Leadership Discovery Project

This brings me to the system theory. A system has interconnected arts that depend on each other to develop the mutual goal, which is a successful center. The interconnected parts are the environment, the processes, and the outcomes. Each component needs the support of the other to keep the common goal. According to Bloom the system theory is, “A set of interrelated parts that is characterized by the interdependence of its parts and it differentiation from its environment, a complex network of social relationships, and its own unique culture. ” (Bloom, 2005, p. ) The environment is a place where input is implemented. When I think of a childcare center environment hint of children and how they develop. I think of the atmosphere, the setting, and the conditions that can spark the chill ad’s analytical thinking abilities. But that is just the internal environment. The external environments consist of the parents, sponsoring agencies, local communities, legislative bodies, and the professional communities / teachers. “The external environment places constraints and demands on the center. ” (Bloom, 2005) The external environment is the input and processing stage.

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This is a collaboration of people and agencies that come up with strategies to support the development of the center. The centers that have sponsors have money and agencies that develop supportive programs such as art, literacy, and technology. Columbia College sponsors the center that I work for. The center used the money Columbia gave them to developed a program for the teachers to learn the importance of art and how a person can utilize art throughout the day. Parents, sponsoring agencies, local communities, legislative bodies, and the professional communities / teachers are big factors on the input and processing stage.

Parents may demand that the students have more free play and outdoor play. The sponsoring agencies might quire more outcome data. The local communities may ask the center to stop the students from writing on the ground with chalk. The Legislative bodies may require the students to take shorter naps for more gross motor activities. The professional communities may ask for better wages for their degrees. (Bloom, 2005, p. 6) After the inputs of complaints or suggestions the director needs to structure and process how to develop a plan of action.

Getting feedback from the SOUrces that asked for the changes is essential. After developing a plan of action the director can stand back and observe if the changes are working or to. This system allows the director to process the changes, implement the changes, and revise the changes if needed to prefect the change. The outcome process is very important because it could either sink or sail a center. If the changes in the program are not supported by staff, and parents this may become a problem that causes low enrollment, and staff turnovers. I am experiencing these problematic issues at the center work for.

Four years ago the center hired a new director. During the four years she has made lots of changes. She changed classroom teacher teams. She closed classrooms that were bringing in he students. She put teachers in infant classrooms when they did not want to work with babies. Recently she enforced closed campus lunch. No one can go out for lunch. You have to order your lunch or bring your lunch from home. She stated that it was mandated by the state. She gave all the teachers the head- start licensing standards that stated the teacher child ratio.

It said nothing about our lunch hour. We also have low enrollment. Parents are complaining about teachers’ morale and the director’s attitude. How you implement change can affect the outcome and cause staff and parents to be disgruntle. As Bloom dated, “Problems can arise when directors and boards lack adequate data and bas decisions about outcomes on inference. ” (Bloom, 2005, p. 16) My director did not collaborate with her environment. She is an autocratic leader. She is a dictator. She does not give anyone an opportunity to be involved with the decision making process.

As it stated in the article Leadership Styles, autocratic leaders are extremely controlling and paternalistic, where leaders have complete power over their staff. Staff and team members have little opportunities to make suggestions, even if these would be in the team’s or the organization’s best interest. (Tools) If my director managed the center in a People oriented/relation oriented approach I believe the center would not be I such a crisis. People oriented/relation oriented approach leaders are totally focused on organizing, supporting, and developing the people on their teams.

They treat everyone on the team equally. They’re friendly and approachable. They pay attention to the welfare of everyone in the group, and they make themselves available whenever team members need help or advice. (Tools) Directors need to be mindful of how they lead. A director needs s to know how to coach, mentor and manage the staff. Dictating is not he way to lead. If my director collaborated with the staff, parents, and the community I believe the outcome would be different. Coaching and mentoring is not telling a person what to do.

It is helping the person develop their own ideas and thoughts. As it stated in the Visionary Director, “It is not to lead you to the right way or a right answer. Any number of responses may help fix a problem. ” (Curtis, 1 998) In my opinion my director does not understand the importance of coaching and mentoring even though she claims to be a live coach. Overall a director needs to be mindful of how they lead their “ship”. A hip can either sink or sail. If a captain mismanages his ship it will sink, but if he collaborates with his crew they can be productive and prosper.

My center is sinking because of poor leadership. Positive leadership is the key to success. Understanding how the systems theory works is imperative to directing a successful center. I have seen many centers collapse because the system theory was not implemented correctly and the directors’ leadership style did not support the mission of the center. Part II Reading the NANCY Code of Ethical Conduct is self-explanatory but often gets lost with the daily chores of the classroom and paperwork. Staff plays a huge role in the treatment of children, families, and the communities.

