Leadership in Early Childhood Education:

Know Yourself

Breadcrumb trail:

Becoming more self-aware begins with examining yourself.

We each bring our experiences, perspectives, and worldview to our work — the good, the bad, and all of the in-between. These are what make us who we are and influence our practice with children, families, and colleagues. We also hold in our minds a picture of our ideal selves. Knowing more about yourself can pave the way to becoming the person and the early educator that more closely matches your ideal self. This first Key to Reflection and Inquiry can help you become more self-aware and intentional in examining who you are now and who you want to become.

A woman pausing for reflection.
A female teacher smiling.
"If any one idea about leadership has inspired organizations for thousands of years, it is the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create."

— Peter Senge (Senge, 2006 from The Fifth Discipline)

Try This!

As a leader in the early childhood field, how does Peter Senge's idea of holding "a shared picture of the future we see to create" speak to you? Your vision may be focused within the early childhood field or may aspire to have the early childhood field influence the reshaping of our wider communities and culture.

  • What is the future you hope to create with your work?
  • Do you have a set of core values that shapes how you lead?
  • What opportunities do you create to share your vision for the future with your colleagues?

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of the expectations for professionalism by reviewing Performance Area 1: Systems and change development in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to page 92.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address the dispositions and understanding you want to cultivate?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Extend Your Learning

California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan (PDF; 7MB) provides key direction for the State in the development of a high-quality birth-to-age-five system that provides all children with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve long-term success. This plan is based on extensive research and stakeholder engagement, and it suggests changes that, if implemented, would make California’s early learning system more coherent and effective. This resource was developed for the State Advisory Council (SAC) on Early Learning and Care.

Read the article, "Looking for Core Values" by Margie Carter to consider how leaders bring core values to life in early childhood programs.