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Old 10-30-2012, 03:27 PM
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Default Assistant Woes.......................HELP!!

So for the first time in 10 years I have hired an assistant. Reason being is because I have expanded my daycare license to accept for kids.

Well over the years I have become set in my ways and am so used to doing everything myself. I am finding it very hard to have the assistant do stuff. At then end of my night, I am still up cleaning until about 9pm....

The assistant is a super sweetheart. Love her and I don't think its her fault that she is not doing much. What do you think that I can do so that I can have her actually do what I hired her for??? lol

I think a lot of my issue is that I have all of my ideas and everything in my head, so I am not used to having to tell anyone to do it.

I did decide to sit and make an list of things she can do, but not too sure how to go about that either. I feel like I am having to do more work writing everything out just to get the assistant to do something.

any ideas of how you work with your assistant would be helpful......
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:29 PM
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Some threads: http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51941

http://daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=assistant
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:39 PM
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I thought you had a male assistant?

Not that it matters but you kept saying she so I wasn't sure if maybe you had to let the other person go or not.

What is it that you are doing for cleaning and such. Is it anything the assistant can do?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:52 PM
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I thought you had a male assistant?

Not that it matters but you kept saying she so I wasn't sure if maybe you had to let the other person go or not.

What is it that you are doing for cleaning and such. Is it anything the assistant can do?
hahahah....you caught me trying to change it up. Yes, it is a guy....I realize that after talking about the other issue with him and the parents that he may find me on here

So the issue is that he comes in right at the tail end of our breakfast when the kids are just about done. He sits and joins them and then sits and waits for me to tell him what to do...Even when he sees me doing stuff, he still sits there. I am not sure why I am afraid to tell him to come start washing the dishes or to start getting all of the kids to the bathroom, and etc....
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:58 PM
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The only way that he's going to do anything is if you tell him (or write it out). He definitely should be responsible for the dishes, the picking up or even for setting up and running activities here and there. He shouldnt' get to sit and interact with the kids while you're cleaning. Just tell him what to do. He's probably wondering why you're not asking him to do these things anyways.

Just like with the kiddos we set expectations for our assistants. If we aren't clear about our expectations for behavior they have to guess and that's not fair to you or him.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:02 PM
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I think that you should decide specifically what his responsibilities are going to be. Then make him a checklist of these duties. These should be the "You have to do these" type duties so for example if you want him to clean up after breakfast then say that and specify WHAT that means. Clean up the table and wipe it clean, scrape the dishes and rinse them, load them in the dishwasher. etc. And do this for his duties for the full day. Let him know that if any duties involve him leaving the children and you are already out of the room (such as taking out the trash) than he can find something else on the checklist to do until you return etc.

You can type it up and put the list inside a plastic sheet and stick it to the refrigerator and leave a wipe off marker nearby and throughout the day he can look at it and check the stuff that he's done. You can even add extra lines at the bottom so you can quickly write in any extra duties you want him to do.

It doesnt have to be an akward conversation. Just a simple "Oh hey, I made a checklist of the things that you have to get done in a day. Make sure that you do them all before you go home each day and mark them off. Throughout the day I'll check the list and if you get done quickly and need more things to do you can let me know"
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:02 PM
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The only way that he's going to do anything is if you tell him (or write it out). He definitely should be responsible for the dishes, the picking up or even for setting up and running activities here and there. He shouldnt' get to sit and interact with the kids while you're cleaning. Just tell him what to do. He's probably wondering why you're not asking him to do these things anyways.

Just like with the kiddos we set expectations for our assistants. If we aren't clear about our expectations for behavior they have to guess and that's not fair to you or him.
i guess I really need to learn to break out of my set ways. Like I said before, I am so used to running the show alone and not used to having to tell anyone how, what , when , why type thing....But you are right, I need to make a list and give it to him...

Btw. the super sweetie has been bringing me starbucks every morning and even picked me flowers too....OMG so love this kid
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:14 PM
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i guess I really need to learn to break out of my set ways. Like I said before, I am so used to running the show alone and not used to having to tell anyone how, what , when , why type thing....But you are right, I need to make a list and give it to him...

Btw. the super sweetie has been bringing me starbucks every morning and even picked me flowers too....OMG so love this kid

Your assistant brought you starbucks and flowers?? Wow, how nice! Reward him by giving him work.

And, yeh, I totally get being used to running the show yourself, i have the same problem allowing my husband to do anything.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:01 PM
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I definitely think giving him clear concise directions is the way to go. it may seem like a lot of work now but it will get better. I would also change it up in that he isn't ALWAYS doing dishes or ALWAYS cleaning, unless that is actually what you hired him to do. For instance, you can say something like,

On Tues or Thurs, or if I (meaning you) are interacting with the children you (assistant) need to clean xyz. If I (you) are cleaning up you (assistant) can play a game with the kids. And spell out what xyz means and what games are acceptable or not.

This way you don't have to ask him to do every single detail. I worked at a job once, not daycare related, where I had to wait for directions from my boss over every little thing. It was interesting when i actually had work to do but otherwise It was the most boring job ever. And I was actually making decent money but most days I woudl sit and surf the wed or twiddle my thumbs. Needless to say, I only stayed there 4 months before I found another job. I hate sitting and doing nothing all day long.

But he probably isn't doing anything because he feels a little overwhelmed. You probably are making everyting look easy and he doesn't know how to start or jump in. Maybe make up a little handbook of things he can do with the children.

You can of course ask him to do other things as well throughout the day that aren't on his list such as, can you please read a story to the children while I get started on diapers, etc???

