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Supervisor Dilemma


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Hi

I manage a committee run pre-school. I have a supervisor who has no ict skills, but the committee wanted me to give her something to do. They suggested the planning. This i have done but its not working at all, the planning is all over the place, so many mistakes, resources not available, no one allocated for activities, even the leaning objectives don't match the activities. I have spoke to her again this week, telling her what she needs to do to put it right. I would n't mind but she has been using the stepping stones for over 2 years, she has been doing the planning now for 6 weeks by herself before this i gave her one week a month for 5 months. I feel like all i'm doing is critising her work, other staff have had a quiet word with me as they are not happy. Committee have now turned round and said if she can't do the job she shouldn't be supervisor, i'm find ing this very hard as i have worked with her for 2 years now, but i do feel she is doing my head in!!!!! that sounds awfull. She is also making loads of silly mistakes like completing risk assessments but later i find plug socket covers missing etc. This is a supervisor i'm getting quite worried as i'm taking one day a week off from september and we are due an ofsted!!! I don't know what to do, what would you advise? I do realise i have to deal with this, i know she has had personal problems with her marraige but these have been going on for the whole 2 years i've known her so there is only so long you can be leanient.

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would it not be simpler and actually better for everyone in the group if they were ALL involved in the planning??Unless you have huge staff numbers, i can't see why this isn't done maybe half-termly, together.That way, everyone has input, everyone knows whats happening and everyone is responsible for health and safety/risk assessments (which they should be anyway.....why are people NOT puting socket covers back in place when they unplug something??).If she's otherwise been doing the job successfully for two years and it's 'just' the written planning which is weak, it seems sensible to give her a hand with it?And, if the whole team helps with planning, resourcing,deployment etc will be so much easier and the others will feel more involved

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i agree with narnia that if she can successfully do her job but is struggling with the planning then this is something that she needs help with- perhaps training on to enhance her professional development.

I also agree that planning could be done as a whole staff, as well as helping the supervisor it wil also make the rest of the staff feel more included and they will know what is happening and when.

x

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do you have access to a computer on the premises maybe the team could help with the planning and someone could take the time to show the supervisor how to use a computer? if not could someone bring in a laptop and demonstrate to the supervisor?

 

I agree with the point that the planning needs to be a team effort I try to do ours but find it difficult to do it alone even with ICT skills.

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If your supervisor isn't confident with the computer could you possibly do some in-house training for her or find a course that would be suitable. Learn Direct do some very basic courses.

I think asking her to the planning when she is not confident with her computer skills may be a bit too much to start with. Is there another role she could take on for now which will boost her confidence and doesn't involve using the computer?

Linda

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Thanks for your replies. We have a staff meeting once every two weeks to do the planning. We all sit down and discuss what activities to have out, what we are going to do, which stepping stones/goals we are are going to work on. which is all writtem down on a medium term plan under each area of learning, all she has to do is transfer it to the short term plan and allocate activities to staff. All staff fill in the risk assessment but our premises is used by other people these people do not replace plug socket covers etc, i think its the fact that she has ticked it off on the risk assessment without actually looking and checking its ok. We all take it in turns to complete this before we open everyone else checks everything but to have a supervisor who isn't worries me. When asked about it she said she couldn't be bothered she has too many family problems at the moment.

We have offered to pay for her to do a computer course and the pre-school pay for it but she doesn't want to.

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oh dear well maybe if she says she cant be bothered then she shouldnt be doing the job..what sorrt of example is that setting to other staff!!!!!!!

committee need to mhave a serious chat with her!!!!!!

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It does seem like a strange job to give to someone who is not comfortable with computers. I would suggest that someone else takes on that role. However saying that she can't be bothered with things to do with the children's safety because of problems at home is a real worry. I do think that this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

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Maybe the reason she won't commit to a computer course is that the problems she is having personally mean that she feels unable to commit the time as well as the enthusiasm.

 

Have you had a heart to heart recently about whats going on at home, things may have got worse, or if they have been going on for 2 years maybe she is coming to the end of her tether emotionally.

 

As for the risk assesment I agree with Narnia, child safety is everyone in the settings responsibility, perhaps they need reminding it is everyone's job to look out for the children. Are they trying to make her look bad :o

 

Sometimes we all find it hard to take on new tasks if other areas of our lives are a bit rubbish, maybe you need to ask her whether she really wants the hassle and extra responsiblity that goes with the role at the moment and she what she says.

 

Fingers crossed that it works out well in the end,

 

Sue

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I have printed off our short term sheets which i have adjusted so she can write it in by hand, she says its taking her 3 evenings for 3 hours each evening to do the planning, it takes me a couple of hours. This is one weeks short term plan.

I spoke to the committee today, they have now suggested she gets a morning at the pre-school to work in the room out the back completing the planning sheets, so she can ask me any questions as they arise, good in principal but i'm included in the ratio's during the session, and we only have 4 staff with the children. But she has been attempting this now for 6 months, there is only so much hand holding one can do, i have had so many meetings with her including after the session when i have stayed till 5pm, when children leave at 2.45pm. and during my lunch break on numerous occassions. Last weeks planning was awful, no learning intentions were put on the planning sheets, i had to ask every day for her to do them, in the end i had to order her to stop what she's doing and put them in. I don't like working like this, i like us to work together as a team. I have already sent her on a course on the foundation stage stepping stones. i have had an early years advisor come in and speak to her about the stepping stones/objectives, and sent her on numerous short courses.

