- Resources & Research
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“The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.” – Fred Rogers
I remember being a preschool teacher in Chicago and the state assessor coming into my classroom to observe me. I was nervous and not entirely clear about what they were observing, so I decided to just continue with my day as usual. Several months later, I sat down with a coach, and we reviewed my scores together. After being a teacher, I became an administrator at a Head Start program and saw assessment from a leadership angle. Now, as an assessor, my experiences have come full circle. Instead of being the person in the classroom teaching, I am now the one behind the assessment scales observing teachers, and there are quite a few things that I have learned from this journey.
Being a leader in an early childhood setting includes having a constant eye toward quality improvement. That can become difficult given the many directions leaders are pulled in daily. Establishing quality improvement systems becomes that much more necessary due to these circumstances. Below are important strategies that early childhood leaders can use to establish high-quality programs:
Quality improvement is a continuous process. Recognizing that it will take time, effort, and several iterations will help you along the way. Remember to celebrate the successes. Acknowledging all you and the staff have done for children and families is vital to sustaining the program. As you journey through the quality improvement cycles, take these tips with you and be kind to yourself as you do.
Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). (n.d.). Resources for 3C. ExceleRate Illinois. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://www.excelerateillinoisproviders.com/resources-for-3c
Masterson, M. L., Abel, M., Talan, T., & Bella, J. (2019). Building on whole leadership: Energizing and strengthening your early childhood program. Gryphon House, Inc.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2020, April). DAP: Observing, documenting, and assessing children’s development and learning. NAEYC. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/dap/assessing-development
O’Neill, C., & Brinkerhoff, M. (2018). Five elements of collective leadership for early childhood professionals. Redleaf Press.
Zero to Three. (n.d.). Quality Improvement. ZERO TO THREE. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/series/quality-improvement#featured-resources
Nasser Nabhan, Ed.D. is Assistant Principal for Early Childhood Education at the American International School of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For almost five years, he was an assessor and training specialist at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. Nasser holds a bachelor of arts in history and near Eastern languages and cultures from Indiana University, a master of science in early childhood education from Dominican University, and a doctor of education in teaching and learning from National Louis University. Nasser is an experienced educator, administrator, and assessor in the Chicago area and internationally.