Lean Into You

Entering the Workforce from a Place of Empowerment

March 23, 2022 Alex Farrell and Wesley Mayes Season 3 Episode 40
Lean Into You
Entering the Workforce from a Place of Empowerment
Show Notes Transcript

What kinds of things should an educator look for in an employer? What types of questions should you ask in an interview? How do you have a conversation with your supervisor when your growth is leading you away from your child care facility?

We discuss all of these things and more in our conversation with Candace Hansen, Small Business Coordinator for the Child Care Resource & Referral Network. We'll also cover why it is vital for educators to have their own set of standards when entering the workforce. Above all, we'll discuss how educators can navigate their professional journey from a place of empowerment.

For more info on CCR&R's Small Business Academy, visit www.tnccrr.org.

This project is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc. 

 Entering the Workforce from a Place of Empowerment

Wed, Nov 16, 2022 1:48PM • 36:27


educators, director, important, conversations, opportunities, field, check ins, program, philosophy, questions, empower, center, day, candace, passionate, passion, support, interview, childcare, position


Candace Hansen, Alex Farrell, Wesley Mayes


Candace Hansen  00:00

Preparing for the interview is just as important as going to the interview. And so the director is not just interviewing you as a potential educator, but you are also interviewing as well, to be sure that that program is in fact, a good fit for you and your your goals and your visions. And so there's always an opportunity at the end of an interview to ask questions. And as an educator, you should absolutely feel empowered to ask key questions that will not only help determine if the program is a good fit for you, but asking this question shows your potential employer how interested you already are in the program.


Alex Farrell  00:43

Hey, everybody, this is Alex and Wes from lean into podcast. And today, we're super excited to talk to Candace Hansen. She is the Small Business coordinator with CC r&r. We're really excited to get into this conversation of the kinds of questions that educators can ask themselves when they're potentially looking for a place of employment. 


Wesley Mayes  01:02

Yeah, absolutely. I think it's really important conversation, something that I love that she did was approaching these conversations from a place of personal passion. So aligning these conversations with your own personal philosophy and why you got into the work in the first place. And then after getting you get the job, you know, checking back in with that.


Alex Farrell  01:23

Yeah. And then I think a really valuable part of this conversation was, when we talked about kind of doing the six month check ins with yourself, if you find out that place of employment, that there's you're misaligned. And it's time to grow in a different direction. Ways that you can approach those conversations with your director in a way that will develop that relationship instead of hinder it.


Wesley Mayes  01:44

Yeah. So we hope you enjoy this conversation about how to join the workforce from a place of empowerment with Candace Hansen. Hey, Candace, how are you?


Candace Hansen  02:01

I'm good, how are you guys today?


Alex Farrell  02:03

Pretty good. Can't complain. We're really excited to talk to you today about how educators can not only kind of evaluate and assess what they may need out of a potential employer, but then how they can continue to kind of evaluate once they have found a place of employment, is it still the right fit for them and just kind of stay in check with themselves? Right. So before we get started with that, can you just introduce yourself and what your work looks like?


Candace Hansen  02:32

Yeah, sure. So and thank you so much for having me here. Today, I'm excited as well to join you guys to discuss, you know, all the ways that, you know, early childhood educators can really empower themselves to choose, you know, the best place of employment. And so I am the Small Business coordinator with CCR and R. And I support a group of small business coaches across the state as they support work for directors. And so my team really works to help directors have a solid foundation in the areas of running their business. So for example, they support budgeting needs marketing, recruitment, retention, and leadership development. And our team focuses on the support in the areas that I mentioned. But we offer that wonderful small business academy training to directors who are interested in opening a program. And we also host it for programs that are currently licensed. And it's two different sets. And so we focus on those areas of support. We have a budgeting class, a financial reports class and a marketing class and also a budget, I mean, a recruitment and retention class. And so yes, we do focus on that. And that's such a huge conversation and a huge need in today's time. And that seems to be the area that needs the most support in this field. Absolutely.


