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Emmawill
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Hi al

Well had the day from hell today. I took on a Nursery Manager role at the end of last year that I knew would be a challenge but not quite the challenge I have listened to the staff views when I joined as to what they felt needed changing and have tried my hardest to improve the setting, I have made planning a whole lot easier, bought new resources, redesigned the room, making staff well being at the for front and introducing things to make them feel appreciated but........ I am not getting anything back, observations still not being done, journey's not updated, staff sitting at activities not engaging. I have held several staff meetings airing my concerns and been told by the staff team that they will change. Anyway today our  Areas Senco visit today for a child turned into a meeting with me with her discussing the poor state of my practice which I know needs changing but to be told by an outside professional is BAD, to say I was mortified is an understatement. I left a good with outstanding elements setting and am feeling very disheartened, angry and ready to throw the towel in which i do not want to do as I am by no means a quitter.

Any suggestions before I start rocking in a corner would be greatly appreciated, I might like to add I have gone down the verbal warning  route with one staff member.

 

 

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Oh poor you Emma, what a tough time you are having. I really sympathise.

It's disappointing when someone criticises your practise but you are doing really well to recognise where the issues are and where things need to change. It sounds like you have an awful lot to do and trying to do it all at once can be very soul destroying. If it were me I would take a step back and reflect on what you know. Personally, I am a great list maker and I would make myself a list under the different headings you have identified: Staff engagement with your vision, planning, resources etc. Under each heading I would write down what I am happy with and what I need to change. Then I would number the list in a priority order. I would then ask for my LA advisor to come in and review the list with me. I would have a staff meeting and present my list as a development plan and ask for staff input - if they don't input that's up to them, but at least they can't say they weren't asked. I would then, hopefully in collaboration with the team, choose a couple of things to prioritise and work on them for 1/2 a term and then gradually pick things off one by one. Sometimes, as a new manager, the temptation is to rush in a be a whirlwind of change and this can be unsettling for staff especially if they don't understand the vision. When I started I used to put a note on the staff room door that said "This week I'm looking out for open ended questions" (for example) or "I'm looking for children making choices today" - so that staff remembered what it was I wanted. I also tried really hard to praise the good things whenever I saw them. Have a cup of tea and a rest and then come back to us! xx

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I would also say - get the safeguarding right. That's the most important thing. There are some safeguarding articles here that will focus your mind on what needs to be done. Once you can relax that the safeguarding is right you can look at the other areas. Get the welfare requirements secure as a priority (they are where the inadequate inspections come in) - Teaching and learning can be tackled later. Children need to be safe and staff need to know how to keep them safe and how to care for them properly. For me, these would be at the top of my list (you didn't mention them so they may be ok!) - but I always advise - safeguarding , risk assessments and health and safety are always first.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh Emma what a nightmare. I always think if the team can’t up their game for external visitors then there is a real issue. Sounds like you’ve got a challenge on your hands - but keep plugging away. Some great advice there from Rebecca.  Once you have identified your priorities bring these into 1:2:1s with some really tight targets that are followed up closely, maybe some team teaching to demonstrate what you mean by engagement and then more capability if needs be. I once had to remind my team that if we are not at least good there’ll would be no funding which means no jobs.  Good luck and keep us posted. 

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