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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>My New Job, And This ONE Staff Member
daycarediva 01:47 PM 07-21-2017
There's always one, right?

She's been at the center since it opened, I swear. She acts older than dirt and crotchety, but she's great with the infants. The parents LOVE her.

The former director deferred to her, a LOT.
The staff went to her, a LOT.

She has the mentality of 'in my day..' and refuses to listen to ANYTHING that means she would have to change.

I IMMEDIATELY laid down the law- 'all regulations MUST be followed." No, babies cannot sleep anywhere but flat on their backs. Nothing in cribs. I even removed the ENORMOUS amount of 'baby equipment'- none had been checked for recalls or washed in who knows how long, all were shared among all babies and we DO NOT need to 'put the babies up' all day. Every time I walked by the room, all babies were IN something. NONE were free to explore/move. There were 4 swings, 4 exersaucers, bouncy seats, high chairs, etc. I changed the decor. It was a GARISH magenta. It's now a muted blue. The battery operated toys are gone. I replaced with muted soft surfaces, bars to pull/stand on, mirrors at eye level, soft blocks, board books and tactile toys. Each baby has their own crib-labeled.

The infant teachers hate me. The woman who is the 'lead' infant teacher (we don't have such titles, sooooo whatever. She refers to herself that way) snickers at staff meetings and new trainings, offers 'comments' that are unhelpful and in such a snarky tone that it's obvious she has contempt for me/the changes. AND, she's infecting my staff. The girls in the infant room were so excited for new space, new ideas, better training, wages, etc. and now they're ALL becoming just like her. I'm getting stink eye by parents of infants! One came to me with 'concerns' about the changes. FTM, of course, and I gave her some literature to read about motor development. No, your 5 month old can learn to sit up WITHOUT the aid of an exersaucer. The mom kept saying "XXX said...."

The toddler, SA classrooms? NO PROBLEMS. Seriously, they're all jumping in feet first with my ideas, they're giving me great feedback and suggestions, and the change in the program is incredible! The staff no longer looks lethargic and the children are happier, engaging, and the parent feedback? great.

I sat her down in my office this morning, and needless to say we didn't get far.

She's 56 going on 6.

The owner and I sat down and made an actual employee handbook, and she has been written up formally as of today. She has two more write ups in a 90 day period. She won't make it. She told me today that the other infant teachers WILL leave with her. The director is panicked, but we have floater staff now (yay me ) and I/owner/PT staff from other rooms are capable of filling in gaps without it being a crisis if every single infant teacher leaves TODAY. So, try me? How she feels she is superior and irreplaceable? idk.

I won't even go IN depth into the preschool rooms. The K readiness program was a JOKE. A developmentally inappropriate, teacher-led, child-hated JOKE. Worksheets for ONE HOUR in the AM and ONE HOUR in the PM. That was TWICE the amount of outside time a FT kid was getting. The prek teachers ARE more flexible with working WITH me though, they ARE listening to PROVEN research and statistics, there IS an open dialogue, we DID hire more staff to be able to DO a child led, play based curriculum. But they are dealing with the parent-aftermath.

Parents sent their child to a 'preschool' to 'learn' ya know? I just spent the rest of the day working from home answering parent emails. Time to set up an open house and get parents on board!

But that infant teacher is a THORN IN MY SIDE.
Reply
AmyKidsCo 02:01 PM 07-21-2017
Good luck!!

I've thought about opening a group center or being admin of one but don't want to deal with staff problems.

I hope she opens her mind to see things your way!
Reply
laundrymom 02:35 PM 07-21-2017
Thorns eventually wither and die.
Flowers bloom among them as well.
You got this. You do. You really do.
You are morphing the old school lazy ditto days daycare into a thriving, engaging, enriching early learning environment. Where education happens through play and meaningful experiences.

YOU GOT THIS!!

Originally Posted by daycarediva:
There's always one, right?

She's been at the center since it opened, I swear. She acts older than dirt and crotchety, but she's great with the infants. The parents LOVE her.

The former director deferred to her, a LOT.
The staff went to her, a LOT.

She has the mentality of 'in my day..' and refuses to listen to ANYTHING that means she would have to change.

