First time Room Leader in need of advice

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Jc29
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First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Jc29 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:23 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm in need of some advice. I've recently taken on my first role as room leader and am finding it a little tough. I completed my diploma last year and have been excited to run my own room ever since. I was granted the opportunity recently and began getting to grips with the room.

After a week I was visited by the Director to discuss the concerns of the staff from my new room. I was a little shocked as I had barely started and already seemed to be letting the side down. I listened and reassured the Director I was working on things and would "hurry up". Two more week past and I'm starting to get my programming head together and started to plan some activities for our children. However, I also had to go and see the Director again.

I appreciate the importance of forward planning and have an idea of the activities I want to teach the children, and I understand the concerns of the Director and my staff, but am I really out of line thinking that they haven't really given me a chance to do anything before they started to complain?

It's made me feel incompetent and like I'd over stretched myself going for promotion too soon. I discuss this with the Director but the solution put to me seemed to be to make me a relief staff again and stop running the room. I'm worried I've taken too long getting to know the routine and children, rather than planning ahead.

I'd really just like to know two things I think:

1) Is this three weeks a reasonable time frame to have forward planning and a new room under control?
2) Is it reasonable to be expected to complete this alone on my first job as room leader?

I appreciate any feedback. I'm not giving up without a fight but would love some advice from more experienced educators.


cathiek
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by cathiek » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:11 pm

No, jc29, you are not out of line thinking 3 weeks is a reasonable time. Every staff member coming into a new room needs to get to know the children and where they all are developmentally, plus routines, resources etc.
I think they need to cut you a bit of slack, and more importantly be offering you support. Perhaps this is what the director thinks he/she is doing? Show them what you are made of and wow them with all of the planning and great activities you have organised. Don't be afraid to 'blow your own trumpet' a bit. I know its a bit hard to point things out that are going well, but if you don't sometimes all people notice are any negatives.
Wishing you all the best
Cathiek

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Jc29
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Jc29 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:43 pm

Thanks for the reassurance Catheik. I'm getting there, but wish I had a bit of a hand over from the previous room leaders (as the job was shared before). So it's an added challenge to replace two people with one less experienced one!
I won't give up and will woo them.

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Lorina
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Lorina » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:20 am

How's it going with your new position as room leader?

I would say from experience it takes about a month to get settled into a new centre, a new room, new families, new staff and a new group of children. During the first couple of weeks it's important to spend this time building relationships with children and parents. You also need to get use to the room routine and each individual child. During group times you can introduce new games or songs, group discussions something that gets the children interested and something different which you can offer. In regards to programming I usually start within the second week itself. The first week I get to know of children's interests, skills and abilities and then the second week I'll start to plan straight away, experiences, arts and crafts, games, songs etc.

Since this is your first time as room leader then they have to cut you some slack. It's hard when someone new takes over because they don't know what to expect from you... especially when running a room, other staff members are usual quick to judge newbies... Don't worry within a couple of months all will be well!

Hope things have settled and everything is running well for your room...

:geek:,
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by fchaudari76 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:09 pm

From experience and A LOT of it giving someone a few weeks to get a new room running smoothly is ridiculous .... sorry but if your Director wants you to have everything in place and running like clockwork then either she has no experience in rooms or has unrealistic expectations of her staff.
I find a MINIMUM of a month is a settling in period i.e. you getting to know the children and vice versa. Planning a programming is always a work in progress as the more you get to know the children you can tailor experiences, however in the first few weeks you program for a broad spectrum of interests as it helps you identify what the children enjoy and don't enjoy.
I think it is unfair to be pulling you up and telling you what you are not doing .... perhaps list things that you are doing and then ask her to come up with strategies for you to instantly make the room better!!! If you do not agree with certain things I would definitely fight your case. NO ONE no matter how experienced can go into a room and have everything running perfectly in a week or two!
Small steps and better foundations make for a better room long term

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Jc29
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Jc29 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:27 pm

Hi LA,
The room is coming together (I hope) and have started a basic program to narrow down the interests of the children. It's been pretty rough and more than once I've considered packing in Childcare all together. Especially with the potential to be demoted hanging over my head. I've tried to get the staff on side and encourage their ideas and participation. I'm determined to keep trying and give it my best try so at least I've done all I can. Thanks for the support I thought maybe I was over reacting.
Will keep you up dated.

