“The Director’s ToolKit will give you the answers, strategies and tips to some of your biggest everyday struggles as a leader in your school.”
Chanie Wilschanski is an early childhood strategist and leadership coach. She works with Early Childhood directors to help them build schools that make a bigger impact through a collaborative culture, parent relationships, and teachers as leaders! Chanie believes that regardless of the size of your staff and children or your budget, schools are powered by the PEOPLE!
Chanie recently held an Early Childhood Leadership Mini Conference for Progressive Early Childhood Directors and outlined four unique focus areas in order to build an excellent school:
2) Marketing and Branding
3) Reggio Inspired Work
4) Parent Partnerships
Chanie began her teaching career as an early childhood educator, spending eight years teaching infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. While teaching in Manhattan’s highly innovative and acclaimed Preschool of the Arts, she began to develop her vision of a creative, progressive and revolutionary path in early education.
In 2013, Chanie took a break from her teaching to pursue higher studies at Mercy College where she received her Masters in Special Education and Early Childhood. In 2014, using her training and creative talents, Chanie developed, wrote and published a curriculum support book for the early childhood classroom that has sold hundreds of copies!
As a busy mother of three children and director of the early childhood program at the Beis Rivkah Seminary in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, Chanie still makes it a point to read two books a week on leadership, school cultures, mindset, and early childhood and then instantly apply what she’s learning in her own home.
One of 8 siblings, and the mother of three small children, Chanie spent a year in Israel after high school, worked with an amazing teacher after returning from Israel, then took a position at a Reggio-inspired preschool for five years (2:13)
Two big turning points in Chanie’s career were when an administrator gave her a huge challenge because she believed in her, and then when Chanie developed her own style of relating to and working with parents (5:50)
Kids creating their own Invite videos for parents night led to 100% attendance by dads (7:00)
Giving up a great job and a high salary to go back and get a master’s degree (7:45)
Chanie describes her vision and dream for every early childhood school in the world (12:30)
All about the EC Leadership Conference (13:45)
Three of the biggest takeaways from the EC Leadership Conference (16:57)
The four areas of focus at the EC Leadership Conference (21:51)
What Reggio-inspired preschools are, and what’s so great about them (26:10)
Chanie shares her definition of a “school of excellence” (30:40)
Chanie describes her school culture pyramid, and the simplest ways to start improving it (32:10)
How to help prevent burnout and sluggishness among your teaching staff (39:22)
Staying energized and “on” amidst the constant chaos (49:10)
You can be a great educator while still being there for your family (54:57)
The main reason teachers leave is feeling unappreciated – how to prevent that (57:44)
Always make sure your daily/weekly activities are in alignment with your core values (1:00:50)
The two books Chanie recommends, including the one she calls “a must read” for every person in education (1:02:43)
How to change your relationship with your students in two 20 minute sessions a week (1:04:32)
Don’t just listen to your teachers in your office; listen when they talk amongst themselves, and listen in your office when they’re venting, with a desire to serve (1:05:58)
If Chanie had a time machine, here’s the advice she would go back and give her younger self when she was just starting out in administration (1:09:11)
Books mentioned in this episode
Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
Connect with Chanie Wilschanski
DiscoverED – Be sure to visit and sign up for Chanie’s free gift – The Director’s Toolkit Bundle: 6 PDF guides that will help you implement new strategies in your school, including Teacher’s Language of Appreciation, How to Survey Your Team, How to Do Parent Partnerships, and more!
Educators Lead is a podcast created to help launch educators into the next level of leadership. This show is for you if you are interested in educational leadership as an assistant principal, principal, superintendent, teacher or someone who hopes to be a school leader one day. Educators Lead offers inspiration and practical advice to help you lead more effectively. Jay Willis interviews school leaders three days a week to discuss why and when these educators made the decision to move into school leadership, challenges along the journey, and stories that made it all worthwhile. Educators Lead is a great resource for any educator looking to make a greater impact.
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