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How to Prepare for the New School Year


Listen Now: Part 1: Anchors vs. Enhancers

Listen Now: Part 2: Why Good Enough is a Lifeline

Listen Now: Part 3: Why Overcommitment Can Hurt Your Retention


Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts                Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

One of the greatest joys of working with children is watching their precious faces light up as they grow and learn with their peers.

But it’s not always discoveries, breakthroughs, and camaraderie.

Recently, I had an experience with my 10-year-old daughter, Goldie, that made me reflect not only on motherhood but also on leadership.

Goldie is a very social child who’s almost always invited over to a friend’s house after synagogue. On this particular Saturday, however, no one extended an invitation to my daughter. 

I could see the disappointment and confusion in Goldie’s face as her peers made plans with each other and started to clear out. She and I left together, alone. 

Goldie would have preferred to be with her friends. We had a long, sullen walk home.

Once we arrived home, my job was not to entertain her or cheer her up. My job as a parent was to help her face the disappointment and rejection and then ride the wave of discomfort.

I’m sharing this experience with my daughter with you because I see a parallel between how we comfort our children at home and how we comfort our staff at our centers, particularly at the beginning of the school year.

Each September, as the new school year kicks off, your staff doesn’t need a new checklist from you. Instead, they need you present both mentally and emotionally. And they need to see you modeling how to ride the waves of discomfort, chaos, and uncertainty that inevitably rise up.

And it doesn’t stop there.

As a leader at the start of the school year, you must manage your own emotions and use discernment to handle each new situation—each parent question, each new hire training, each crying child.

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

This week I’m starting a new 3-episode podcast series, How to Prepare for the New School Year, to give you strategies for navigating the first few weeks and months of the academic year. You’ll learn how to take better care of yourself, your team, and your school community.

We’ll explore the importance of prioritizing your daily routines to stay grounded and finding greater peace during the chaos of the new school year. We’ll also take a look at the special kinds of activities that require everyone’s full attention this time of year.

Join me for a 3-part conversation about:

  • Practicing and cherishing the meaningful daily habits, or “anchors,” in your life
  • Overcoming perfectionism to find greater creativity and innovation
  • Relaxing expectations and appreciating what’s “good enough” for this time of year
  • Supporting staff and admin at the start of the new school year (Hint: It has nothing to do with creating another checklist!)
  • Re-assessing when to turn your attention back to other projects at your school

This series will remind you of the importance of self-care, offer up proven leadership strategies, and help you prioritize what matters most in September. 

You’ll also learn more about how you can not only survive but THRIVE during the start of the school year, while setting your center up for a successful academic year.


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

 School leadership is always demanding—even more so at the start of the school year. You’re challenged to give extra support to your team, your staff, and your school community. 

Now it’s time that you received the support you need.  We’ve compiled a series of resources to help you as a school leader. Learn more about our School Leadership Tool Kit here.

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!