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Lorina » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:56 am

Hi Jen,

I'm glad to hear that you're still hanging in there! I understand it must be difficult at times and easier to throw in the towel but it sounds like you're keeping your head up and doing what you can, until you get more confident and more settled. If the staff in your room don't want to contribute don't worry too much about it for now... They may be reluctant at the moment... :wtf:

Gosh I don't know why but some centre staff make a new employee feel like they are intruding or like they are from another planet. I find it with a lot of centres actually. It takes awhile for staff members to warm up and be friendly to the new person. They judge, they talk between one another it just feels like high school doesn't it! It's so frustrating!

How are the staff in your room? Do they listen to you? Do they support and help you out?

:geek:,
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Jc29
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Jc29 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:42 am

The staff are fairly cooperative, but quick to complain to the Director rather than talk to me. One staff us part time and when she is there she just wants to do the bare minimum and go home. I find her frustrating but just working around her for now. I'm working on encouraging team work and everyone helping each other so no one feels unsupported. I've felt very unsupported and just dumped with tasks and limited time to complete them. I'm not giving up though, just chipping away and keeping my chin up. They do listen and I've made some changes to the routine to make the day flow better, which seem to be helping. What makes me most confused about their attitude is I've been at this centre for almost a year as a casual so I'm not new as such but they still treat me like I'm an outsider. It's almost like I was set up to fail so I would go back to being relief and stop pushing for full time. Thanks again for the reassurance

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Lorina » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:41 pm

Your director surely must of noticed the changes you have made within the room already...

Listen I've noticed that some staff get a little "standoffish" when casual's become full timers. I guess it may be because they wanted the position for themselves. I had to put up with a lot of crap from staff when I become director in one of my past centres from being a room leader. This industry can get nasty at times but keep doing what you're doing! It's a perfect opportunity for you even though you got some issues to deal with. Once you gain some experience then you can go find somewhere else. It does get easier, believe me!

And anyways, if you need to vent or want some advice we are always here! :giggle:

It sounds like you are doing a good job by the way! :thumbup:

:geek:,
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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Jc29 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:08 pm

Update:

well I thought things were going better, no more complaint and the routine seemed to run smoothly.

But today I was dragged in for another chat and it's all gone back to being awful. They stopped talking to me and even talk to each other over me.

I just got on but apparently I'm so stressful to work with one if my staff had to gave a week off! I feel like whatever I do is wrong and my boss has already decided it's me to blame.
I'm being bullied and I feel like a failure and don't want to go back or to any job in childcare at all.

Help please?!

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by law92 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:25 am

Hi

It sounds like you've had a really hard time with this new job. It seems strange that the staff are still being bitchy to you even after you've been there for a year already. I know that staff can be a bit hesitant to welcome in new staff, but this seems ridiculous! I've only been doing my placement for my diploma for 2 weeks, and already the director has offered me some paid causal work for the end of the year when staff go on holidays, and she did this in front of everyone at the staff meeting last week, and the full time group leader there wasn't too impressed. She tried telling me that I couldn't accept the paid work as it would be a conflict of interest, so I contacted my TAFE and got them to send the director through an email saying that I could in fact, accept the work, and the conditions around it. So, if you feel that it is worthwhile staying at this centre, make sure you cover yourself, and document everything, in case one of the staff members you work with decide to throw you under the bus so to speak, then you will have documentation to back you up. But you shouldn't have to feel like you have to constantly watch your back, and you definitely should not feel like a crap educator, because your not! It sounds like you are really motivated and enthusiastic, and the other staff are not, and they don't like you coming in with new ideas and shaking things up a bit. It sort of sounds like to me that the other staff may be a bit jealous because you have this awesome room job, and they don't want you to have it, and they will find anything to say bad about you to the director. The director may be a bit taken aback as several staff members have come to her with complaints about you, and she may be trying to figure out if these complaints are true or not. In my experience, when staff don't want you working at the centre, it is virtually impossible to stay working there, unless you are an incredibly strong person. Maybe it's time to think about getting out of this, and look for another job before things escalate? I would get out now while the director may still give you a good enough reference to get another job, before the staff start getting really nasty towards you, because I think it will just get worse from the sounds of things. There are some good centres out there, with great staff. The best advice someone gave me when I first started working in child care was, if you aren't sure about something, then don't do it! Listen to your gut feeling about this situation. If you have been in this full time job for awhile, and things have not gotten better by now, I don't think they ever will, and you shouldn't waste your time waiting to see if they do get better. It also sounds like the centre is not being very supportive of you either. You don't have to take this, no job is ever worth you questioning your integrity or skills as an educator, just know that you are a fantastic educator and you will find somewhere great to work. Don't feel like a failure, the director has failed you! They are not being professional at all. Work should be a happy place for you to go to everyday, especially since you spend so much time there as you are full time. My advice is to leave, the situation won't get better and you are just going to feel worse and worse if you stay there and put up with all this.

