, how about you?  Are you the boss or just bossy?  More things to ponder in this issue.

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