"The lead teacher, the assistant, the custodian, the cook, the director — whatever your role, young children see all grown-ups as ‘the people in charge.’ It is up to us to ‘spread the wealth’ and pay attention to how all leadership is expected, supported, experienced, accessible, and noticed at every level and in every position," writes Deborah Sullivan in Leading Early Childhood Organizations.
The Exchange Leadership Initiative invites this approach on a large scale. The current cohort of Exchange Leaders shares a passion for leadership which is both reflective and active:
Jennice Webb, Haledon, NJ: "As a leader, I am committed to being a force of change and understanding the needs of those I serve. Being an agent of change starts with listening; listening to families’ struggles tell a story that cannot fall on deaf ears. Making a difference goes beyond the classroom. It is a daily mindset a leader must choose, regardless of how they feel."
Jennifer Blohm, Glasser, NJ: "Change happens within, but helping others understand their true value over time will help to change the world. It is when a person views themselves as a professional that their achievements and quality of teaching flourish—providing a better foundation and quality of learning for their students, who will one day be the leaders of this world!"
Nicolette Graf, Apple Valley, MN: "When it comes to advocacy, I like to think this: in the history of our country, we have a lot of "isms" (racism, sexism, etc.) but the least practiced is activism. Not because we do not want to, but because we do not have innate skills to stand up for ourselves and what we believe in. Advocacy can be taught and learned. To me, that is exactly what our field needs."
Get to know our new Exchange Leaders in the July/August issue!
Early Childhood Organizations
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Leadership matters in early childhood. Leading Early Childhood Organizations provides you with practical advice from top experts on leadership in the early childhood arena. Content focuses on the skills required to lead an organization, supervise staff, and manage the organization.
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Thanks for pointing that out, Kelly. We do our best, and sometimes something passes by our collective eyes. We'll strive to do better.
I agree with the spirit of this article. However, the typo in the quote is disappointing.