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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET THE ROLE OF THE EDUCATION LEADER They all wanted to do the right thing, but they did not have a system to help them do that. The leader had good intentions, but she was not effective in her efforts. If the responses on your observation and self-assessment forms differ greatly, consider whether the systems and actions you employ are consistent with your hopes and intentions. As you work to implement a system of evaluation and support in your set- ting, continue to reflect on your practices, behaviors, intentions, actions, and systems, as well as the behaviors and practices of your teachers. Think about the strengths and weaknesses and inconsistencies revealed by the two assessments in this section. By the end of the book, you will have a plan for improvement! You might even retake the two assessments again in several months after you apply the ideas in the chapters that follow to see how far you’ve come and to refocus your efforts on the guiding principles. VISUALIZING YOUR WELL-SUPPORTED AND WELL-E VALUATED EARLY CHILDHOOD WORKPLACE You know supporting and evaluating teachers is your responsibility, and you have five guiding principles to provide direction for your efforts. Now I want to give you a glimpse of what you’re working toward, what a workplace feels like for teachers when their leaders follow each of the guiding principles. This will help you think further about your own job and responsibilities. I hope it will motivate you to get started on the challenging but important work of evaluation and support. Create a Caring Community of Workers Teachers who are supported get to know one another’s personalities, interests, and abilities. They have opportunities to problem solve, resolve conflicts, and communicate often. The atmosphere is respectful of their differences. Commu- nication happens in many ways: in writing, in person, by e-mail, in large groups, in small groups, and individually. The leaders pay attention to what’s being said through the grapevine, the informal communication that happens in the parking lot or staff room. Teachers feel free to check their assumptions directly. They do not engage in gossip. They help one another and collaborate to achieve joint goals for children’s learning. The educators in a caring community feel free to be creative, be curious, and develop their competence. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 15