In my profession and position as Early Learning Administrator, I am charged with marketing the school and maintaining a constant flow of student enrollment. Each year we graduate a large group of students who promote to kindergarten; therefore, we must have a continuous stream of students moving up with each age and grade level. Our goal is to build the youngest classes of infants and toddlers and maintain quality early childhood education practices to retain students as they age to each class group. Because of the need to grow the school and add new enrollment, we must focus on marketing and selling our school among competitive area schools.
My colleague, the children’s minister at the church in which our school is affiliated, provides many children’s events and activities to grow the ministry and encourage young families to attend church services and classes. Because there are many churches in the area with similar programs and activities, she must market her programs and ministry areas to create exposure and interest. Through each of our events, we collaborate frequently to combine our activities and share volunteers and staff since the events reach to the same age group of children and similar clientele. Most recently, we have planned and organized summer and fall events are children prepare to finish school and start school again. My colleague’s event is focused on fun children’s events and my events are focused on gaining exposure to our school through fun events.
The original intent of our collaboration was to combine calendar dates, volunteers, and expenses of special event rentals. We collaborated to plan a summer camp carnival and a back to school carnival. My colleague’s intent was to provide fun events for her ministry children and families to celebrate the school year. My intent was to create times for the public to know our school exists to gain enrollment exposure for marketing purposes. We shared volunteer staff and only took one date on the church and school calendar. We shared expenses to rent carnival equipment to eliminate exhausting one budget over another.
Collaborating to share events allows us to share calendar dates and volunteer staffing and be budget conscious. My colleague benefitted a great deal by providing fun events for her ministry families to share and celebrate a day together. I benefitted by gaining new enrollment students for the school and by creating new exposure for future school news and programs. Collaboration in my profession can be enhanced and grown by establishing communication between collaborating professionals. Each person must be open and willing to be actively involved in the planning stages and fulfill her tasks of contributing to the event or activity. There are many roles to complete in collaborating and in the planning of events and activities. Each person has a role to play and is equally important in the process. Collaboration can be viewed as a journey with many elements and people involved.
Leonard Sweet (2008) explained eleven roles necessary to complete tasks and fulfill partnerships. People must find and develop relationships with at least eleven character types to complete tasks and manage the journey. Each one of those character traits fulfills an important role with which is necessary for any task. There is an editor, a true friend, an encourager, and even a butt-kicker to keep on track and moving in the right direction. Each one of those character traits is necessary in collaboration and completing the partnership journey. Professionals establish partners through work settings and relationships as well as through professional learning communities (PLC) through technology. Some of those eleven character partnerships may be found through online PLCs and valuable professionals in which to invest, share, and collaborate.
Sweet, L. (2008). 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.