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Need to get this off my chest...


mps09
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Hi folks,

I'm so upset, angry and disappointed with my staff, and just don't know how to manage this, although I know I'm not managing it well at the moment!

 

We are usually a tight team and get on well, all live in the village, known each other for years, supported each other through personal emotional stuff, and not just colleagues....

 

Like many of you, preschool is my passion, and I sacrifice a lot of my own time to do paperwork, planning, sorting ideas, cutting out displays, corresponding with parents, writing reports, answering emails.. Etc, etc, etc.... You know the kind of thing!, most of it unpaid....

 

None of the other staff do much if anything in their own time, buts that's really ok, I don't have an issue with this, I love what I do, and want to be the best we can be, and it that takes time in the evening to achieve stuff then so be it....

 

All has been running smoothly, good stuff happening, all happy, but then I was taken into hospital for an emergency back operation, and have now been 'off work' for 5 weeks.....

 

This has been really difficult for me, because I'm used to being active and busy, and it has been driving me nuts! But although I'm not officially working, I have been doing loads of stuff at home still, answering emails, sending newsletters, talking to parents, sending in planning ideas and giving staff 'to do' lists.... (Which they wanted), and approving observations on Tapestry! Having written 9 progress checks just before my op, I've also been into work to discuss these with parents.... It's fine, not doing too much, not in ratio, etc.....

 

But this morning a parents emailed and asked if we could chat.... And I'm horrified by what she's told me... She had a stay and play one morning with her daughter and so observed lots of practice! Children being left all day in wet clothes, staff complaining to parents about unsafe equipment (that's in use!), staff have obviously returned to old systems for snack even though I implemented and we all agreed to a rolling snack and have been doing this for a year now! Phones being got out in session 'just to show a photo of their child', equipment that I worked hard to finance being written off as useless, let's get rid of it.... Children being collected 20 minutes late and parents not challenged, records not being kept, visitor books not signed.... Conflicting actions, and less observations in 5 weeks by 5 staff than I would do in 1 week!!!

 

I went in for the afternoon today but after seeing two members of staff just seemingly riding roughshod over my principles and working practices (after all I'm not there to see am I?), I couldn't stand it and said I was going home after half an hour! Clearly upset but I just couldn't stay, wasn't in ratio and wasn't officially working!

 

But now I feel terrible, unprofessional, and not quite sure what to do..... I know I behaved badly today, but I'm just so disappointed with what's been going on while I've been away.... Or am I being unreasonable!

 

To add insult to injury despite doing hours and hours of work at home while I'm signed off, my deputy asked if you could claim two hours overtime for having to answer the emails I've been sending (with planning ideas for HER)....

 

Am I being unreasonable and too emotional? Should I just crawl into s hole and let them get on with in until I am fit to return to work?

 

????

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This mirrors my position at the moment though not through illness....I too have not been in the nursery for about 5-6

weeks,not needed.....my nursery - set up at great expense and hassle in 2004...now very successful,full.

But we had an extension to the nursery built to accommodate 2 year olds, during 2015,opened in January this year....

I took on another lev 3 in Feb to free up 2 staff to go into new room...but hasnt happened...it stands empty and

and now I am not needed....I am 65 technically can retire....but do not want to ..I love working with children and

have done for 35 years....Standards have slipped in my absence...leggings and flipflops...not allowed in their c

contract...all puzzles are incomplete...they just sweep the puzzle pieces up each night ...I am not a

forceful person,dont like to upset people,pay excellent wages...why do they all assume i want to finish work ?

Sorry to hijack your post mps09...just rang a bell with me ...we both need advise perhaps our forum friends have some

answers for us ??

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Sorry to hear this mps09, your first priority must be your own health.

I'm sorry to say this but it sounds like your deputy isn't up to deputising in your absence and you will need to talk to her about how she is managing the setting in your absence. None of us know what is around the corner but one thing you need absolute confidence in, is if you are not there and OFSTED walked through the door, would you do as well as you would hope, and are your children getting what they deserve?

You will need to explore with her why she hasn't followed your usual routine, and principals. It's a tough thing to do when you're friends as well as colleagues as you won't want to upset them or spoil your friendships. But at the same time, if your deputy doesn't share your vision, or cannot manage the staff when you aren't there, then she needs to know 'step up or step down'.

 

When you feel up to it, can you ask her for a meeting and tell her everything including how disappointed you are. Don't let this go, because done once you will have no confidence if you need time off again. If you are committee run, can you speak to the chair?

 

Once you have had a chat, document concerns and see what the way forward needs to be. Maybe she needs support to manage or maybe she thinks it's ok to be deputy in name only? In which case...well I've said it already.

 

Good luck with what you decide to do. But do make sure you are well enough before you go back full time.

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Hmm, difficult one.

 

First - hope you are feeling better after your op.

