Post by Eboni N. Walker, 20 January 2021
On many trips to and from errands or while waiting in carpool lines, I actively engage my mind in learning. I mostly listen to audio books, news, and podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is The Preschool Podcast, hosted by HiMama, which features conversations with early childhood leaders across North America. It is refreshing to listen to educators in the early childhood space who understand the complexities of this important work. Learning from shared insights what pressing issues are faced by those in the field: the most problematic of which is teacher turnover.
In the post “Why Employee Engagement Matters in Early Childhood”, Ron Spreeuwenberg investigates the common assumption that low compensation is the main driver of turnover in early learning settings. Research reveals we may need to “think again…financial resources are not the root cause of employee turnover and general dissatisfaction in child care organizations. It is an issue of leadership and culture.”
The post goes on to suggest that while, “Leadership and culture aren’t things that you can change overnight, however, they are absolutely critical to the long-term success of any organization. On the plus side, leadership and culture are 100% under the control of management and can be improved over time with focused and proactive efforts.”
This is where leadership development comes in — before a leader supports staff or directs program initiatives, they must look within themselves and do the internal work practicing self-awareness, building up emotional intelligence, and challenging their own mindsets. Early childhood leaders need opportunities to develop themselves, and the administrative and pedagogical skills necessary to cultivate supportive environments for their teachers, children, and parents.
Leadership in early childhood matters – if you need support developing areas in your leadership reach out to Learning Matters today!