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The Symbol of Spiral for Collaboration

by Beth MacDonald
September/October 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-symbol-of-spiral-for-collaboration/5018974/

Burnout in early childhood professionals has always been a concern of mine and, therefore, the subject of a personal research project since I became an early childhood director 23 years ago. The overload of responsibility on early childhood directors has been of special interest and fascination as I have struggled to balance the complexities of my life and work. I found myself considering the following issues:

• Why do all the strings of responsibility and control connect to one person?
• Why do early childhood centers cling to old models of management?
• Why do we continue to be surprised when directors quit from work-
related stress or stay in their jobs, operating in isolation and loneliness?

As years have passed, I have seen virtually every other profession undergo incredible cultural and technological change and development and wondered why doesn’t the early childhood profession do the same?

Developing a management team

We are in our 23rd year here at MacDonald Montessori School in St. Paul, Minnesota. When I began my journey as director, I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I didn’t want to lead this school on my own. Fear of failure is a great motivator, so I asked several of the co-teachers who were working ...

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