I IMMEDIATELY laid down the law- 'all regulations MUST be followed." No, babies cannot sleep anywhere but flat on their backs. Nothing in cribs. I even removed the ENORMOUS amount of 'baby equipment'- none had been checked for recalls or washed in who knows how long, all were shared among all babies and we DO NOT need to 'put the babies up' all day. Every time I walked by the room, all babies were IN something. NONE were free to explore/move. There were 4 swings, 4 exersaucers, bouncy seats, high chairs, etc. I changed the decor. It was a GARISH magenta. It's now a muted blue. The battery operated toys are gone. I replaced with muted soft surfaces, bars to pull/stand on, mirrors at eye level, soft blocks, board books and tactile toys. Each baby has their own crib-labeled.

The infant teachers hate me. The woman who is the 'lead' infant teacher (we don't have such titles, sooooo whatever. She refers to herself that way) snickers at staff meetings and new trainings, offers 'comments' that are unhelpful and in such a snarky tone that it's obvious she has contempt for me/the changes. AND, she's infecting my staff. The girls in the infant room were so excited for new space, new ideas, better training, wages, etc. and now they're ALL becoming just like her. I'm getting stink eye by parents of infants! One came to me with 'concerns' about the changes. FTM, of course, and I gave her some literature to read about motor development. No, your 5 month old can learn to sit up WITHOUT the aid of an exersaucer. The mom kept saying "XXX said...."

The toddler, SA classrooms? NO PROBLEMS. Seriously, they're all jumping in feet first with my ideas, they're giving me great feedback and suggestions, and the change in the program is incredible! The staff no longer looks lethargic and the children are happier, engaging, and the parent feedback? great.

I sat her down in my office this morning, and needless to say we didn't get far.

She's 56 going on 6.

The owner and I sat down and made an actual employee handbook, and she has been written up formally as of today. She has two more write ups in a 90 day period. She won't make it. She told me today that the other infant teachers WILL leave with her. The director is panicked, but we have floater staff now (yay me ) and I/owner/PT staff from other rooms are capable of filling in gaps without it being a crisis if every single infant teacher leaves TODAY. So, try me? How she feels she is superior and irreplaceable? idk.

I won't even go IN depth into the preschool rooms. The K readiness program was a JOKE. A developmentally inappropriate, teacher-led, child-hated JOKE. Worksheets for ONE HOUR in the AM and ONE HOUR in the PM. That was TWICE the amount of outside time a FT kid was getting. The prek teachers ARE more flexible with working WITH me though, they ARE listening to PROVEN research and statistics, there IS an open dialogue, we DID hire more staff to be able to DO a child led, play based curriculum. But they are dealing with the parent-aftermath.

Parents sent their child to a 'preschool' to 'learn' ya know? I just spent the rest of the day working from home answering parent emails. Time to set up an open house and get parents on board!

But that infant teacher is a THORN IN MY SIDE.

Reply
DaveA 02:40 PM 07-21-2017
Frankly- be prepared for it to get bloody, & don't be reluctant to be the one making it that way. I've been the first hire of a new director trying to improve a center. Individually most of the staff were good teachers. Collectively they were the most spoiled bunch of overachievers going. It took a few firings and a couple of the new staff being "hammers" to put a stop to whining (guess what role I had ). Good news is that 6 months later it functioned great.

As for the "problem child"- make sure there's no doubt that it's shape up or ship out. If she doesn't improve or undercuts you with other staff- well nothing gets the point across like a public "pack your stuff and get out" firing. Hopefully it doesn't come to that and she sees the light

Good luck
Reply
Mom2Two 03:03 PM 07-21-2017
Good for you for handling it so awesome. It sounds really smart to be prepared for losing some. But if I had to guess, I think that Thorn will leave and the rest probably really want their jobs. If they are stuck up and obnoxious too, they might leave, but then good riddance.

I bet that your efforts to educate and inform will be helpful. But it sure sounds like an uphill battle!

But I'm sorry about the stress. It's hard to lead out sometimes.
Reply
Blackcat31 03:08 PM 07-21-2017
I think it will get worse before (if) it gets better.

Any time there is change, people resist and if they've been doing things a certain way for any length of time, they will resist I am sure. Even if what they were doing was wrong.

I say good for you for standing your ground and doing what's best for the program...

The only suggestion I have is that I would move the woman to the preschool room. If she wants to do what she thinks she is best at, then change things up for HER even more and take her out of the infant room. That way she can't poison the other infant staff/teachers and will have to earn the respect and admiration of the other teachers she hasn't worked with all that much.

That should help her learn to appreciate what you are trying to do. IF her attitude changes, then she can safely be returned to the infant room.
Reply
Leigh 03:12 PM 07-21-2017
When she threatened that all the other teachers would go with her, I'd have terminated her on the spot. I still would do it. Insubordination doesn't require written warnings.
Reply
e.j. 05:45 PM 07-21-2017
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
She told me today that the other infant teachers WILL leave with her.
And she thought that was a threat...? That actually would make it so much easier for you; you could kill 2 birds with one stone.

