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Having A Moan After A Bad Day


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Today I had an argument with my manager about the fact that I wanted to take home some of my childrens' learning journals to add in comments/observations etc. She told me that the journals must always be kept on the premises. Of course I entirely understand the reasoning behind this, but because I never get any non-contact time to do this work, I find that I am always falling behind.

I am the senior practitioner within the nursery and the only person on the team who works full-time.

As two of the team have (very) limited skills in written English it is left up to myself and another part-time member of staff to update the journals for 35 children.

I am really just having a moan but I do feel that my manager is being unreasonable. I will no doubt find a way to catch up with the work but, as this is not the first time this has happened, I would really appreciate it if someone could take the time to give their opinion on this. It really got me down today and I am not looking forward to going into work tomorrow.

 

:o

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owwwwwww poor you - i would ask for a meeting and reiterate that as you do most of the journals and work full time - if she cannot let you take them home then you need some non contact time to keep them up to date! - good luck :o

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Its not that I mind doing all this work Hali. Its just that having read posts about this subject, I now realise that I am not being as unreasonable as I was once made to feel.

I would really love to hear how much time other practitioners get to fill in their children's journals so that I can put forward a reasonable argument.

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I DO allow staff to take their files home, I pay them non-contact time which they can choose to take either at work or at home. We have 34 children, and yes, it does take time to do them properly so if they want quality record-keeping they need to understand that you need time to do it.

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None of us get any non contact time so much of it is done at home on our own time.

I just try to say that they should come back the next day so that they are in the building when the children are. Not perfect but how fussy can you be when people are willing to do work for free in their own time and the playgroup can't afford anything else.

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The articles I have read here have really made me think about all the things I have accepted for too long.

The fact that managers are prepared to pay for non-contact time is a new thing to me. I realise that not all settings do this but it therefore adds to my gripe about not being allowed to take books home.

 

Thanks for your replies.

:o

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Hi

 

We write comments about the children on post it's / stickers and just stick these in when we have finished setting up before the children come in. Photo's / art work is stuck in when I have a few minutes spare. We have 40+ children.

 

My staff do get overtime for writing end of term progress reports. Are you a private setting or a charity?

 

No point having an arguement, it sounds like you only want to do your job well. Perhaps, ask you Manager to help complete the journals.

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Hi

We get paid an hour every half term for this and though we spend more than double that time on them this is more than i got at my last setting. Committee did not really like us taking the folders home but there just isnt the space to do them at work. We all make sure that we return the folders the next day.

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We write comments about the children on post it's / stickers and just stick these in when we have finished setting up before the children come in. Photo's / art work is stuck in when I have a few minutes spare. We have 40+ children.

 

My manager has told me not to use 'post its' as she feels they are 'tacky' and she feels it is not her job to be 'sorting out' the things that she employs me to do.

I understand her point of view but my issue is that I don't have time to 'do my job'.

Hearing the opinions of others is so refreshing as it makes me realise that I am not just moaning about nothing.

:o

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we had 1 hour non contact time a week in the setting to complete them, and were not allowed to take them home as no matter how much you say it, they did not return next day and once I found someone keeping them art home all the time... even as manager I did not remove them from the setting.. hence paid time in the setting... and we did them with the children so they had input as well.. they often had child drawings in them.

 

Inge

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Oh dear!

 

I don't like our children's trackers and observations and special books going home either, but if this means that they don't get done then I'm not sure what the alternative is.

 

I'm supernumerary so I can organise cover to release staff to do this during session time but since we're only open for three hours this can be difficult to do in the time available, with all the distractions there are.

 

If it were me I would tell her that if you can't take the stuff home to do then you will need a regular amount of non-contact time to do them or they will just not get done. Her job is all about supporting you to do the work in order to achieve the group's aims and objectives. As Cait says, if one of those is to produce high quality record keeping then she needs to invest the time and money for this to happen.

