“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
As the mother of three girls, I have had to adapt to many changes in my life. All my children are different and have different personalities. Working in childcare, I also have about 200 staff who I am responsible for. It has not always been an easy task, and still there are challenging days, but I have learned how to adapt and how to acknowledge everyone’s concerns, while still helping them to feel important.
I remember when I first started in childcare management, I was young in my middle twenties. I was convinced I knew it all! How wrong I was. I was a new director at a center, and I had a lot of unhappy teachers. Instead of talking to them and trying to work through all the changes they had to deal with, new director, new rules etc., I just said, “Well, if you don’t like the way I do things, there is the door.” I learned very quickly that was not the way to handle conflict! I was very short staffed, and still had the same number of children in the building. My eyes were opened to the fact I had to find a better way to communicate. I do not have all the answers to this day, but I know now that if you want to have teachers that are happy, and in turn children that are happy, there has to be a change.
Fast forward 35 years, I now have four centers, four directors, and over 200 staff. With the onset of this pandemic, over the last three months we have seen many big changes in everything we do at the children’s centers. We have had to find a “New Normal”.
As recommended by the CDC, we take all the children’s temperatures before they can go back into the classrooms. In the beginning, when the Coronavirus first became prevalent, the parents were not even permitted to take the children past the front desk, and we would bring them back to them in the evening. We now allow the parents to go to the classroom doors to pick up their children. We are still taking extra precautions with extra cleaning and sanitizing on a daily basis.
All four of our centers have had to adjust. Teachers have taken on different responsibilities, and have helped with food ministries, and other projects going on within the church and childcare centers. All our managers have had to find a new way to encourage and support all the staff as we met the challenges of the last three months. I can honestly say I have been so proud of how they rose to each new situation and, unlike when I was a young director, I was able to help them through the challenges of this “New Normal!”
I know that in my life, had I not had God to turn to in times of turmoil, I would not have been able to adjust to new and different times in my life and accomplish the goals I have set for myself.
– Gabrielle Moon, Executive Dir. St. Luke’s Children’s Centers