Alex Farrell  03:57

Yeah, it's funny like, because really, what we're talking about today, kind of all does come back to retention, essentially, like these are what we're talking about today are kind of the grant laying the groundwork to make sure that, that there is a right fit between employer and employee. Like, if you do that work on the front end, you're going to be more fulfilled in your work, you're going to feel like you're making more of a difference with the families that you're serving. So that's the kind of some of the things that we're talking about today. So I'm glad you brought that up, just to get started. So when we think about trying to educators trying to identify okay, what are the kinds of questions I need to be asking myself when I'm thinking about finding a job finding a place of employment with an early childhood education? What are some of those questions that they need to start asking themselves?


Candace Hansen  04:46

Sure, and that's a great question and I'm excited to answer this. Just from my experience. I just I just know that there's just such a huge need for Empower power to the profession empowering educators to use their voice. And so what I, what I would suggest is just trying to be as intentional as possible in your job search, as an educator, really start thinking about what is important to you, when you think about caring for young children, and maybe create a list of these things that are important to you and turn it into a maybe one to two sentence statement and use this as your personal philosophy as an early childhood educator. You know, being an early childhood educator is that you're an educator, you know, we, early childhood educators are not babysitters. And so it's it's really important to think about your philosophy and what excites you about the field. And maybe once you have your one to two statement, philosophy, start, do your research, start researching different types of programs out there, and the various early learning philosophies that there are to offer and ask yourself, maybe which program tie and or vision aligns most with what's important to you, and what you're passionate about. And, you know, among other things, maybe consider the size of the program that you envision yourself most comfortable in, and what age group that you enjoy working with the most. And, you know, do any of those centers that you researched along with your philosophy, and also meet those other other needs that you maybe did a little bit of research on. And so if they do, you can create a list of those centers in your area and consider those programs as future places of employment. And that way, you're, you're really focusing in and honing in on what matters to you, and what keeps you grounded in your purpose as an educator.


Wesley Mayes  06:47

Sure, I love this, this approach to this like setting your intentions and setting your goals before you start your career, or, you know, move to a facility if you're moving. Because I think what we find in early childhood education is that, you know, unfortunately, it's a career that often doesn't pay a lot. So what's driving educators is the passion that they have, I think we're really lucky to be in a field where passion drives what the educator does. So it's easy to lose sight of that when you're setting your intention beforehand, then you're going into an environment that's already fostering something that you already feel passionate about.


Alex Farrell  07:26

Definitely. And I love what you said about kind of empowerment, kind of what Wes was saying, because this field often does not pay a living wage, most of the time. I think it's probably that is AYP, not the only stumbling block, but is a barrier for educators seeing themselves as truly professionals, right. And one of the one of the jobs that we're trying to do you know, with it with this podcast with our respective programs, the Department of Human Services, all of us are trying to professionalize the field. Because as you said, we are educators are not babysitters, they all know this, but then to make that mindset shift, to say I am a professional, right, performing professional work, I think one of empowerment is a huge ingredient in that mindset shift. And so, you know, bringing, taking the time to do the work on the front end, to say, You know what, I actually have a certain set of standards for myself of what I am looking for. Because I think, more often than not, if you're trying to look for a job that might pay 1011 $12 an hour, it's easy to go into that just being like, Nah, I just, you know, I need a job, pay the bills, do whatever, you know, and that's, you know, and so if you have that kind of lackadaisical approach to it, then you're you're kind of only getting out of it, what you're putting in, but I think starting from that place of, no, I've got a standard of what I'm looking for what will fulfill me what I believe in, and you're leading with that kind of mindset. I think it's a lot easier to make that shift to I'm a professional working in a professional space.


