Mary an experienced Early Education Director, looked up at the ceiling as she woke, wondering what the day would bring.
As she got herself ready she stared at herself in the mirror and found herself asking: “why did I choose a career in Early Education?”
The younger self answered, “because you are passionate about providing quality educational experiences to children.” That passion felt like a distant memory now!
On the outside she looked confident and the feedback she got from her staff and committee was that she was doing an excellent job, but on the inside she felt completely overwhelmed and exhausted.
The one thing that kept her going was the beautiful children. They could swiftly shift her mood with just one smile, one comment, or one special hug.
Whilst driving to work, travelling on the same road that she travelled each day, she would start to feel a level of anxiety well up inside her.
She could predict that her day would be filled with staff being difficult, complaining parents, competing priorities and queries about future enrolments.
THE QUESTIONS WE ASK OURSELVES
“What am I doing, perhaps I am in the wrong job, perhaps I am just not up to it, and perhaps I just don’t want to be anymore.” She said out loud to herself. In that fleeting moment she considered resigning and then quickly took a deep breath, shifted her attention and walked into the pres-school.
Mary knew in that moment that needed to create change and in a way that could help her to revisit her, ‘WHY’, she knew that she needed an opportunity to give herself time and space to focus on who she was as a leader, as well as gain new insights into how best to motivate herself and her team.
She was looking for a learning opportunity that was not a one hit wonder, but one that would provide her with an experience, a journey and that would help her to integrate change over time and would enable her to reignite her sparkle in her profession as an Early Education Director.
MAKING THE DECISION
When Mary joined the program she had become disconnected from her passion and felt overwhelmed with the enormity of her role. She felt isolated and tried of constantly needing to support her team, motivating and engaging with them over what felt like the smallest of things!
But, once Mary made the commitment to join the program, she felt a shift from within, it didn’t take her long to reconnect with her passion and share her vision, which had been buried under the day to day management of her service. Mary literally lit up when she talked about what she wanted to create at her service and the plans she had.
A disconnect between her passion and vision and the reality of her experiences was vast.
So how did she bridge that gap?
BRIDGING THE GAP
She bridged the gap by joining the Leading From Behind for Early Education Leaders Online Program.
It gave her the opportunity to give herself some much needed space to reflect on her leadership and who she wanted to be.
She was able to participate in a way that allowed her to do her job, whilst taking valuable time out to reflect on what was important to her. To learn alongside other Directors who shared a similar experience and co-create ways in which she could effectively navigate the multiple challenges her role provided.
The coaching and mentoring provided her with time to reflect on her learning whilst implementing the tools and strategies shared within the program. It was a journey of self-empowerment and rejuvenation, one that came at just the right time.
By the end of the program Mary had created measurable change, within herself as well as within her team.
Mary has an enormous amount of talent, skills and wisdom that was getting buried under her job and the day-to-day challenges.
When given the opportunity to sit back and reflect on some new and valuable neuroscience based information about engagement and communication, she was able to tap into the leader within her and reconnect with her aspirations and create choices about ‘how’ she wanted to lead.
Want to find out more? Check out the Leading From Behind For Early Education Leaders Program or contact Sarah to discuss the program.