My biggest concern is her attitude to the position she holds within the pre-school and how this rubs off on other staff. They have already spoke to me, airing their concerns.

I'm beginning to think i need to ask her whether she wants to be a supervisor?

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Hi Sue

The problems at home are that her husband doesn't like her doing any paperwork at home, he also thinks that their teenage daughter answers back too much!!! as i say don't all teenagers, but these problems have been going on for 2 years, the whole time i've known her. I have asked whether she would like a week off to chill and try and sort things out. but she refuses. I have had many heart to hearts thats why i'm finding it so difficult to take the next step but i do think she needs to think about what it is she wants to do? As for paperwork at home its part and parcel of the job!!!!!!

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Hi, this is a difficult one, but at the end of the day it doesnt sound like this person is interested in what she is doing or understanding the reasoning behind it.

Im a bit confused though, is she a supervisor as in level 3, or as in deputy? Its hard to discipline staff when you know there are personal issues, but a teenage daughters back chat, and husband not liking her working at home are not the childrens and other staffs fault or concerns.

I would suggest that either something more is going on, or she has lost interest in her job.

Maybe its time for her appraisel, it doesnt matter if it isnt due, you need to log this somehow to use to show her that her lack of effort and motivation is affecting the setting and the children. Some people just need a kick up the backside to get them back on track. She cant keep using her personal life as an excuse its simply not fair. What if all the staff couldnt function because of family issues etc...

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Have you made any progress? This is a side of the job that I hate too, but I try to remember that I hate repeating myself to the staff also, and I get frustrated when I find myself doing the job that I had delegated to someone else too.

Try to keep in mind that she isnt doing what she is paid for, and unless something in work is stopping her from completing the tasks given to her, then she has no excuse. Her personal life is just that!

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. She wouldnt get away with this anywhere else, so why should she with you.

 

You are doing a good job, thinking and talking things through to make sure you are fair. :)

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Hi

I have sat down and spoke to her. We had a long conversation. I explained all the things i'm not happy with and she said she wasn't sure if she should be supervisor, especially as there is talk of supervisors being level 4 in 2010, she said she wasn't willing to do any more qualifications. She said she felt as if i was out to get her, i explained thats not so but i do need her do do her job properly.I asked her whether she was happy being supervisor - she has said she is going to think about this over the weekend. She has said she is not happy doing the planning as she feels she is not capable of doing this but is willing to take over SENCO. I decided i needed to take the weekend to mull over everything she said before deciding where we go from here. Sometimes its so hard being the manager and making these sort of decisions, especially when we all work together everyday as we are such a small group, we only have 6 of us.

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Well done you!

I know what you mean, and there's always the chance of an atmosphere, but surely it couldnt be much worse.

At least you have both been honest about whats going on.

Does her being SENCO even things out for you? If so I guess thats a fair trade.

Do you feel any better now?

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I think she sounds depressed or on the verge of depression. I can't understand why a level 3 is unable to do planning especially if previously discussed and agreed as a group.

I have had many experiences of staff who do not hve a supportive partner, this does cause strain on the relatiuonship and the work setting. There has to be a work/life balance. I have had staff who work at home and staff who never take work home, both are valued for what they do in the setting, appreciated if they do work at home but not judged against if they don't. I would only expect work to be done in staffs own time if they haven't done it during reasonably allocated time at the setting.

 

Is she able to do the SENCO work within work time? has the the knowledge to do this role as she will need to understand how to support inclusion within the curriculum?

 

Any update as to how things are going?

 

Peggy

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i really dont know where we stand at the moment. I have arranged for her to go on some SENCO training. The problem i have is she's up and down. Sometimes she's great really efficient other times she just doesn't seem to want to be there and makes so many silly mistakes. I've been supporting her now for 2 years, nothing has changed over this time, we also now have a committee who want to get involved and want her to pull her weight and earn the extra money she is paid for being supervisor. They have asked for a meeting with me, i'm torn if she didn;t have the problems at home she would be good but how long do i carry on carrying her, for the last year i have done all planning, paperwork, child protection, SENCO, waiting list, etc.... You name it i do it. I don't mind doing it, it's amazing what you can fit in. But the committee do have a point she does need to do something different than a normal pre-school assistant if she is getting paid more money. I'm hoping SENCO is going to be the answer. All the paperwork is up to date for this now, so maybe if i worked alongside to begin with this is the answer.

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Good idea to work alongside for a while but also to enable her to do the work using her own methods, as long as the end result is what is required. She may have struggled with the planning because it was done in a way that she hadn't created, if you see what I mean. :o

 

Maybe you need to ( or the comittee) devise a system of monitoring measuring her productivity in terms of supervisor tasks. Be clear what amount of work is expected within what time frame. This will give tangible data for evaluating whether she is in fact earning her pay. Attitude is more difficult to measure, but needs to be monitored to be able to measure if emotional support is needed ( and how much support employees can offer before suggesting more professional help-ie:doctors) and a system to monitor and measure the effects of emotional needs on others in the workplace.

She needs to be clear on what is expected of her. Review of her 'whole' job description could take place as you change her role to SENCO.

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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