As the beginning of the school year is underway, safe spaces during the out-of-school time hours are open and serving children all around the nation.
This piece is collaboratively written by our bloggers and includes wisdom, tips, and inspiration for all of our valued Site Supervisors of out-of-school time programs. You ALL matter, and we wish you a successful school year.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this quote from Faouzi Skali: “My friend, stop searching for the why and how. Stop spinning the wheel of your soul. Right where you stand at this moment everything is given you in utmost perfection. Accept this gift. Squeeze the juice of the passing moment.” As a site supervisor, I bet you often feel like you’re spinning, spinning, spinning.
So as you enter 2017-2018 school year, I invite you to look for moments to stop spinning and allow yourself the opportunity to soak in the “utmost perfection” of your students and staff. To breathe in the moment. To say a silent word of gratitude for the many lives you have the honor of impacting every single day. And to know that there are many out there saying a silent word of gratitude for you.”
-Erika Petrelli, Senior Vice President of Leadership Development, The Leadership Program, Carmel, IN & New York, NY
“Listen and learn from the kids, they are your greatest resource when determining what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it!”
-Zach Wilson, Director of Staff Development, LA’s BEST/LAUSD, Los Angeles, CA
A Site Supervisor’s job is never done and sometimes can seem overwhelming and maybe even disheartening. Yet, when the overwhelming feeling of darkness seems to be all there is, please know that there is a bright star that shines above to light the way. That bright star is a youth that is succeeding because of your efforts. So carry on and light the sky with the amazing stars that you place there simply because Site Supervisors are AMAZING!
-Shawn Petty, Training and Development Manager, Westat, San Antonio, TX
“One of the perspectives Site Supervisors acquire is the ability to see things as if they were seeing them for the first time over and over again. With the beginning of the school year here, I give you this quote: “And suddenly you know…it’s time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings.” Here’s to a magical year!”
-Carola Secada, Every Monday Matters, Burbank, CA
“Not all superheros wear capes, most wear a badge with their name titled “Site Supervisor of After School”. Be proud of what you do for your students and show them your superhero stance. Set your goals high and have fun reaching them throughout the year.”
-Rosa Palomino, Nutrition Coordinator, Mt Diablo CARES After School Program, Concord, CA
“Lead your team with compassion. Coach and inspire your staff to greatness. And, keep a student success story ready to recall in the tough moments.”
-Brad Lupien, Co-Founder and Co-President, arc, Inglewood, CA
“If you do nothing else, remember to always greet your students’ with open arms, praise them often, and let them know how amazing they are every day. After all, you can never love a child enough and the one thing they will never forget is the kindness you showed them.”
-Annemarie Grassi, Chief Executive Officer, Open Doors Academy, Cleveland, OH
“EAT! Yes you, I know you’re busy, but kids need happy, not hangry staff.”
-Elizabeth Crist Darby, MPA, Founder and Principal Consultant, ECD Strategies Inc, Indianapolis, IN
“Consider looking past our students’ often ‘crazy’ behavior to see the amazing person each of them truly is. As it has been said, ‘our kids don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care’. Thanks for your caring and dedication!”
-Stu Semigran, President & Co-Founder, EduCare Foundation, Van Nuys, CA
Be kind, both to yourself and your students. Nurture an environment in which mistakes are forgiven and achievements are communal.
-Steven Amick, Director of Policy and Partnerships, THINK Together, Santa Ana
“As you work to gain and maintain the attention of teammates and local leaders,
create space for others (and yourself) to reflect and re-connect to your sense of purpose. It may seem inefficient to spend time discussing ‘why you do what you do’ and ‘what brought you to this work,’ but it will infuse your action plans and timelines with deeper meaning that will sustain you as challenges arise.”
-Daniel W. Hatcher, Director of Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Washington DC
“Always think about opportunities for visibility to help advocate for greater opportunities for youth in the out-of-school time. Do you have an event coming up? Invite your mayor, congress person or school board? Is it a play, invite them to make a cameo. Exhibition? Maybe they can provide opening remarks. The impact of local decision-makers can be enormous!”
-Jeff M. Poulin, Arts Education Program Manager, Americans for the Arts, Washington, DC
“Create an intentional and shared vision and an organizational culture that fosters trust and values people as a key to building community engagement, both internally with your staff and externally with those who you serve. The best way that I can put this is figuring out best practices and creating systems to treat and value our staff and partners in the same way that our organization intends to serve their community and address their community needs.”
-Bruno Marchesi, Chief Operating Officer, Center for Collaborative Solutions, Sacramento, CA
“Slow down & Breathe… You cannot solve every problem, you cannot make every person happy and sometimes you cannot eliminate the chaos. When you choose to slow down & breathe, and embrace your surroundings, you are choosing to appreciate the moment of Impact you are having in your student’s lives… whether or not you realize it.”
-Tracy Ulibarri-Vasquez, Administrative Director, Project Life Impact, Inc., San Bernardino, CA
“Do good and have fun!”
-Dr. Andi Fletcher, Chief Consultant, Center for Collaborative Solutions, Sacramento, CA
Author Profile: @boost-collaborative
Image Credit: Think Together
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published August 2016 and was updated in August 2017