Candace Hansen  09:06

Yes, I agree with all of that. And, you know, empower educators create Empower generations. And it's really important to remember that the work that we are doing as early childhood educators is so important, you know, those first those early years, their brains, children's brains are developing so rapidly, and there's so many things that they need. And so it's in your right, it's easy to kind of view view this view these positions as, okay, well, I'm just going to go in and I'm going to do my work and go home but I think that but more everyone in this field is so caring is such a caring and passionate field and really just circling back to that and having that as your home and your foundation and knowing what your purpose is. And remembering that piece that you are shaping future generations is just it's so important to the longevity in what we do.


Wesley Mayes  10:06

Yeah, you know, and that's the philosophical side of it. But something that you brought up earlier was actually looking at the way the, you know, facility looks like, what are some of those other things, because it's not just philosophy, checking in with your philosophy is really important, and what drives you and your passion? But what are some of the other things that you could look for maybe the nitty gritty of the day in and day out of the work?


Candace Hansen  10:31

Sure. So I would suggest that maybe when you secure an interview at a program, preparing for the interview is just as important as going to the interview. And so the director is not just interviewing you as a potential educator, but you are also interviewing as well, to be sure that that program is in fact, a good fit for you and your your goals and your visions. And so, there's always an opportunity at the end of an interview to ask questions. And as an educator, you should absolutely feel empowered to ask key questions that will not only help determine if the program is a good fit for you, but asking this question shows your potential employer how interested you already are in the program. And some things to consider asking more about at that point in an interview, you want to maybe ask yourself, Does this director have an open door policy, so ask them about their communication style? An open door policy is basically where a director would be available as much as their schedule allowed to answer questions and offer support. An open door policy is vital to building healthy lines of communication and relationships between you and your director. So ask more about that. And do you have any questions about your job responsibilities, consider asking maybe what a typical day would look like for the position that you are interviewing for. And it's important to note too, that the childcare environment does require a level of flexibility in terms of responsibilities. So it may be a good idea to ask what cross training opportunities are available in case your support may be needed in another area in the program. And maybe ask the director, if they have time to give you a tour of their program. Or if you could maybe schedule a time to come back for a tour. Directors are extremely busy. But I know that they would be more than happy to schedule a time to give you a tour of their program. And that can give you a great snapshot of your responsibilities and action. And just be sure again, circling back to that philosophy, share your own philosophy, what gets you excited about the program and early childhood? What are you most passionate about? And what brought you to this field, you know, sharing that philosophy and excitement again, helps portray your passion, but again, keeps you grounded in your purpose as an educator. So those would be my suggestions on maybe other things to look for and consider.


Alex Farrell  13:07

Yeah, absolutely. And it's funny too, in my work, going out and talking with educators, a fair amount in centers themselves, like if you have like an inkling of like concern or worry that asking all of these questions might be come off as like overbearing or you know, annoying, or whatever it is. Trust me trust all of us when we say that the foreign above directors are desperate for people that are passionate about this work. Yeah. And they will I guarantee you, they will be like over the moon that you're asking these questions. And if they aren't, that's probably a good sign that you that that's not a culture fit. Right. Yeah, you know what I mean? So there's a lot that you can suss out from those those conversations other than the questions that you're asking to, like, how are they responding to these things that I'm asking have they put much thought into it? themselves, because I'm sure you probably get that as well. And another thing too, that we had kind of talked about on the prep call, as far as being really beneficial is you you had mentioned like either taking on a tour or coming back for a tour, see if a senior member of that faculty, you know, an educator that's been there for 1015 years, if you can sit down and chat with them about why they liked the work. What about the center has, or the environment has kept them there for that long?


Candace Hansen  14:32

Yes, that's a great point. And it helps build up those early relationships and have, you know, if you join that program, there's someone that you've already connected with that could be a mentor and a great support for you. And so yeah, that's a great that's a great suggestion.


Alex Farrell  14:48

Yeah, to like, I mean, if like what you said, like, yeah, it may take half a day to do this on the front end of really getting down into the detail of the work and kind of having those honest conversations, but That is way less energy sucking than being miserable your place of employment for three months, and then quitting because you're miserable, and then having to start this process all over again. So you're way better off to take a few hours to to ask the right questions and ask good questions on the front end for sure.


