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summer job/confrontation/advice please {very long}
Old 08-20-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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This summer I've been working in the daycare located in my school. I've done this for the past 17 years. I typically get to work with the infants and I really enjoy doing so.

Keep in mind I see the daycare staff throughout the school year.

On Thursday, 2 different people told me about A talking about me. It wasn't good.
My director was gone and I was "in charge" while also working with A last week. When the director returned I gave her a synopsis of what had happened the week she was gone. I did mention that I had a few challenges with A. Director was "glad that I challenged her" and that is "just what she needed." That made me kind of mad because frankly, A should have been challenged before and not by me.
Here are some of A's common practices:
Putting infants in their cribs at 12:30pm and making them sleep until 3pm. Even if they are not tired! The room is pitch dark during this time, no exceptions.

She doesn't adhere to the "on demand" policy of feeding when the babies are hungry. She sets the schedule.
She speaks terribly to them: "I can't sit and hold you all day. There is nothing wrong with you. Stop it!" is a common refrain. She says it with a harsh tone as well.
Anyway, the things she said to 2 different people (they told me these things separately and their stories were the same) were not true. For example, that I was on my laptop the whole time I was in the room. Seriously?!? How would that even be possible? That is just a tame example, by the way.
I want to confront her about it. Do you think I should ask the director to sit in with us, or should I just do it with A?
I will be working 10 hours with her on Wednesday and I want to lay it on the line. Basically, I only want to communicate with her when it pertains to the job. I have no respect for her. It was lost after I saw the way she treats these kids (except her favorites).
The director has gotten complaints from other workers (not parents that I know of because she is sickenly sweet in front of them) and the directors response is always, "What do you want me to do about it?"
Thanks for any advice you can give.


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So sorry!
Old 08-20-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Unfortunately the director seems pretty useless so I don't think having her sit in will help. Is there someone over the director you can speak with? IF so I think I would try that first.
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the infants
Old 08-20-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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As a parent, I would be very upset if my infant were treated that way. You need to have a conversation with the director about the expectations and "schedule" in the infant room. Then you both need to have a discussion with A. I have worked in several daycares and there was never a time when the infant room was "pitch dark". That is ridiculous. I would be furious if my child was left in a crib for an extended amount of time when they were not sleeping!

When you are working, you should run the infant room the way it needs to be run. If A has a problem with it, tell her to talk to the director but you are following the daycare's policies.
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Advocacy
Old 08-20-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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You are a teacher who works with young children who have no voice, you have to be an advocate for them. I advise leaving all "personality issues" out of it and discuss your concerns with the director and have specific examples. Repeatedly point out that this is not about YOU but you feel concern for the children. It does not sound as tho this daycare is a place you want to place your proefession name associated with if the director is not dealing with the problem. (personally, I feel a level of concern about child protection issues if this worker is doing this to vulnerable children and is devious enough to change her attitude in front of parents). Please be empowered to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. The children need your protection! Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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The thing is, she's been the lead in there for a long time. In my opinion they should have canned her long ago. I just fill in for vacations in the summer.
I do follow policies when I'm in the room. I simply refuse to let the babies be treated the way she treats them.
I think this is what prompted her to talk negatively about me to the other workers. She gets angry when I take a baby out of their crib or turn on a light. I'm not even kidding.
I feel so terrible about the way the babies are being treated. Also for the parents who have not a clue. I would never let my baby or anyone I know take their baby there. It makes me so sad.


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Old 08-20-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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Katia, I know you are right.
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daycare....
Old 08-20-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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Okay, it would appear your supervisor is putting you in a very bad position. She may be leaving you in charge while she is gone but A probably sees you as her equal because perhaps your titles are the same and/or you do the same type of work. Do you have an official assistant director title or similar? Has your supervisor said to staff that when she is gone you are in charge or is the supervisor assuming everyone knows your qualifications and the authority she has given you? You are right - the supervisor should be challenging A and not you. Is A feeling overburdened when you are in the supervisory role in pickign up your duties? Sounds to me like you need to discuss some thing with your supervisor first about when you are left in charge.

On demand - in my state the term infant means under age 18 months. I owned a daycare for many years. I personally only took on one infant at a time so I could provide ondemand care. however, that generally stopped around a year old when they did begin eating with us and firming up their napping schedules. only the ones not yet crawling were truly what I would call on demand with very little set schedule on a consistent basis. So, without more information I cannot comment on the ondemand situation without knowing more closely what ages are in teh room you are in. If they are younger then yes, on demand means just that however for the ones closer to 18 months yes I can understand having a schedule.

Napping - My daycare children almost always slept that same schedule however I did not make them sleep. When I would hear or see that someone was awake I would get them up after they have had ample tme to rest. I also keep my room pitch black and nice and cool for sleeping snuggly. that said... I am not sure how this works with infants unless they are VERY close to the 18 mo age - usually the kids between 2 and 4 would sleep that schedule consistently. Those around a year would sleep usually around 2 hours (most took another nap at home) and the small infants would be up and down several times per day - some only slept 45 min to an hour at a time.

