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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL From the Desk of Gigi Schweikert Dear Winning Ways Reader (and Supervisor), 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 I’d love to hear from you. Children deserve our winning ways, COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL