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What do Teachers Need Most From their Directors?

by Margie Carter
November/December 2000
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/what-do-teachers-need-most-from-their-directors/5013698/

"Perceptions are powerful regulators of behavior that can influence teachers' level of commitment to a center. In
fact, people's perceptions of events may be more important than reality because individuals act according to their interpretation of events."
- Paula Jorde Bloom, Circle of Influence

Over the last eight months, I've been doing an informal research project. Nothing scientific. No statistical analysis. Just keeping my ears finely tuned and asking a few focused questions as I work with child care teachers at their program sites and in seminars at conferences. There is now an established process called "participatory research," but I can't claim to have been even that systematic in my inquiry. Mostly, I've just been trying to carefully listen for what management styles, dispositions, and skills engender confidence and respect from staff toward their director. Are there particular philosophies, policies, decision-making and communication systems that influence teachers to stay at their workplace longer, despite inadequate salaries and benefits?

What I've consistently heard from teachers reflects the research behind several important publications in our field:
- Paula Jorde Bloom's two books, A Great Place to Work: Improving Conditions for Staff in Young Children's Programs and Circle of Influence: Implementing Shared Decision Making ...

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