Congratulations on your new job as a preschool director! It's an exciting time full of new classrooms, new faces and new opportunity. With an open mind, positive attitude and passion for education, you'll become a wonderful leader for the staff and the families who entrust their children in your care each and every day.
To make a good impression and start the job on a high note, consider these 9 smart ideas for new preschool directors:
Welcome letters: Draft and send out two welcome letters: one for staff and one for families. Introduce yourself in these letters and customize the copy for each audience. For staff, provide your background, motivation for taking the job and any management style insight you'd like to share. For families, share your professional story and how you plan to make a difference for their children. In both letters, be open, honest and convey your excitement about the future.
Be friendly, fun and visible: Yes, you'll have your fair share of administrative work, but don't always shy away in the office. You are the face of the center! Welcome students at the start of the day. Say goodbye to families at the conclusion as often as possible. Get to know their names and show that you genuinely care.
Stay organized: Right from the start, strive to prioritize organization. It will make your life so much easier, plus you'll be a good role model to staff. Therefore, a stellar system for paperwork and a meticulously maintained calendar are musts. Find what works for you and be consistent.
Schedule school pictures: Part of staying organized means keeping on top of school traditions and other important events. If you haven't scheduled school pictures, contact Lifetouch Preschool Photography today to discuss your options for programs your families will love that can also benefit your school.
Keep an open-door policy: To make a real difference, you need to be approachable. Stress to staff and families that you have an open-door policy and welcome their feedback, good and bad. Your goal is to always listen with compassion while providing unwavering leadership.
Spend time in the classroom: Understand what the classroom communities are like, how students best learn and what your teachers need to do their jobs well. Make time to go right to the source: the classroom. Be a teacher's aide for a few days, assist on special projects or just observe.
Be encouraging: You want to be a respected leader at the center who is also a champion for the staff. Periodically leave treats and encouraging notes in their cubbies or mailboxes to brighten their day and show you care. Remember to notice and thank staff often; don't get in the habit of only talking to them when something is wrong.
Be fair: When starting a new job there are bound to be some staff that are easier to connect with than others. As the director, it's important to treat everyone fairly. They are equals and you should never play favorites. Always set clear expectations and provide the tools all teachers and other staff need to do their job well.
Minimize meetings: There are smart times to have meetings and other times they can feel like time-fillers. Have specific goals for every meeting you hold and an agenda to keep you on track. During open discussion time, be sure to focus on what's working as much as what's not to incorporate the positive in addition to the problem-solving.###Social:Nervous about the first day at work? New directors can show staff and families how much they care in 9 simple steps.New administrator? These 9 easy ways to make a positive impression will help any new preschool director shine like a star.
Congratulations on your new job as a preschool director! It's an exciting time full of new classrooms, new faces and new opportunity.