Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What pisses me off

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.
Happy Wednesday!


Chaotic Joy said...

There is nothing quite like being in a job where you are not appreciated. And as a parent of preschoolers the policies you mention are ridiculous. Why would I want a sick teacher with my children. I sure wish you could find another center.

Omaha Mama said...

The director at the center where my kids goes is in the classroom daily. She even pulls the morning drop off shift (6:30-7:00) every other day. She picks up school agers. She helps with discipline. She gives hugs. She sends sick kids home.

Your director needs a wake up call, do you know a parent with a voice that you could gently nudge? That's happened at our center in the past, with issues that have come up.

Amy Y said...

That would piss me off, too!
Feel better, Mama!

InTheFastLane said...

That is very strange...who wants a teacher with a fever handling their kids? And one would assume when you have little kids, that you are going to have to be touching them at some point.

painted maypole said...

oh, I hope you feel better. the director at th preschool where I work is SO WONDERFUL - and loves having to step into a classroom. she's so good with the kids and you can tell that's why she's now the director... because she was a great teacher.

I'm sorry it's not the same for where you work now. but it will be for YOUR school.

blooming desertpea said...

I'm with the other commenters. That director doesn't seem to work in the right place!

Get well soon ...

Family Adventure said...

I can't wait to see you create this centre. It is going to be a huge success. Happy employees AND happy babies, right?

Hope you're feeling better!


Jan said...

Reading this post brings back the 17 years that I was directing a child care center. It was stressful when teachers needed time off but I figured the kids always came first and I spent more time in the classroom than out of it. Yes, my work piled up but the kids and the teachers I worked with needed to be happy in order for the center to be a good one. You are figuring out how you want your center to be different through this experience- and that's something positive. Good luck!

niobe said...

Feel better soon.

(and you are going to be a *fantastic* director)

Kellan said...

I'm sorry you had a bad day and I hope you are feeling better now!!! I like you center better!

Have a good weekend - nice to see you - Kellan

Christine said...

i was a teacher at a daycare in arkansas and the administration was horrible in this same way! the guilt i was given over getting sick was awful! i was not treated well at all.