Alert — and grateful — “06880” reader Robin Hellmann nominates her “fairy godboss” for this week’s Unsung Hero award:
If you live in or around Westport, and you work with young children or have a child with special needs, Barbara Greenspan puts a smile on your face. You feel gratitude for what she has taught you, how she cared for your family, how she loved your child and made you a better parent, caregiver or teacher.
For the past 7 years I have had the honor of working with Barbara at her Kidswork occupational therapy practice here. Everyone who knows her attests to her professional skills, and her overall “amazingness” as a human being.
Whenever people learn I am a pediatric occupational therapist, they ask if I know Barbara Greenspan. I am proud to say I do.
I am also humbled that when Barbara retires in June, she is turning her practice over to me. It will be called Spark Pediatric OT.
With the planning and coordinating nearly complete, I have had time to reflect on our journey together, and the lessons I have learned working with such a special woman.
One of the best lessons Barbara taught me is the importance of being a mentor and leader.
Barbara turned every question I asked, whether existential or mundane, into an opportunity for me to feel respected as a thinker. She left me with the confidence to keep asking questions and be heard.
Rather than answering my questions with her opinions, she urged me to listen to my gut and let that feeling guide me.
Barbara did not micromanage me. She led by having the confidence to allow me to manage myself.
She trusted my judgment to grow at my own pace with a subtle, encouraging push here and there. She never felt her toes were being stepped on, as I took on more responsibility or shared knowledge with her.
In passing her torch, she leads by example. She leads by choosing, at this stage in her life, to “play a little more and work a little less.”
Barbara, thank you for the gift of working by your side for all these years. I will follow my gut, lead by example, continue to ask questions, and care for our community the best that I can.