processes and deadlines work just fine. By preserving processes that already
work well, you can reduce the stress of change for both staff and families.

Second, discuss the job duties for which you need some clarification (high-
lighted in blue). The clarification could be as simple as finding out where the
organization typically purchases consumable classroom materials or if it has a
membership to a local discount store for purchasing snacks. Ask about any per-
tinent deadlines or protocols. If after some conversation and clarification with
your boss, you achieve comfort with the blue items, use the yellow highlighter
to highlight over them so they turn green. Once again, make note of deadlines,
flexibility, and changes your boss would like to see.

Next, review the items you don’t know how to do (highlighted in yellow). It is
always best to be truthful about what you know and do not know. This approach
prevents misunderstandings and problems later, when something does not get
done correctly or on time.

For example, let’s say your organization has a company that cuts paychecks
for your employees, but you are responsible for creating paperwork for the pay-
roll company and getting it to them so your staff is paid on time. That means
you are responsible for making sure the employees complete and submit time
sheets—​but you have never done time sheets before. Or, let’s say it is your re-
sponsibility to cut the paychecks. You know how to cut checks, but you do not
understand federal, state, and local payroll taxes or the forms, filing processes,
and deadlines that accompany these taxes. In both cases, the smart thing to do
is ask for information and coaching right off the bat.

In most job descriptions, you will find a statement similar to “duties as as-
signed.” If you see this in your job description, ask your boss what types of duties
have been assigned in the past under this statement. These may be duties that
arose from some unforeseen issue, and they are not ongoing. If they are ongoing
duties, then request that they be added to your job description so it accurately
reflects your workload.

It is also important to discuss whether certain duties are delegated to others.

Even though some duties, such as filing taxes or handling payroll, may be dele-
gated to others, you can be sure you will need to do some tasks related to these
duties, such as making sure all employees have filled out a W-​9 form and sub-
mitting these forms to the accountant or payroll company. Though you may be
unfamiliar with these tasks, and your boss knows you have a learning curve,
the organization will still expect you to complete the tasks on time. When your
responsibilities are clear, it’s easier to execute them successfully.

What if you find yourself or a member of your staff without a job description?
If you lack a job description, the first step is to meet with your boss. Discuss
your boss’s expectations, so you both have a clear idea of all the responsibilities
your position has. This process takes time, so go slow, and make sure your job