Candace Hansen  15:22

Yes, I agree. And the more that you are, the more that you are connected to your particular program, and you feel like it's a great fit. Just as we were saying, the happier you're going to be and the more invested you're going to be. And it also helps you invest more in the field. And if you're in a program that you feel like, then this may not be the best fit for me, you may feel frustrated, you may feel tired, you may get burned out more quickly. And so it's it really helps, again, that longevity and investing in your growth.


Wesley Mayes  15:56

And I like that you pointed out the opportunities for potentially crosstraining, right, because that'll also give you an idea of, you know, you might come into it with a certain passion. And then if you have the ability to, you know, do a little cross training, you might find that you're even more passionate about something else within that field. So it just, it ensures that you keep coming back to that professional development side. And you're still, you know, sort of on the cutting edge of early childhood education. Yes, yeah, definitely.


Alex Farrell  16:27

I mean, I think most professionals, when they, when they pick a career field or a job, they want to know that there's not going to be any kind of plateau to the work itself. I mean, obviously, kids come in and out with early childhood. So there are new milestones to be reached with different children. And each child, you can view separately and all of that. But I think, over time, it's also important for that model of like, just being there for the kids that that, eventually it, there's more than that as well, that's always going to be there. But I think it's important, most people want to know that there's space, at the top end of their work to kind of grow and develop into something and acquire new skills, and potentially move up within the center itself, whether it's assistant to teacher to lead teacher, lead teacher to administrative staff, one day director when you know, whatever it might be, I think a lot most people that view themselves as professionals want to know that there's kind of that kind of opportunity.


Candace Hansen  17:33

And there are a lot of growth opportunities within the early childhood field that I don't think are that I don't think a lot of people a lot of people realize, and so that, you know, I think that a lot of times there's not as much advocacy for Okay, what do I need to learn more about? What do I what do I want to explore a little bit more, but there's so many opportunities for growth in the field?


Alex Farrell  17:57

Can you actually talk a little bit about some of those growth opportunities that maybe if you're new to the profession, or new to the field, or you've been in the profession for a long time and just aren't aware of what are some of those growth opportunities?


Candace Hansen  18:10

Yeah, sure. So it depends on the growth opportunities vary from program to program, but there are opportunities such as, like age group lead position, so there would be a like a lead position over all of the infant classrooms or a lead position overall, the preschool classrooms that would kind of be a kind of help train and onboard new staff members, there's opportunities for program coordinator type positions that would help with, you know, setting up events for the program and curriculum curriculum needs, obviously, the assistant director and director position, but there's a lot of there's a lot of programs and a lot of programs that have opportunities at that have different level opportunities within them, like the late position or a program coordinator. So it's, it's worth exploring that to possibly in your, in your interview, asking, you know what growth opportunities are available, if that's something that you're really wanting to explore more, and you feel like, okay, this program is a good fit for me ask about that. And I could tell you specifically what that would look like, for you. And I also know that there are some programs that have, like communities have liaisons that work a lot in the community to partner with community organizations for fundraising and different types of things. So there's so many different opportunities that you may not know about. So it's definitely worth asking about.


Wesley Mayes  19:40

Absolutely. It's really exciting to hear those things because we often talk about, you know, showing educators that this is a profession that they can grow in. And it's really cool to hear that we're educators to children, right, but as we get as we gain knowledge, then we can start to give that knowledge to Those that we work with our co workers, once you get into a lead position, you can onboard staff, you can say, Hey, I've been working in this field for, you know, 510 15 years now, and this is this is I have a body of knowledge that I've learned over the course of my time here, I can give that back I can, or you know, like you're saying, Go out into the community, connect with the community. And all of those things, I think, are kind of innate to educators, right? Because they're in the classroom teaching. But being able to do that, on a broader scale is just, I think, an exciting, exciting thing.


