From the Desk of Gigi Schweikert
Dear Winning Ways Reader
When I was young, I used to play teacher. I would set up my dolls,
teddy bear, and stuffed animals in my make-believe classroom and lead them
in activities I had invented. But I never imagined myself in the role of supervising other
teachers (since that would have meant putting the teddy bear in charge of the activi-
ties). At that age, I wasn’t aware of all the planning, teamwork, and leadership involved
in supervising an early childhood education program. Now that I know what it’s like
to be a supervisor, I admire these dedicated leaders even more, especially the ones who
have led me over the years.
As I took on different supervisory roles throughout my career—lead teacher, assis-
tant director, director, regional manager, vice president, and all the way up to toilet
plunger—I realized I still had a lot to learn. Seems like we supervisors are the ones who
fish the toys out of the toilet. Most of us become supervisors because we’re good at our
teaching jobs, but we quickly find out that leading adults is a bit different from leading
children. I quickly found that I had to communicate, connect, and delegate in a whole
new way—not so different from letting the teddy bear lead the classroom, after all.
Many of the skills we’ve learned as teachers can help us as we coach the adults on our
team. As children’s teachers, we want to help children succeed and grow in their abili-
ties. As supervisors of other teachers, our goal is still the same: we want to help adults
be successful, to guide them and encourage them, and to model good leadership for
them. And, as with anything else, to be good supervisors we have to be willing to adapt
and grow in our own roles. That’s probably the hardest part of all.
Whether you’re considering a leadership role or you’re a veteran supervisor, I hope you
find it as challenging and as rewarding as I do! What I’ve learned from my experiences
as a supervisor is outlined in Being a Supervisor in a simple and approachable way I
think you’ll find useful, inspiring, and humorous. You can’t get any job completed well
without the ability to laugh at yourself. After you finish reading Being a Supervisor, send
me your thoughts and ideas about being a great supervisor to www.gigischweikert.com.
I’d love to hear from you.
Children deserve our winning ways,