 

 

Second - You may not like this..... but are you a little bit of a control freak ? (please don't take this the wrong way- I am not trying to have a pop at you :1b )

 

Whilst some of the things you mention are totally unacceptable - wet clothes, phone and faulty equipment etc and need to be addressed promptly and professionally- some of the other issues may have deeper roots.

 

I used to be like you 'workwise' at home above and beyond and very much unpaid . I have staff very much like you describe small setting village. HOWEVER things happened in my family life, and due to complete lack of support/care from the owner I decided enough was enough and I stopped all the added freebie extras :lol: . For a while the staff floundered, and I could feel myself twitching whilst observing practise (my inner control issues taking hold :rolleyes: ) I then had another curve ball chucked at me - so I continued with my self imposed strike (we even had an inspection during this period :o :1b ) I learnt to say 'sorry I just haven't had time to do that last night/this weekend' when staff asked things -parents even!

 

I should I add I was working during my issues, so didn't have time off, but I didn't have a deputy at the time to help support me. (One of the reasons for my self imposed strike!)

 

Then suddenly the staff have flourished- they are now all taking on more responsibility for themselves - they have even all planned and sorted the end of term concert and show this year. I am now so proud of them I'm writing a speech to thank them :1b :1b :1b

...... and yes, they still do things 'not the way I like it' but the children are happy and fully engaged with staff so I cant complain.

Edited by louby loo
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Oh yes , I am aware that I'm a control freak but it's not about the control so much as doing what's been agreed... And accepting why it's important! I think 'vision' is the key, no-one shares my vision in practice but when speaking to staff everyone agrees with what is suggested....

 

Thank you for letting me sound off - now I've had my dinner and chilled a bit I know that this is made worse because I'm emotional and had a traumatic few weeks!!!

 

Glad to know I'm not the only one though!!!

 

I actually don't mind the paperwork side, I do what I can do and don't do what I can't - just digs the knife in when the deputy then wants overtime for answering emails!! Really!!!!!

 

I've tried so many times to pass over responsibility and 'jobs' but it's always run past me, checked and wants approval and I've admitted that I don't want to do that because I get the twitchiness of wanting to mKe my own suggestions which they then roll their eyes at.

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Oh yes , I am aware that I'm a control freak but it's not about the control so much as doing what's been agreed... And accepting why it's important! I think 'vision' is the key, no-one shares my vision in practice but when speaking to staff everyone agrees with what is suggested....

 

Thank you for letting me sound off - now I've had my dinner and chilled a bit I know that this is made worse because I'm emotional and had a traumatic few weeks!!!

 

Glad to know I'm not the only one though!!!

 

I actually don't mind the paperwork side, I do what I can do and don't do what I can't - just digs the knife in when the deputy then wants overtime for answering emails!! Really!!!!!

 

I've tried so many times to pass over responsibility and 'jobs' but it's always run past me, checked and wants approval and I've admitted that I don't want to do that because I get the twitchiness of wanting to mKe my own suggestions which they then roll their eyes at.

 

It's like being stuck between a rock in a hard place.. :lol: :lol: :lol: But make sure your own health and wellbeing remain top of the list :1b

 

Has the deputy been in place long? Is she confident in her role or does she just feel like an 'emergency stand in' in your absence and a bit out of her depth?

 

Not sure what kind of setting you are in, but if I'm honest sometimes I think being a deputy in a session preschool is actually quite a hard role. It's one that it takes quite a lot of self-confidence to step if you actually need to cover full time rather than just for the odd day or so.

 

I totally agree though in that the 'vision' bit is the killer.... I've kinda adopted the method of somehow 'sowing the seed' then trying to let the staff come up with the ideas. I think this way they are now actually now become much more reflective and motivated to add more input.

 

I'm lucky that I do the job because I want too- rather than financially need too, therefore in the (very) back of my mind at my lowest points I tell myself I can just walk away from it. (although I did come close yesterday- then the staff told me their concert plans...and asked if they could run with it........ so I'll just have to stay on then ::1a ::1a ::1a )

 

xx

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-mps09

 

Your standards of practice seem very reasonable to me and your work effort is amazing to read. You have every right to expect the practice you put into place, to be continued in your absence. It should be a team effort even if a team member is down and out. You must feel like Ronaldo did last night during the Portugal match.. a lot of effort personally but let down by many other players :(

 

Delegation is required and unfortunately it seems people are slacking once you are not around. Delegation requires routine checks and something you was unable to do. I would be extremely upset and frustrated also, so you are not on your own here! You are not being a "Control Freak" you just want the best practice at all times and the best for the children. That is what should be expected of all settings... the solution is to delegate job roles and responsibility onto your team and if check sheets are required in your absence, then these should be completed each day so you can see evidence things are being done... another option is to install CCTV that you can also remotely view from home!! ;) - I hate slackers!!! :angry:

Edited by BroadOaks
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