Alex Farrell  20:31

Yeah, it definitely is, for sure. I just wanted to kind of backtrack just slightly to something that you said, when you were talking about, you know, being in an interview and ask him what kind of growth opportunities there are for the director that just reminded me of something to that in this process for directors speaking to directors themselves now, what is going to be so critical in this moment is just honesty. We know directors, we know that you are desperate for work, for good people that are reliable. The thing is, though, is that be thinking in that process? Don't be thinking how can I just get some a warm body through the door to meet my immediate need, like, again, like what we were saying earlier, like putting the work in on the front end to make sure not only you finding someone, but that that person is a good match is going to be more beneficial more, for longer term. I mean, we understand that it is killer for the field right now, it's incredibly difficult. And we understand that. But you have to be honest, if someone's coming to you asking you, is there this opportunity or this opportunity, they're gonna find out pretty quickly if they agree to work there. And turns out that you were not truthful in that in that moment, as well.


Candace Hansen  21:44

And I'm glad that you recognize the challenges that directors do face in the hiring process, because as a former director, myself, it is hard, it is a huge challenge to hire staff and in I cannot imagine I left my program right at the end of 2019. And so I cannot imagine, you know, going through that experience during the past through the past two years with COVID. And so it is very challenging, and I really appreciate that you that you recognize that but it I'll tell you it is so it's it's so much easier to just go in there boots on the ground yourself as a director and cover as much as you can where needed. And that is to hire a warm body. And it is just it when you find that right fit. You it you don't have to worry so much about the oh my gosh, what's gonna happen, what's gonna happen, what's going to happen, it's, it's seamless, and it takes such a huge weight off of your shoulders as a director in the long run. And so my, my word of advice is to just, you know, go in there boots on the ground again, as much as you can, until you do find that right fit and everything else will fall into place.


Alex Farrell  23:05

We'll be right back with Candace Hansen. 


Elfrida Northern  23:12

Hello, my name is Elfrida Northern. I am the director of Kevin a Child Care Development Center in Jackson, Tennessee. As a childcare provider, it is extremely important to find educators who mesh well with the culture of our center, and also educators who support the philosophy of our center. Because our goal is to provide high quality childcare, it is imperative that our educators have a growth mindset and seek opportunities and trainings that will develop, strengthen and expand their knowledge and skill set concerning a child's growth and development. We want to produce a love of learning in our children. And the best way to do that is by modeling our passion to be lifelong learners.


Alex Farrell  24:01

So now as we kind of go forward, say we have an educator out there that has kind of ask themselves these questions, they've identified some centers, maybe they want to order, you know, family group group centers, we don't want to leave those out, either. They found a good fit for themselves. They've accepted a job and they're working there at the center. Now, it's still important once you land that job to check in with yourself every six months, you know what, however long it may be? What do you think the value of that is to making sure that you're you have enough energy in space and time to give your best self to the work?


Candace Hansen  24:39

Yeah, I think that there's huge value in that. And I again, think we've talked a lot about keeping yourself grounded in your purpose and we all want to do work that we feel is purposeful and we feel connected to and we also recognize that you know, it's not every day is going to be this funfilled passionate day right and So, I think having those check ins every six months or so is just a huge value to recognize where you are, and how you're feeling and what you're where your philosophy lies. So maybe, you know, ask yourself a few questions during those check ins and ask yourself, How am I bringing my philosophy and passion to work each day? And what does that look like? On a tangible scale? What can I actually see happening? That is a direct reflection of my passion each day? What is the what ways am I making a difference? And also thinking about, you know, are there any areas that you would like to learn more about as an educator talking about you know, those growth opportunities? Is there something that you need to know more about, and share, I encourage you to share those reflections with your director, let the director know often what makes you happy, and how you've made a difference. And if there are things that you'd like to learn more about, or trainings that you do need, and I guarantee you that the director is the director loves to hear that their director loves to hear, Oh, gosh, you know, tell me those fun stories. Tell me what makes you passionate, we love to see our teams light up. Because that at the end of the day, lets us know, okay, like we're doing our jobs as a director, right. And so, but it also lets you again, stay focused on that growth, that personal growth and in you know, growing in your own philosophy and in the field. So those would be my suggestions for those six months check hands, and that would be so valuable to to just have those.