Get a new "lead" infant teacher in there who will promote the positive changes you're making and the others will fall in line, too. For what it's worth, it sounds as though you're doing a fantastic job of updating and improving that center. I'm surprised the parents aren't 100% behind you. (Maybe it would be worth sending out a newsletter that highlights the changes you're making and what you hope to accomplish?) Hopefully, once they see how positively those changes impact their kids, they'll come around, too.
Reply
racemom 05:47 PM 07-21-2017
I would have individual meetings with all staff, and explain what you are doing and why. AND let them know if they have any issues with it they are to come to you, and not complain to each other. Let them know you are excited and hope they will get on board and make the center the best place for all of you.

Have you read the book fill a bucket. You might want to make it mandatory for all staff, and implement it in your center.
Reply
Mom2Two 05:51 PM 07-21-2017
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
The only suggestion I have is that I would move the woman to the preschool room. If she wants to do what she thinks she is best at, then change things up for HER even more and take her out of the infant room. That way she can't poison the other infant staff/teachers and will have to earn the respect and admiration of the other teachers she hasn't worked with all that much.

That should help her learn to appreciate what you are trying to do. IF her attitude changes, then she can safely be returned to the infant room.
Smart!
Reply
Annalee 05:54 PM 07-21-2017
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
There's always one, right?

She's been at the center since it opened, I swear. She acts older than dirt and crotchety, but she's great with the infants. The parents LOVE her.

The former director deferred to her, a LOT.
The staff went to her, a LOT.

She has the mentality of 'in my day..' and refuses to listen to ANYTHING that means she would have to change.

I IMMEDIATELY laid down the law- 'all regulations MUST be followed." No, babies cannot sleep anywhere but flat on their backs. Nothing in cribs. I even removed the ENORMOUS amount of 'baby equipment'- none had been checked for recalls or washed in who knows how long, all were shared among all babies and we DO NOT need to 'put the babies up' all day. Every time I walked by the room, all babies were IN something. NONE were free to explore/move. There were 4 swings, 4 exersaucers, bouncy seats, high chairs, etc. I changed the decor. It was a GARISH magenta. It's now a muted blue. The battery operated toys are gone. I replaced with muted soft surfaces, bars to pull/stand on, mirrors at eye level, soft blocks, board books and tactile toys. Each baby has their own crib-labeled.

The infant teachers hate me. The woman who is the 'lead' infant teacher (we don't have such titles, sooooo whatever. She refers to herself that way) snickers at staff meetings and new trainings, offers 'comments' that are unhelpful and in such a snarky tone that it's obvious she has contempt for me/the changes. AND, she's infecting my staff. The girls in the infant room were so excited for new space, new ideas, better training, wages, etc. and now they're ALL becoming just like her. I'm getting stink eye by parents of infants! One came to me with 'concerns' about the changes. FTM, of course, and I gave her some literature to read about motor development. No, your 5 month old can learn to sit up WITHOUT the aid of an exersaucer. The mom kept saying "XXX said...."

The toddler, SA classrooms? NO PROBLEMS. Seriously, they're all jumping in feet first with my ideas, they're giving me great feedback and suggestions, and the change in the program is incredible! The staff no longer looks lethargic and the children are happier, engaging, and the parent feedback? great.

I sat her down in my office this morning, and needless to say we didn't get far.

She's 56 going on 6.

The owner and I sat down and made an actual employee handbook, and she has been written up formally as of today. She has two more write ups in a 90 day period. She won't make it. She told me today that the other infant teachers WILL leave with her. The director is panicked, but we have floater staff now (yay me ) and I/owner/PT staff from other rooms are capable of filling in gaps without it being a crisis if every single infant teacher leaves TODAY. So, try me? How she feels she is superior and irreplaceable? idk.

I won't even go IN depth into the preschool rooms. The K readiness program was a JOKE. A developmentally inappropriate, teacher-led, child-hated JOKE. Worksheets for ONE HOUR in the AM and ONE HOUR in the PM. That was TWICE the amount of outside time a FT kid was getting. The prek teachers ARE more flexible with working WITH me though, they ARE listening to PROVEN research and statistics, there IS an open dialogue, we DID hire more staff to be able to DO a child led, play based curriculum. But they are dealing with the parent-aftermath.

