While preparing for a recent presentation on "My CLASS® Philosophy," I had many thoughts running through my head. There was no firm agenda that I was asked to follow, just to share my philosophy. Coming from a business background, I did what I have been trained to do—a SWOT Analysis. According to Wikipedia, a SWOT Analysis or SWOT matrix is:
A strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning. It is intended to specify the objectives of the business venture or project and identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving those objectives.
In order to generate meaningful information for each category, I used some parallel processes and began a brainstorming activity. I listed anything and everything that I could think of when it came to myself, my business, the childcare industry, and CLASS. Below is the SWOT Analysis that I developed:
In order to identify my strengths, as previously mentioned, I did a brainstorming analysis and quickly identified that two of the ways in which I am able to do what I do (wear the many hats I wear) is by staying organized and having an innate drive to deliver the best.
The same can be said for my list of opportunities. When I detail what opportunities exist within my work, it helps me define goals and develop an organized vision to accomplish them.
In Louisiana, we use a similar tool after CLASS observations, allowing us to share the teachers' strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. This has been an incredibly useful tool for me personally and professionally. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this technique!
Paula Polito is the owner/director of a childcare center in the Greater New Orleans area. She currently serves as the chair of the Early Childhood Advisory Board for the Louisiana Department of Education, education chair for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, and is on the Core Leadership Team for the Jefferson Parish Early Childhood Collaborative. Paula also is a member of the CLASS Community Advisory Board.