Wesley Mayes  26:40

Yeah, I think that's great advice. And I think it's a great way to avoid burnout as well. I think it's really easy to lose sight of the your purpose, right? The times when I've been the most burnt out, is when I haven't been saying, Hey, why did I want to be in this position in the first place? You know, I'm, I'm passionate about childcare, I'm passionate about the work that we do here at the CCR and R. And I think that's the same for childcare, if you're, you know, if you're not checking in with yourself, it's easy to just get stuck in the day to day.


Alex Farrell  27:13

And it seems like like what you said, and this, it doesn't have to be necessarily like a malicious thing at all. But it could just be an honest thing of like, in that initial interview, yes, there could absolutely be a philosophy match and in our thinking and our approach, but the implementation, there may be a disconnect there. So I think it's a good, good opportunity to check in to say, hey, when I agreed to work here, and we both agreed that this was going to be a good fit. It was based on XYZ. And to say, now that I have six months or a year behind me, have those have those things born out? Are they actually true? And if they're not, start thinking about, you know, some opportunities to incorporate those things.


Candace Hansen  28:00

Yeah, I think I think that you're spot on with that. And the day to day environment in a childcare classroom is busy, it's it's routine, it's, you know, it's education, it's mealtimes, you know, it's nap time, I mean, it's just structured routine days. And so and they're so busy, and by the time you blink, the whole day is over. And so it's really, really easy, I think, to get to a place of burnout, and to feel to stray away from that because of the routine and the in the busyness. And so I do think that it's just taking time for those check ins are so important. So schedule them in your phone, put them in your planner, however you play in your life, sticky note, whatever. It's just so important. So just circle back around to that for sure.


Wesley Mayes  28:44

Right. And I think that it's also important to, you know, if you come to a place where you're working at a center, or, you know, family childcare or something like that, and you do decide to move on, you're not approaching that from a place of burnout. You know, you're checking back in and saying, Is it time for me to grow? Am I getting those growth opportunities here at the center? And then that decision isn't made lightly? Right.


Alex Farrell  29:11

It's a decision made out of a place of empowerment, like what we said at the top right, which is 100% always the right way to go about it. Right, if possible, you know, so we have the six month check ins, and what if we decide, okay, now this has become a repeating pattern of, you know, the, the implementation is not what I thought it was, or I'm ready to grow in a way that maybe this this place of employment doesn't have that opportunity quite yet for me, and I'm ready to move on to something different within within childcare. That's obviously a very tough conversation to have with people and it's one that can be wrought with stress as well for these really difficult conversations. What do you think is the best way to approach these these these conversations with with your director administrators?


Candace Hansen  30:00

Yeah, well, I think that I think that I want to kind of tie this back into those check ins. And, you know, you might end up having a check in again, where you do feel like, you know, your strengths or passions may have changed, or you want to explore something else within the program or even outside of the program. And reiterating that, yes, that can be scary that, you know, sharing something like that with your supervisor can feel very intimidating. I think that just that's why it's so important to have those self check ins and share those highlights with your director on an ongoing basis, communicate with them often, so they know where you are at. And that not only lets them know where you are, but it also opens up that relationship you've built. By doing this, you're building a solid relationship with your director. And when you have a relationship with your director with anyone, it's just so much easier to approach, maybe some scary conversations. And so by having those ongoing check ins with your director, those conversations that may be feel hard, will feel much more comfortable and empowering versus intimidating.