I just remember my experience when I started at a daycare center. We had a lead teacher, an assistant, and me (assistant). They had a routine down pat and I always felt like I was just standing there and didn't know where to begin. Eventually I joined in, but it took a while of, please do this, please do that. Usually we do things like this... Would you like to start diapers or read a book? Do you want to serve lunch or clean up, etc....

Give him some time to learn the ropes and I bet soon he will do things without being asked or reminded. He sounds like a very sweet kid, and he also sounds like he is trying to please you. Win Win situation for you!!!
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
I definitely think giving him clear concise directions is the way to go. it may seem like a lot of work now but it will get better. I would also change it up in that he isn't ALWAYS doing dishes or ALWAYS cleaning, unless that is actually what you hired him to do. For instance, you can say something like,

On Tues or Thurs, or if I (meaning you) are interacting with the children you (assistant) need to clean xyz. If I (you) are cleaning up you (assistant) can play a game with the kids. And spell out what xyz means and what games are acceptable or not.

This way you don't have to ask him to do every single detail. I worked at a job once, not daycare related, where I had to wait for directions from my boss over every little thing. It was interesting when i actually had work to do but otherwise It was the most boring job ever. And I was actually making decent money but most days I woudl sit and surf the wed or twiddle my thumbs. Needless to say, I only stayed there 4 months before I found another job. I hate sitting and doing nothing all day long.

But he probably isn't doing anything because he feels a little overwhelmed. You probably are making everyting look easy and he doesn't know how to start or jump in. Maybe make up a little handbook of things he can do with the children.

You can of course ask him to do other things as well throughout the day that aren't on his list such as, can you please read a story to the children while I get started on diapers, etc???

I just remember my experience when I started at a daycare center. We had a lead teacher, an assistant, and me (assistant). They had a routine down pat and I always felt like I was just standing there and didn't know where to begin. Eventually I joined in, but it took a while of, please do this, please do that. Usually we do things like this... Would you like to start diapers or read a book? Do you want to serve lunch or clean up, etc....

Give him some time to learn the ropes and I bet soon he will do things without being asked or reminded. He sounds like a very sweet kid, and he also sounds like he is trying to please you. Win Win situation for you!!!
thanks so much for your response.. You made a lot of great valid points. I started a list of things that need to get done each day in order. I started with what needs to get done to open up and then moved on from there.

YOur post really got me thinking that I need to not let him get bored and make him work for the money that I pay him...I am still beat up at the end of the day, because I am still doing it all.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:30 PM
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I just hope it helped or at least gave you ideas on what you can do with him. It's draining to have to tell someone every little thing and most of the times it is easier just to do it yourself But having a list will at least get him started so he will know what is expected of him and what his duties are.

You can also give him more responsibility as he gains experience and your trust. Like planning an activity on x day for the children. Final approval is yours, but it will allow him to be creative and feel like he is contributing. I think you mentioned he was going to school for teaching? or something like that. This will give you a chance to do other things while he plans some things.

It may be more work at first but as he gains knowledge it will go faster and get better. I can't wait to hear how well things are going in the next few weeks!!!
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:56 AM
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great advise from Nickel.

As much as I would love love love someone to bring me coffee every morning, I would either pay for half of it or ask him to stop bringing you coffee every morning. That is expensive on his part to be doing that. Nice, wonderful great but I would like this as a once in a while thing not an every day thing.

I agree keep him busy. You are paying him to work. Show him how you like things done and if he doesn't do it the right way ask him to do it again.

It is frustrating to not know what to do or feel like you are going to be stepping on your boss's toes if you take the initiative. Make list. List of stuff that gets done every day and at a certain time. If he is full time, make sure you give him a lunch break and two breaks during the day to do as he wishes. Give him a space to put his personal belongings that are not in reach of others.

This sounds like it could be a great working relationship- just have to spell out the boundaries and make it clear you hired him to take a load off of yourself. You are capable to do it all yourself, but that was not the point of having him come into your group. He needs to treat his job as a job, and you need to treat him as an employee. Don't give him all the crap work to do, but keep him busy with something to do at all times. Explain to him that you are not paying him to sit down and that if you do that is ok, because that is why you have hired him to take a load off of you and ease up your days.

Good luck-
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:55 AM
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great advise from Nickel.

As much as I would love love love someone to bring me coffee every morning, I would either pay for half of it or ask him to stop bringing you coffee every morning. That is expensive on his part to be doing that. Nice, wonderful great but I would like this as a once in a while thing not an every day thing.

I agree keep him busy. You are paying him to work. Show him how you like things done and if he doesn't do it the right way ask him to do it again.

It is frustrating to not know what to do or feel like you are going to be stepping on your boss's toes if you take the initiative. Make list. List of stuff that gets done every day and at a certain time. If he is full time, make sure you give him a lunch break and two breaks during the day to do as he wishes. Give him a space to put his personal belongings that are not in reach of others.

This sounds like it could be a great working relationship- just have to spell out the boundaries and make it clear you hired him to take a load off of yourself. You are capable to do it all yourself, but that was not the point of having him come into your group. He needs to treat his job as a job, and you need to treat him as an employee. Don't give him all the crap work to do, but keep him busy with something to do at all times. Explain to him that you are not paying him to sit down and that if you do that is ok, because that is why you have hired him to take a load off of you and ease up your days.

Good luck-
If only I could have this back bone like you have. It took way too long for me to build a back bone with my parents and I cant let that happen with my employee.

I took some time lat night and really thought about how to go about it and I decided that at the end of the week, I will sit down with him and go over how the week went, letting him know how I felt things went and then talk to him about the list. Im sooooo scared, don't know why..........BTW give up coffee from my favorite place no way...lol BUT I know what you are saying....lol
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