Sunday, April 22, 2012

You're Programming Wrong!

“You’re doing it wrong” is what they were told about their programming ...
So who is telling them that they are doing it wrong? Well, it wasn’t the previous manager who has 15+ years experience working in children’s services. It wasn’t the “validator” who assessed the service last year and found them to be a service delivering high quality care and education (who liked the system and methods).
It’s the new manager. This is her first job as a manager. She is also young and hasn’t had her degree for very long, nor has she got a great deal of experience in a variety of services. I think they were desperate to hire someone consistent. It certainly doesn’t look good when you can’t find staff for your service. Out of everything she could have done to improve the team, the service, support the transition to the NQS, she chooses to attack the programming and planning and declare that its “wrong”? Really? Is that the best way of managing? Um, no, it’s not. The methods that she has suggested were also bulky, cumbersome, time consuming, not presented professionally and is just going to encourage people to return to scribbling decorations on a blank page to fill the empty spaces because they can’t think of anything substantial to write. If educators can’t fill one page of a daybook with reflections, how are they going to fill double or triple the space? I know that she’s simply getting them to work the way that she is used to, but it’s not about her.
The programming that a service does should be created by the team for that particular service – what works for them? What physical resources do they have available to them? (slide shows on photo frames or computer screens? Printers? Computers? Photocopiers? Time to write?) What is their philosophy? How is that reflected in the interactions with children? How does all this relate to the EYLF? That programming that a service does should not come from ONE person whoever that person is!
What’s wrong with this line: “You’re doing it wrong?”  ... That’s not great management. It’s insensitive and passing judgement upon others. Even if they were doing it wrong, you don’t put it to them like that! You work WITH them as a team and brainstorm ideas – that’s reflection. That ‘reflection’ sits within the EYLF and is what we are required to do. But to tell someone that they are doing it wrong? That’s wrong.
One of my previous interview questions related to this ... and my answer was – I tend to be quite reflective and have lots of ideas. I’m however not going to walk into a new space and start changing things just because I have a new idea. I don’t know what happened before in this space – I don’t know the history of the room or program. I need to work with the team and the children and in consultation make changes. Yes, there are changes that MUST be made at times, but there are also changes that can occur over time. So, yes, you get what you want as a professional, but you do it in a way that everyone comes on board with you, and together you create change. In the meantime, I’ll just write my ideas down and wait for a good time!
You certainly don’t tell people they’re doing it wrong. People will be invested in their way of “doing it” and if you tell them it’s wrong – well you are going to put noses out of joint and upset people. Not a smart move.
I'd also like to add, that from what I've seen on  visits to quality services, at previous work places, and on the internet about how different people are programming - there are so many different ways it can be done, and as long as you can show an understanding of what your system is, and it meets the requirements - then you are doing it right. You are doing it right for you!

End of rant.

Stepping off soap box.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like my work place...sometimes these so called managers feel they have this great power to intimidate staff, i think what is really happening now is that they have all forgotten why we are really there and that is for the children, not to keep all the different departments happy but to keep the people happy that are paying for our services, which is caring for their child, not for all this fancy paper work, simple diary entries and photos of the time that the child spends in the service is what the parents are really looking for. We went from doing a day book filled with photos and little stories to going back to big ugly looking two a3 pages of boxes that mind you the parents do not even look at. i have had parents ask me if they could pay extra money to have a copy of the day book put into the childs portfolio, when i discussed this with management they told me that the parent will get use to our new way of programing using the ugly boxes...wrong....but they simply do not care...just saying