So while there is nothing wrong with a dark room as long as you can check on the kiddos I agree with you there needs to be somewhere to take those that do wake up or are not ready and if there is no where hten perhaps adjustable lights are the answer for times when most want to sleep.

all these things need to be addressed from supervisor to A directly without you in the room unless you in fact are an assistant director. As for her talking about you - I personally ignore stuff like that. To the people that report it to me I usually say to them not to believe everything they hear or to consider the source.

A speaking badly to the infants - that is inappropriate and should be dealt with between supervisor and A. It is disrespectful of the children and the families and the work she was hired to do.

and the next time your boss asks you what she should do tell her to be the boss! (is she given any power do you know? does the boss over her have to decide things?)

good luck.
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this makes me crazy
Old 08-20-2012, 10:05 AM
 
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I agree with everything Katia said.

Worthless or not (and it sounds like she IS worthless) you must include the director in this conversation. You've already tried to address it with the "lead" and it didn't work. You also told the director of your concerns.

This is what I would do: address it ASAP with both of them and have documented examples of what has been going on. If the director doesn't make the corrections RIGHT AWAY, I would turn this issue over to the proper authorities. If it means that you are fired over this, so be it! You must also tell parents what is going on, if these issues aren't rectified right away.

I would stress to the director that child endangerment is an issue here and if this person is allowed to continue as is, something is going to happen to a child. Does she want that? That is what I would have said to her in the first place when she asked the STUPID question: "What do you want me to do about it?" I also would have suggested that she fire this "lead" ASAP.

One thing I don't understand is how this is all getting by the director? Isn't she ever on site and does she not make sure things are running correctly at the center?

Please be strong and advocate for those poor babies!

Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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[QUOTEI agree with you there needs to be somewhere to take those that do wake up or are not ready and if there is no where hten perhaps adjustable lights are the answer for times when most want to sleep.]
The dark room is ridiculous because if a parent or other caregiver comes in you can't see a thing! God forbid a baby needs to be changed-you can't see to clean them properly. She flat-out refuses to have any light. She's gone so far to turn lights off right behind me as I turn them on!
[/QUOTE]
Quote:
Do you have an official assistant director title or similar?
No. I was the interim director before the current one was hired. I've made it very clear to her and the Board that I do not want this role. I'm told the day before and in some cases the day of when the director will be absent and that I am "in charge." That is a whole other issue.
Quote:
So, without more information I cannot comment on the ondemand situation without knowing more closely what ages are in teh room you are in
The infants in the nursery currently range in age 7 months to 14 months.

Quote:
(is she given any power do you know? does the boss over her have to decide things?)
Yes. She's to have control over daily operations. We have a Board who is the ultimate superior. Unfortunately A has the president snowed, too.

[QUOTEOne thing I don't understand is how this is all getting by the director? Isn't she ever on site and does she not make sure things are running correctly at the center][/QUOTE]
She is the type who enjoys being in denial. If she doesn't address it, it's not happening. SO incredibly frustrating. Whenever I try to broach the subject regarding A (or any other "unpleasantness") she majorly downplays it and wants me to basically come up for solutions to the problems she will admit are at issue.

Regarding the confrontation over her talking about me? I normally would just say the same, "consider the source" however, the things she said were really attacking my character.
Of course, I don't really feel like I have much character now.
I just want to be able to advocate for these kids without all hell breaking loose.

Last edited by playpower; 08-20-2012 at 10:31 AM.. Reason: Sorry can't fix the quote bit...
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yup
Old 08-20-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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She knows you hold yourself to a higher standardand and it bugs her! She also appears to want to be in control. (Does she have a degree?- You being certified might bug her too)


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Yes!
Old 08-20-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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Well said newsped teacher!

Last edited by katia; 08-20-2012 at 10:48 AM.. Reason: mistake
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Will you read?
Old 08-20-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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I typed up a (very rough) draft to use as a guide when I meet with the director. My stomach has been in knots about all of this. I don't want to be the "tattler" but that can't outweigh the importance of doing what's right for these sweet babies.

Thoughts? Opinions?

I already know it will not be received well by the director. I don't see how she can deny what's written in black and white...

Last edited by playpower; 08-20-2012 at 05:46 PM.. Reason: Decided not share doc. PM me if you want to read. :)
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:20 PM
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:11 PM
 
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Does the center have guidelines outlining safety, care, and scheduling for each age? Is the conduct placing children in danger (or potential danger)? Is the conduct abusive in any manner to the children?

Have specifics of how the center's guidelines are not being met. Conduct that is dangerous or abusive is reportable to the lead teacher, director, Board, and/or Children's Protective Services.
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