 

You're not being unreasonable, and certainly not 'moaning about nothing': you're just asking for the time and space to do a very important part of your job.

 

Perhaps she isn't aware of the effect her attitudes and behaviour is having on you - but clearly if you weren't there at all she would be faced with a much increased workload so perhaps now the time has come for you to have an open and frank discussion.

 

Good luck - and remember we're here whenever you feel the need to vent your frustrations!

 

Maz

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Hi there, totally understand your point, we have a signing out book, so if the journals do go home the person who takes it has to sign the journal out, and have it countersigned by the supervisor and the name of the children whose journals have been taken. My manager also says that there should be no reason for the journals to go home as there should be enough time in the room during the day to put your obs, photos etc. in, I have tried this but as soon as I start sitting down to do this, I get a group of children clustered around me asking me what I am doing! sometimes I get out some paper and they can sit at the table and do 'writing' like me, or I get them to help me stick the obs. in to the journal, but it is difficult when you want just 5-10 minutes, that almost never happens in my room, chin up and perservere.

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Thank-you to everyone that has posted as all the replies have made me feel a whole lot better!!!!!

 

This is an issue which has cropped up a number of times but today just escalated into an argument.

 

Anyway, back to work tomorrow. At least the children will keep my spirits up.

 

:o

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Isn't that the best thing about all of the troubles we go through.....the children are worth it....I hope tomorrow goes ok for you....I hadn't posted as of yet, but can relate to the situation....I desperately don't want records leaving the building and keep on at the staff not to take them home,...as I skip off down the path with my key children's record under my arm because I haven't had the time at work to do them :o:(:(xD:( ...but read with empathy and hugs coming your way..... :wacko: xD :rolleyes:

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I only have 6 files so to do so many between you and do them well seems a huge ask and frankly unreasonable in my opinion. I hope you can appeal to your manager for support.

 

In an ideal world we would not need to take the files home, but it is not an ideal world.

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You're not being unreasonable, and certainly not 'moaning about nothing': you're just asking for the time and space to do a very important part of your job.

 

Perhaps she isn't aware of the effect her attitudes and behaviour is having on you - but clearly if you weren't there at all she would be faced with a much increased workload so perhaps now the time has come for you to have an open and frank discussion.

 

Thanks for your advice Maz.

I appreciate you saying that I am not being unreasonable because really I know that I am not asking for 'the world'. My manager is fully aware of the effect her attitude has on me but just tells me to stop arguing because she is 'the boss' and I have no right to question her authority.

I hate moaning like this because usually I get on really well with her and I feel I am being disloyal but today was just too much.

When I disagree with her she just tells me that she could employ someone else to do my job which I do feel is rather insulting seeing as I have worked in this job for 20 years and am currently working towards a degree in Early Years. I love my job but sometimes I hate my employer.

:o

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Hi Purplepeanut, sorry to hare you're having a bad day.

 

I can understand your managers point of view regarding taking the learning journeys home, I have no end of situations with settings where they have been left at home when OFSTED visit, have got lost, on one occasion even left them on the bus! It happens, even with the best will in the world.

 

One way of helping to save time is to work with the children during session time to update them.. this gives children an opportunity to reflect on their learning and gives the journals the 'children's voice'. This may not alleviate all the problems with time, but it could certainly help. Alongside that, what is your managers view on when they should be done, if she is not giving any time over to you for this? Is it something you can raise at a staff meeting at all, if you have them?

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love my job but sometimes I hate my employer.

You don't work for me do you, purplepeanut? :o

 

If your relationship has reached the stage where your boss is telling you that she can easily employ someone else to do your job then I am really worried about how you will be able to resolve this or any other issue that may arise.

 

When I have experienced problems a wise friend gave me a bit of very good advice which was to remind myself that I am the boss and that I have the ultimate responsibility and therefore have a right to make decisions in the light of my business objectives, and the needs of the children we care for. It has really helped me to assert my authority and be accountable for the decisions I make. That said, if the only way I could assert myself was to say that I am the boss and what I say goes, I would think that I had lost all authority and the respect of my colleagues.