Good luck with whatever decision you decide to make, and let us know how you get on :)

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by cathiek » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:09 pm

It seems like you are happy to engage in conversation with us about this issue so I assume you are the same at work. Make sure they are aware of this. Saying something like 'I am happy to discuss all issues/concerns with the group. Can we arrange a meeting so this can be cleared. Up together' . Sometimes if we r not hearing from the ppl concerned directly things get missed/confused.
I think if you r open and seen to be willing to find out the concerns and to work together they can't ask for more than that. Give this a go but keep your eyes out for alternative centres too. Good luck. Be, flexible to others ideas but make sure you are heard too. :-)

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by Lorina » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:49 am

What is going on at that centre? I thought things were getting better!

It's fairly common to have the director side with the other staff members while leaving you bewildered and upset over the issues that are of concern. If there has been issues that the staff in your room have been concerned over then they should of spoken to you when it happened or the director to let you know. It's most likely a small thing be blown way out of proportion because you're the newbie. Maybe you said something to someone that they didn't like or they didn't like the toned you used. It could be the the fact that from being a casual you're now a room leader and they don't like it. Girls can be pretty nasty especially when they get others on their side...

Listen you have to consider whether or not you are willing to continue with this job, deal with the issues that are at hand and make a go of it. It may be hard to face all these troubles but it could be a learning experience for you, since this is your first role as a room leader. If not, maybe it's time to look for somewhere else. However I just want to be honest with you, there is always going to be someone, somewhere that's going to complain about something no matter what centre you're at. I guess thats what happens when this industry is mostly dominated by women...

Be strong, keep your head up, try not to let it affect you and get on with your job. Yes, you have to get along with staff for the sake of workplace harmony and in the best interests of the children and families but you don't have to all be "friends" if you get my drift.

I'm sending a cyber packet of tim tams to you! :giggle: (I eat them when I'm down!)...

:geek:,
L.A

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by fchaudari76 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:58 am

I would address the issue and request that if staff have a problem they need to come to you first rather than running off to the director.
If things do not improve perhaps its time to move on

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by lougrace18 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:30 am

I will be this in the next couple of weeks as i start my group leader role in another centre after leaving my previous centre i worked for for over 10 years. I'm excited but a little bit anxious how the other staff, especially in my soon-to-be room will treat me. Been reading heaps of tips online how to be a productive and competent leader in childcare and has started taking down notes. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope I will be prepared for the unexpected. I am a very emotional person and I do take pride with my work. So please cross your fingers for me too and hopefully the staff here will love me. I just finished my diploma in dec 2017 but have had group leader role experiences from my past centre but only when other leaders are away. Sending u positive energy and whatever decision you made, i hope u have followed your heart. X

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Re: First time Room Leader in need of advice

Post by iamolehhh » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:25 pm

Used to work as a teacher at kidngarden,in China.
And i could say that's wasn't pretty easy.Ypo have to work really hard to find a way to communicate with children.

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