So, I work at a childcare center. Not so bad, right? I enjoy the children, been doing it for years, can get by for now...right?
Well, seems that after two months of working my ass off, not missing any days, picking up extra work anywhere I can find any, being willing to step into any room without complaint when a teacher is out or has to leave, now that I have fallen ill, the mountain of guilt dropped upon my head by the Director is as heavy as a Mack truck.
See, she doesn't want anyone to EVER miss work, not even scheduled time off, because then she may end up in a classroom - God Forbid. The Assistant Director is the same way. She WILL NOT step foot into a classroom, EVER, no matter what issue the teacher may be having (let me say that in this center, most teachers are alone in classrooms without assistants, and to not be able to count on the help of the administration when it is needed is frustrating to say the least). I was astounded at this as well as many other issues representing the extreme gap between administration and teachers at this center.
So, this morning, I call in and tell her I have a fever, coughing (which by the way is what is afflicting many children in the center and they have not been sent home as the policy so clearly indicates should be the case) and fatigue. I let her know I came in yesterday anyway though I was sick, in an attempt to make it through and not cause a hardship on anyone.
Know what she asks me?
"Well, are you on the way to the doctor"? I know, doesn't seem like too crazy of a request, unless the job offers NO insurance and pays only $9.50 per hour! We all know how much a trip to the doctor can cost and I certainly am not going until it becomes clear that I will not get well without medication.
Oh, well. Just a few mental notes to self:
1.When my center is open and staffed, offer health insurance and enforce the sick policy for children. Really, there is no excuse not to do both of these things.
2. Keep connected with the teachers. They are the heart of the center and when they feel discouraged and broken down, taken advantage of and overworked, the outcome is not a good one and morale is at risk.
3. Realize that people who work from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. M-F must have a day here and there to tend to necessary tasks, and that teachers will, on occasion, succumb to illnesses; it is the natural side effect of working with children.
4. Enjoy the time in the classroom with the children, away from the ringing phones and screaming mountains of paperwork that are the demands of being a Director...after all, if it weren't for the children, the job of being a childcare Director would be non-existent.
Over and out.