Stefanie Camoni

Being in the field of early childhood for over 12 years has given me the opportunity to meet so many people. All have taught me something about myself and my profession. One person, however, was the most influential person and I was proud to call her my friend. For the sake of privacy, we will call her Mary. Mary was amazing, practically perfect in every way. Yes, she was my fairytale Mary Poppins! Always had a trick up her sleeve, treasures in her bag (or office), and a genuine love for children. I could go on and on about how inspirational she was and how she influenced so many people, but I really want to share one idea that I hope will be something you can do throughout the years. Mary asked all the staff to choose a word that would be their mantra for the year, whether school year, calendar year, or whatever timeframe was chosen. After choosing your word and discussing why it was chosen, she would find creative ways to incorporate your word into gifts or cards or quotes. One year, my word was “Present”. Too often, we are too busy to appreciate what is in front of us. We are formulating responses instead of listening and we are missing opportunities. That year, I received a notebook with my letter “P” on the front. This was for me to journal ways my word was being used throughout the year. When I became a Director, my word was “Change”. I wanted my staff to grow and be the best they could. I knew I needed to lead by example if I wanted to see that change. Mary gifted me a framed quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. That frame has and will always be a reminder of Mary but also a reminder to continue to be that change both professionally and personally. I will never forget Mary and the way she changed my life. Go and be the change for someone in your classroom, or center, or office.  XOXO

Tags : changeInspirationInspire

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