Teachers: Time to Reflect, Renew and Re-energize

We are often asked how to keep good teachers motivated . . . as well as how to just keep them.  In the face of the many changes in Head Start, teachers have more data to collect, more paperwork to complete and more things to focus on than ever.  It is challenging to find ways to keep good teachers motivated to practice their craft and also to find ways to retain good teachers.

We’ve found that successful teacher training in this area includes the following 3 points:

Reflect back on why teachers got into this field.

Take time to help teachers remember why they got into the teaching field.  Help them get back in touch with the joy that they experience from teaching children.  Reconnect your teachers with the feeling that they get when a child learns something because of their efforts, when children become ready for Kindergarten because of their skills, and when children learn to love school because of their talents.

Renew our understanding of the new requirements in Head Start.

It’s true – the expectations for Head Start teachers are different than they used to be.  Because of CLASS and Recompetition, the focus for teachers has changed and they feel pressure to get high CLASS scores.  Teachers have to collect more data and fill out more paperwork, because of the new school readiness requirements.  The reality, however, is that there are new requirements in Head Start and it’s important to accept them.

Re-energize teachers to accept the changes in Head Start and reclaim their passion for teaching.

Let teachers know that we acknowledge that they have different responsibilities than they did in the past.  Because the face of Head Start has changed, there are new expectations for teachers (and other staff).  While these changes are numerous and challenging, they are here to stay and it’s important that we accept and embrace them.  It’s critical to help teachers reclaim the passion they have for teaching – to remind them of why they became a teacher and why their daily efforts are so important in the lives of young children and families.

Looking for training for your Teachers on renewing their passion and joy for teaching?  Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.

The Role of the Center Director

Center Directors are instrumental in running a high quality Head Start and Early Head Start program.  The position of Center Director is like a mini-Program Director.  They are leaders of your centers – or as we like to call them, your “school readiness academies.”

We’ve found that effective and efficient Center Directors take the following approach to running their center:

Strong leadership and accountability is the foundation.

Center Directors are the leader of their center and are ultimately responsible for everything that occurs there. Roles and responsibilities of Center Directors include leading their staff, monitoring their center and data management, just to name a few.  Center Directors are charged with ensuring that school readiness and family engagement services are provided at their center.

Excellent customer service is provided to everyone.

The Center Director is the point person for many people inside and outside of the program.  Interacting with children, parents, staff and community partners is an everyday occurrence for Center Directors.  It’s essential that Center Directors understand what excellent customer service looks like and know the importance of providing it at all times.

Compliance monitoring is conducted regularly.

It’s critical that ongoing monitoring is a daily occurrence at the center, led by the Center Director.  Health and safety checks in the center and on the playground, classroom observations and folder checks are just a few of the items to be monitored at centers.  Being in compliance with all Head Start Program Performance Standards and other regulations is fundamental to a successful Head Start and Early Head Start program.

We provide training for Center Directors that is focused on developing strong leaders.  Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at kristinecortina@hsessentials.com.