 

Your boss has made a sound decision, that is not to allow the learning journeys to go home, for all of the reasons others have outlined here. However it seems that she has then put up a huge barrier to prevent you completing them in other ways and at other times. I wonder what her motives for this might be?

 

I like mundia's suggestion of involving the children very much - as she says it won't resolve all of your issues but it will enable you to utilise the time available to you constructively as well as ensuring that the children's voices are heard in their learning journeys. Certainly something to think about!

 

Chin up!

 

Maz

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I take mine home occasionally when I have become way behind (!!!!) but I spoke to my Head and he now gives me some non contact time once a fortnight....... if I can get cover and if no one is off saick etc.

 

Its lovely... WHEN it happens.

 

I think your manager needs to find a compromise!

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My manager has told me not to use 'post its' as she feels they are 'tacky' and she feels it is not her job to be 'sorting out' the things that she employs me to do.

 

Perhaps you need to clarify what she is employing you to do. Is it to care for the children or is it to do the paperwork?

 

Approach it as a problem that you need her help to solve. Ask her to pinpoint to you which hours she expects you to use to complete learning journeys. "Would you like me to do it when the children are......? Ok then who will......? or can you arrange for someone else to do the things I normally do then? Perhaps if it her responsibility to find the time for you she might realise what she is asking.

 

Just a thought.

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Crikey I think I better be extra nice to my boss tomorrow! I only work part time in the preschool but I am fully paid for non contact time for 3 hours a week - amazing what you can get done in 3 hours without interruptions!

I do 'do stuff' at home but it's a little difficult as part of it is 'for work' and part of it is 'just me' or 'for my study' and they kind of all merge together! In recognition of that I get a lovely extra payment per term and it varies from anything quite small up to a nice three figure sum. This year I also got an extra bonus because the preschool in the 'business sense' had done well and my boss felt I contributed to the success so deserved to gain financially too.

 

I have the utmost respect for her in her role as 'my boss' but she is also a great friend and the 'two relationships' don't mix if that makes sense! Likewise she respects me and is always willing to listen to my point of view - sometimes we agree to differ and other times she will take my ideas on board and agree to implement changes.

 

Children's learning journeys do not go home - end of story! I respect that and understand that they are simply irreplaceable and 'anything could happen to them' - and it's just 'policy' they stay in the setting. The full time staff get non-contact time built into their working week - and have at least a couple of hours in 'one sitting' to get on with filing obs or whatever needs updating!

 

I really don't understand the 'I am the boss and what I say goes' attitude or the idea of getting someone else to do your job - that's really not reflective of good managerial skills and all I can think of is that you ask her nicely when she expects you to do the learning journeys during your working week if there is no non contact time availabe for you xD

 

Good luck with it all and hope it gets sorted :o

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As a manager of a setting I do not allow any of my staff to take thier profiles home for a number of reasons

1/ they work hard enough time at home should be home time not more work

2/ I do not let paperwork involving the children off the secure premises in case it is lost or falls in to the wrong hands

 

But as I do not allow paperwork off the premises all my staff get non contact time each week to complete paperwork and i think you really need to strongly voice the fact that you need this time to your manager ask her how she suggests that you complete the work required.

 

Good Luck let us know how u get on

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Sadly we don't get any time for folders. The assumption is that we can do them as part of our daily routine, but frankly it's hard enough to get time to write an incidental post- it observation, let alone update whole folder. As a result, we all take folders home, but are required to bring them in every day, just in case the big O should turn up unexpectedly, or in case a parent wants to flick through. It's not ideal, but then, what is??? Rubbishy scribbled comments written with a child at your ankles wanting attention, or the risks involved with folders going off the premises? There's no easy answer.

Edited by eyfs1966
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