Re-reading it made me think about how my center is crumbling right before my eyes and one of the reasons why is because they are not following the NANCY Code of Conduct. They are not respecting the parents, teachers, nor children. When a teacher tells the director that the child isn’t ready to transition because he or she isn’t ready they should come up with a solution to help the child become ready. When a parent tells the teacher they do not have any money to get their child to school the director should find resources for the parent. This is against the NANCY Code of Conduct.

The NANCY Code of conduct states that the center has ethical responsibilities to children, staff, families, and the communities. In section one it talks about the responsibilities the center has for children. In section 2 it talks about the responsibilities the center has for families. In section three it talks about the responsibilities the center has for the staff, and in section four it talks about the responsibilities the center has to the communities. The NANCY Code should be read once a month so the teachers will always remember their mission. I asked five of my co-workers to fill out the Leadership Style assessment tool.

They filled out two assessments because the first one they filled out was about the current director. The director’s score showed that her style of leadership was a task-oriented. My assessment on the other hand showed my style of leadership is people-oriented. It’s ironic because that is what I suggested would improve the center. The three words the teachers used to describe me were helpful, knowledgeable, and creative. They stated that I would make a great director and they are encouraging me to taking on that role. I know I can but eke I told them I want to finish school first.

I encouraged everyone to go back to school. Four of the teachers did take my advice and they are in a cohort program for their bachelor degree. I believe everyone is a mentor regardless of their status. Since I have been taking these two courses I’ve learned a lot about management. I learned different approaches to management play a huge part in having a successful center. Working at my center I’ve seen good and bad management styles. Under this regime the ship is sinking fast. I would like to turn the center around with a participatory style of management/ people oriented/ elation oriented approach.

Participatory management is an open form of management where employees have strong decision making role. Participative management is an open form of management where employees are actively involved in organization’s decision making process. The concept is applied by the managers who understand the importance to human intellect and seek a strong relationship with their employees. (Experts, 2008) I would incorporate assessments throughout the center. By asking the parents, and the staff to fill out assessment forms it allow the director to see how to improve the center ND to get an idea of what the center needs.

As Blooms stated, “Assessing organizational needs helps you identify the issues that are most pressing so you can prioritize your time and resources to address these concerns. ” (Bloom, 2005, p. 51) I would have productive staff meetings that are inviting and welcoming. Would not have meaningless meetings, just because it’s required to have a meeting once a month. Meetings are another way of finding out how to improve the center. It also informs the staffs of any events or visitors that are coming that month. I would arrange the seating according to the type of meeting it is. I would offer appetizer.

I would have an agenda. I would distribute the agenda the day before so the staff can jot down any concerns or suggestions they would like to address. I would set a tone in the room with fresh flowers and lighting. As Bloom stated Meetings are the glue that holds organizations together. Administrators of early childhood programs rely on meetings as the primary vehicle for communication information, identifying and solving problems, and making new decisions and modifying old ones. (Bloom P. J. , 2002, p. 1) I would support the teachers, parents, and staff with their educational endeavors.

Allowing the teachers to go back to school helps the center improve because the teachers are learning new skills that will help them become more efficient and innovative. By helping the parents go back to school helps the entire family by building financial stability. Allowing not only the teachers to go back to school but other staff members builds a foundation that is very supportive and positive for everyone. The morale will be high and parents will be happy. Will as the community store if we could display our children’s art work in their business. I will try to get everyone involved with the center.

Working with the families and the staff can be difficult because of the different styles of learning. Everyone has their own learning style and will be more conscious of how I present myself. I will try to have more opportunities for all types of learners. I will have more workshops on Regis Emilio approach to educating. I would have more natural materials and I would have more field trips that explore the environment. Would have art fairs, technology fairs, and science fair that invite the entire community. I would have all year around enrollment so we would never be down children.

Over all the enter would be in a better place. Part Ill The meeting I attended was a parent meeting. The parent meeting is held once a month in the evening around 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm. They have workshops and speakers for the parents. Mrs.. L is the parent committee president. She directs the meetings. Ms. W is the vice president and Ms. R is the secretary. There are other members involved in the parent committee but they weren’t in an attendance. The parent committee is a committee that is designed to promote parents involvement. It is a chance for the parents to be a part of their child’s education, and to have an input.

The meeting was held in the conference room right next to the lounge. Mrs.. L brought two pizzas and apple juice. She served it in the lounge. The lounge has three round tables, a couch, and nine chairs. There is florescent lighting. The conference room had four rectangle tables and twenty four chairs. There are two long windows. They reach from the ceiling to the floor. There were six chairs at each table. The tables were formed in a U shape. There was a phone and a desk top computer next to the window. The shades where up so there was a lot of lighting. After the parents ate their pizza they went into the conference room.