Parents sent their child to a 'preschool' to 'learn' ya know? I just spent the rest of the day working from home answering parent emails. Time to set up an open house and get parents on board!

But that infant teacher is a THORN IN MY SIDE.
Best wishes Daycarediva! I worked for a few years in a center before beginning my own FCC home. In those years I worked the last 6 months with another director/owner of the center. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Change is hard, not saying it isn't right, just hard! Only two of the 8 original employees lasted over 6 months after the new owner took over. The issues you face will probably have more to do with "change" than "best practice in child care". Again, best wishes!
Reply
flying_babyb 09:24 PM 07-21-2017
I would totally switch it up and toss her in a New room, that way she dosent know whats happening and has to "rely" on another teachers. Teach her a little humility!
Reply
Josiegirl 04:35 AM 07-22-2017
You've made it a little more difficult for her to do her job as passively as before. It'll take more effort on her part. As for safe sleep, isn't that the law in your state? Provide proof that every change you're making is beneficial for the group's safety and learning. It sounds like your changes will mean more work for staff. Of course they're bucking new rules. Lol They're happy just chit-chattin' with each other and leaving the babies to be entertained by battery operated toys or stuck in comfy cozy sleeping situations. They might have to teach babies to sleep now.
Stay firm!! It sounds like you're making some awesome changes and your center is very lucky to have you!!!!

It's the same thing as our state and it's new regs. right now. Everybody has complained about 1 reg or another. But nothing has changed so we're all buckling down to accommodate and deal with them. A few providers are closing. New rules are always a challenge to implement. But they're usually for the best and your ideas sounds amazing!! Not to mention safer and healthier for children.
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knoxmomof2 07:35 AM 07-22-2017
Wow, all I can say is good luck! Sounds like you've made some great changes. ☺️
Reply
MyAngels 09:27 PM 07-22-2017
Ditto what everybody else said, plus I'd start advertising for her replacement (and replacements for everyone else who will "go with her" ) and let it be known that's what you're doing
Reply
Sahmmie 04:10 PM 07-23-2017
I call these types of caregivers, "Daycare Goddesses." In their minds they know it all and they are superior to all others when it comes to infant care. Often times they've done nothing else in life but care for babies. They see everyone else as being clueless when it comes to infant care. They don't care about research or recommendations - they know best. The "daycare goddess syndrome" seems to be most common with infant caregivers; probably because infants can't talk! The daycare goddess believes that no one can care for babies as well as they can and and they very effectively convince parents that they are the authority on everything baby related. The parents become deluded by these women and believe their infants are getting the best care in the universe.

These caregivers are often a big part of the reason there is such a turn over with daycare staff. Everyone who is hired after them is a clueless peon and better simply get on board and let the goddess continue to run the show, or else!
Reply
EntropyControlSpecialist 12:38 PM 07-24-2017
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I think it will get worse before (if) it gets better.

Any time there is change, people resist and if they've been doing things a certain way for any length of time, they will resist I am sure. Even if what they were doing was wrong.

I say good for you for standing your ground and doing what's best for the program...

The only suggestion I have is that I would move the woman to the preschool room. If she wants to do what she thinks she is best at, then change things up for HER even more and take her out of the infant room. That way she can't poison the other infant staff/teachers and will have to earn the respect and admiration of the other teachers she hasn't worked with all that much.

That should help her learn to appreciate what you are trying to do. IF her attitude changes, then she can safely be returned to the infant room.
Oh, what a great idea! What fun it will be for her!
Reply
Silly Songs 05:55 PM 07-24-2017
I recall every center I worked in we all had to have SIDS training and shaken baby training. I had SIDS training about 15 months ago I think. It was a state requirement for all employees. Your state doesn't require that ? Yearly training, about 15-20 hours a year for teachers to get updates on new regulations. Do the inspectors come and check paperwork, look at the rooms, make sure everything is up to code ? It's so very odd that they are still doing things that way, I think the safe sleep practices go back a few years.
Let those employees know that it's the LAW. Your center can be shut down if you are not following the regulations.
Reply
Ariana 11:25 AM 07-25-2017
Originally Posted by Leigh:
When she threatened that all the other teachers would go with her, I'd have terminated her on the spot. I still would do it. Insubordination doesn't require written warnings.
Agreed 150%

She needs to be the example that you don't play games. Wasn't it some famous director would always fire someone the first day on a new set to put the fear of God into people? Maybe do that

I worked in a centre exactly like this. Completely TOXIC. Trust me those other teachers are only acting that way because of fear. It sounds like a very toxic work environment. You have your work cut out for you.
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