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Veteran vs New Staff: Professional Development

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I was recently texting with a one-on-one client.

She had a decision to make about professional development, and she asked me what she should do.

It would have been easier for me to say, “Do XYZ.”

But I didn’t.

Instead, I wrote back, “You hired me to coach, mentor, and uplevel you. I want you to trust your decision-making ability. What do you believe should happen?”

She clearly thought I was overcomplicating things (and I don’t blame her!). She wrote back, “Chanie, I just want answers.”

She had decision fatigue. She was spinning too many plates to have the bandwidth to think critically about one more thing.

But I’m a mentor, not an answer dispenser.

No one knows her school better than her.

No one has more institutional knowledge of her center than her.

No one knows her staff better than her.

No one knows the answer better than her.

I told her, “I’m here to teach you to dig deep. The hardest things in life are where you’ll meet yourself. Find a quiet place and listen to your inner wisdom.”

It clicked.

A little bit later, she let me know she’d made a decision. 

She said, “Thanks for not letting me get away with what’s easy, instead of trying to figure out the why.”

Cheers to that!

Because here’s the thing: Now that she can sit with the discomfort of silence to make decisions, she can train her team to do the same.

Imagine how much surface-level, unnecessary professional development you could do without if everyone on your team developed self-trust.

Your new teachers could pinpoint specific areas of foundational learning to explore, while your veteran teachers could focus on advanced training opportunities and become mentors to the rest of your team.

In this week’s podcast episode, we’re discussing how to support both veteran and new staff in your school when it comes to professional development.

Join me for a conversation about:

  • Whether specific professional development opportunities are meeting the core needs of your school
  • Ways to empower your staff to evaluate their professional development gaps
  • Strategies for becoming a strategic and compassionate mentor to your staff
  • Secrets for unlocking your self-confidence when it comes to professional development decisions


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

 If you’re seeking ways to better support all the staff at your center, regardless of how long they’ve worked with you, I’d love to help you. During a Schools of Excellence Leadership Day Intensive, you’ll get a full day of on-demand, in-school training with me, plus various accountability check-ins, to help you and your team work through obstacles and build a stronger, healthier center.

Want to boost your leadership skills so you can be a better mentor for the veteran and new staff under your care? I encourage you to apply for our Owner’s HQ and Director’s Inner Circle membership programs. As a member, you’ll gain access to tools, resources, coaching, and community that will help you build and grow a thriving school of excellence.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!