There was an agenda on the table in front of each chair. Mrs.. L introduced herself. Then she introduced Ms. R who is the secretary. She took the minutes. Mrs.. L is very articulate. She speaks very clear and with a soft tone, very welcoming and informative. There were six parents at the meeting. Two parents sat in the middle of the table, another two sat on the left side of the table and the other two sat on the right side. The agenda was about announcements, the rights of passage ceremony, and the bridge program. Mrs.. L read the agenda out loud. Then she asked the parents how many children are going to kindergarten.

All of the parents raised their hand. Then she asked do they know what school their children were going to in the fall. Two parents said they were still trying to get their children in the University of Chicago charter school. The University of Chicago charter school is a couple of blocks down the street to the center. Ms. L explained to the parents that the center developed a bridge program for the students so they can attend the University of Chicago charter school. One parent raised her hand and asked could her child go there even though she is already in a school.

Another parent asked why they didn’t hear about this sooner because hey already registered their child at a private school. The way he was moving his hands he seemed upset. He was waving his hands while he talked. His tone of voice was loud. Mrs.. L explained to everyone that she found out about the bridge program two days ago. She reassured them if she knew beforehand that she would have sent a letter out letting everyone know the good news. After discussing the bridge program she discussed the rights of passage ceremony, which lasted for about ten minutes. Then the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting lasted for about forty five minutes. The parent that was disgruntle mimed to have calmed down. The parents agreed to meet again to discuss the rights of passage because they did not have enough time. “When conducting a meeting it is the responsibility of the facilitator to build harmonious relationship among members. ” (Bloom P. J. , 2002, p. 59)What I noticed about the parent meeting was the seating arrangement. The tables were in a u-shape with chairs in the middle and chairs on the outside of the tables. The arrangement of the tables and chairs where not inviting.

I think the lounge area would have been better because the room is much more intimate. Mrs.. L stated that she always as low attendance when she holds the parent meetings in the small conference room. She said when she holds meetings in village green more parents attend the meetings. Village Green room is where the student have their large gross motor play. The room is large and colorful. The room is right next to the entrance door so she can solicit the parents when they come in the door. “The meeting room should be spacious enough that the group doesn’t feel claustrophobic. ” (Bloom P.

J. , 2002, p. 34) The other thing I noticed was that there was only one person conducting the meeting, Mrs.. L. Mrs.. L spoke very Lear, calm and with a welcoming voice. She fed the parents asked for feedback from the parents and when a problem arouse she kept her same demeaned. As it stated in the Making the Most of a Meeting the facilitator should establish a welcoming tone that will allotted, and tries to ensure that everyone is involved appropriately in discussions. These responsibilities often require a leader to distribute an agenda and other written materials prior to a meeting. Youth in Action, 1998) The parent meeting was a good meeting. Mrs.. L was prepared. She had an agenda and she stayed on task. She was very informative. The parents mound out about the bridge program and the special events that were coming up. Mrs.. L was knew how to hold an effective meeting. The participants/ parents also gave good feedback during the meeting. You need good participants to have a successful meeting. Part IV As I reflect on my educational journey I was enlightened with a wealth of knowledge gained from these two courses. I learned so much about management it’s almost overwhelming.

When I bought all seven text book was contemplating on selling the books back but now can’t. Every book is important to developing a successful childcare center. I learned the importance f assessments. I never took assessments serious because I never understood the importance of them. Assessments are tools that can help the director identify issues and help develop plans of action. Assessments are needed to support the growth and development of the center. You can use assessments for the parents, teachers, administrating staff, and the community. I learned about different types of leadership approaches and different management styles.

The transactional leadership approach is a controlling and focuses on short term planning. The autocratic leadership approach is also controlling. The director as complete power over the staff. The bureaucratic leadership approach the leaders run the center strictly by the book. The directors conform to and uphold rules. The charismatic leadership approach the directors inspire enthusiasm in their team and are energetic in motivation other to move forward. The democratic. Participative leadership approach directors include team members in the decision making process. They encourage creativity. The director makes the final decision.

The laissez-fairer leadership approach the director allow the staff to work on their own giving the staff complete freedom to do their work ND set their own goals. Task oriented leadership approach the directors focus only on getting the job done. The people oriented / relations oriented leadership approach is the best for running a center. People oriented leadership treats everyone equal. They’re friendly and approachable, they pay attention to the team members need help or advice. (Tools) I learned how settings, environment, seating arrangement, and setting the right tone plays a big part in conducting a successful meeting.

I learned how important it is to understanding your staffs’ learning style. Understanding a person’s learning style can help you understand owe to communicate with them. I learned how important it is to include everyone in the development of the center. I learned so much during these few weeks that I am going to have to go back and re-read the books and articles from these two courses. Once I graduate I plan to open up my own daycare or become a director and when become a director I plan to incorporate everything learned throughout the courses.