I love surprise parties, gifts, events really anything that makes my heart swell, mind race & happily catches me off guard. I like that feeling of spontaneity & liberty to curiously explore a new avenue of experience.
I’ve perceived many “surprises” recently.
- Such as the child care toddlers who after only a few weeks of me slipping in and out of their room called me by name.
- Junior staff who on their own time constructed “mud kitchens” (pretend kitchens for the playground constructed out of recycled materials).
- 9 child care educators who initiated a professional development afternoon activity share, much like a classic “Christmas cookie swap”.
- The Early Childhood Educator (ECE) who shared a brilliant insightful documentation collage on face book.
- The photograph a ECE took on a recent field trip of boys walking with arms wrapped around each other.
These “surprises” warmed my heart, made me smile, but also made me feel guilty & worry. Why? I felt guilty that I hadn’t committed the toddler’s names to memory, and that I underestimated the talent of the staff’s construction skills. I felt awkward & embarrassed that I had not helped the staff with their PD activity swap and chided myself for setting too low of expectations of the staff’s insights. Guilt & worry take the air out of the good feeling the surprises give.
I am learning to eliminate “joy thieves” (my own thoughts). I realize it’s not about me, and committed to focus on the person or event that I am lucky enough to share & celebrate with. Growing leaders is a new way of “being” for me and I shouldn’t be surprised when new leadership blossoms! It’s the ultimate job satisfaction; working with staff who exceed your expectations in wondrous & surprising ways.
“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” – Tina Fey