Alex Farrell  31:11

Yeah, too. Because another another thing that we'll see pretty often within this field is like the worst thing is that you hire someone and then they just don't show up. Right? Because you're expecting that, that person to be there. And there's just no warning, no nothing. And then they're just not there. That's like the worst case scenario, right? So we're talking about, like, frequent communication with your director, if they if you're communicating that it's not going to be surprised anyone, if you make it make a decision to, to move on or to grow in a in a different way, which I think is so important for both both parties, right? Because the director can already start like getting in that mindset of needing to find someone to replace you. You know what I mean? And, and there, they will have learned throughout that whole process of like, wow, here's someone that came in, ask good questions from the get go. It was great to have them our program grew. Our children had a great teacher, and they decided to grow like, yes, we wish they were still here. But we understand that is like the perfect relation professional relationship you can have, how do I replicate that?


Candace Hansen  32:22

Yeah, you know, yeah, I love that. And it's like, you know, when you have those conversations, and you've built those relationships, you're absolutely right, it, you know, the director is likely going to have that heads up, okay, I need to maybe start planning some some alternatives here, but they're going to be your biggest cheerleader, you know, when you have those open conversations, and they know where you are. And, you know, y'all y'all have that it, they're going to be your biggest cheerleader and support you in whatever venture you want to go in. And whether it's, you know, something within the program that they can extend an offer to or if it's something you know, outside of the program that you want to explore, they're gonna be your biggest support. So,


Alex Farrell  33:02

So Candace, I really appreciate you, you kind of bringing us along this journey of, you know, okay, I'm looking for a job, what can I ask them? What questions can I ask myself, you know how questions you can take into the interview, be in an empowered perspective employee, how to continue to make sure that the work environment is one that you can thrive in and grow in. And then if it's not how to kind of gracefully grow in a different direction and communicate, have communication be at the core of that transition. So we really appreciate you kind of walking us through that whole journey. And that's, that's not just for early childhood education. These are basic business principles. This is for anyone and everyone. So I learned a lot, a lot from this conversation as well. So we usually like to kind of sign off a couple different ways. First and foremost, what do you Candace like to do for self care?


Candace Hansen  33:55

Yeah, so my former self care, that is probably one of my personal favorites is just making time to call my people. So when I say my people, I mean, those people that are my cheerleaders, those people that lift me up, they offer words of encouragement and advice, and, you know, the people in my life that make me feel safe and empowered to just be the best version that I can be of myself. And that to me has been, I found that is the most helpful form of self care. And, you know, I think that this form of self care tasks directly into this conversation, you know, so I'm Herge. I encourage educators and directors to not only build that personal network of your people, but also a professional network of your people, you know, have those check ins and talk to each other and build that trust and a community of trust and collaboration and support to just continue offering the best version of yourself so that's what I do for self care.


Alex Farrell  34:57

I was gonna ask about a word of encouragement, but I think She kind of nailed it hit the nail on the head there. I think that's a great piece of advice for for our educators out there. So, Candace, really, really appreciate you joining us on the podcast today. And we hope you have a fantastic week.


Candace Hansen  35:13

Yes, thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed this conversation. And you know, I look forward to having more conversations around this in the future. And I just wanted to give a huge thank you to early childhood educators and directors, the work that you do every day is so so important, and it does not go unnoticed. So thank you again for having me, guys.


Wesley Mayes  35:32

Yeah, appreciate it. And thanks, Candace, take care. Thank you for tuning into the podcast today. This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and signal centers. Signal centers is a nonprofit in Chattanooga, Tennessee, whose mission is to strengthen children, adults and families through services focusing on disabilities, early childhood education and self sufficiency. If you'd like to leave a review a comment or have a suggestion for a future episode. Please do so on our Instagram account at lean into you pod. That's one word at lean into you pod. Follow us on Instagram for weekly self care tips clips from our episodes and graphic takeaways from many of the talking points from our conversations. Thanks again for listening to the lean into podcast and we hope you have a fantastic week.