New Kid on The Block

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Playfulteach, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Playfulteach

    Playfulteach Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2015

    Hi Everyone!

    I am looking for some advice. I was recently hired to work in the (1 yr old) Toddler room of an early education center. I am very excited to do this as I have waited a long time to be able to pursue this as a career, so yes, I do have a bright and shiny idealistic view of what I can do.

    However, I did not get off to a great start with my peers. :( The second day of my first week as the Head teacher, the Assistant Teacher literally sat all day long and played on her cell phone. She did get up and help distribute lunch, but that was it. So basically I was caring for 8 little one year old's all day long. Needless to say, nothing got done that day and I couldn't indicate any learning experiences on my paperwork.

    I was frustrated and discussed the situation with my Center Director. During our discussion, I learned that this is a frequent problem with this particular assistant. Unfortunately, my complaint caused her to get "written up" again. Since I'm the new girl everyone knew who complained, and while very few were upset, the part time Co-teacher and Assistant in my Classroom are now quite brusque with me.

    I have lots of great ideas for making our classroom a more exciting environment. I want to sing and dance and do some puppetry and make the educational activities more interactive. I also think teaching some sign language (eat, more, all done) would be helpful. However, my ideas are being brushed off. Again, I know I'm new to this as a career, but I am not new to working with children of this age. My Mom was an in-home provider the entire time I was growing up. I raised my own son, and two of my sisters children. I'm currently raising 2 toddlers for a friend of mine who got into trouble with drugs. Point being, I know how to deal with one year old's. (I'm 39, btw).

    So my question is, how do I best approach this situation? It's too late to take back my complaint against the assistant. I realize they're mad at me, but I think my ideas would be really helpful in the classroom. How do I win my co-worker's back? Do I sit back and wait a few months before pushing my ideas? Or do I initiate some of them individually with children and see how it works?

    The last thing I want to do is be pushy, but giving children a piece of paper and some colors and walking away is NOT how I want my classroom to be. I want a playful environment that is rich in educational opportunities. There are no pictures on the walls, there are no books in the classroom, no circle time, no simple exercises, nothing similar to anything I've done with the one year old's in my life. I'm frustrated.

    Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

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    Feb 28, 2015

    I would start with having prepared a daily schedule and list of things that you want to get done in the classroom. I would also have a list of things that you think your TAs should be doing in the classroom, and how you expect them to interact with the children.

    I would schedule a meeting with your TAs and begin a conversation about how they see their roles in the classroom and how they feel children learn. Show them what them you have prepared and let them know why you want to have things done a certain way. Let them know that you want to work as a team.

    Then make sure you are documenting how they are working with the children and how they are following the rules for them that you have set. If they are doing a great job make sure you compliment them.

    The reason for the documentation is that if there is a continued problem you need proof so that this person can be terminated if need be.
     
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Mar 1, 2015

    I think this is a very hard situation, for 2 reasons. First, it somewhat seems like administration doesn't care about what is going on in the classroom. If this person has been written up multiple times for the same thing, something is wrong. Second, if what they are doing in the classroom is seen as acceptable by the director (i.e. giving them materials and walking away), then it will be very hard for you to change that entire environment and work ethic. A few years ago when I got out of college I was in a similar situation. I got a job as a 3 year old teacher in a child care program and had lots of ideas. My first day, I saw the assistant in the classroom squeeze a little girl's arm and leave bruises. I reported it to the director, the teacher was written up, and every employee in the building knew it was me. I ended up having to quit a few weeks later because the other workers were so hostile towards me.

    That's not to say that you can't make a difference and have a great classroom, but it seems like a lot of what you need to change should be coming from administration already.
     
  5. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2015

    You are the head teacher correct? And the issue about your ideas is coming from your assistant not the administration right? Is your assistant giving you any reason your ideas wont work? Personally I would implement your ideas anyways. Your ideas sound just like what that classroom needs. I can't believe a classroom would not have books, songs, or a circle time.

    It sounds like you have plently of experience and know what you are doing. Maybe that is why administration hired you, because they know that classroom is in need of improvement. Implement your ideas, focus on your kids, explain to your assistant what her responsibilities are now and don't worry about what the rest of your coworkers think. Maybe talk with your assistant and tell her that it was nothing personal and complaining is not something you want to do, but sitting on your phone all day is not okay. If she takes on her responsibilities and follows the rules, things will go a lot better in the classroom!

    Also, I would of complained as well. If it continues to happen I would report it to the licensing department, as you are out of ratio if someone is on their phone. Document every time it, or something else, happens.
     
  6. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 1, 2015

    Playfulteach, do you know what's the turnover at your daycare?
    Last year I worked as a sub teacher in a chain of daycares. I was amazed at how high turnover was in that daycare (that parents said was one of the best ones in the area). Most teachers and even directors lasted for a couple of years max.

    When I was leaving after 9 months because I felt they just used me to plug in any whole that they have (1 hour in this classroom, 1 hour in that, 30 min in the kitchen) quite a few other regular teachers were leaving as well, saying that they don't feel appreciated!
     
  7. Playfulteach

    Playfulteach Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2015

    I do not know what the turnover rate is, however, I do know that the director has only been in her position since March 2014. I don't know what the director prior to her had been like, but I do know many of the Teachers aren't fond of her. The Director is very business-like and authoritarian. Having worked in the Corporate world for 20 years, I'm accustomed to this style of management. The center is also NAEYC accredited as of Sept 2014, so there are a lot of new guidelines the teachers have to follow. Luckily I made it my business to learn as much as I possibly could about NAEYC while in school, so I'm familiar with the guidelines and expectations. It's quite possible I walked into a learning curve, for all of the staff. It's funny you mentioned being a "floater" because I was actually hired to be a "floater", but after three days in the Toddler classroom, I was promoted to head Teacher.
     

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