When working in a centre, it can be easy to focus on what needs to be done and share the workload with the team. Everyone gets the same amount. Seems fair, right? It might seem fair, but is it the most productive method? We always talk about children being individuals. Well, funnily enough, educators are individuals too! We have our own interests, strengths and weaknesses.
Team leaders should take the time to consider the strengths and weaknesses within the team. Some find written documentation really easy, but others find it hard. Some educators lose their confidence with certain activities, while other educators will shine.
Does everyone in the team need to produce written documentation?
Do not force an educator to do something that they struggle with. They will start to resent the role and the joy of teaching children will be lost.
Instead, take a different approach. Delegate specific tasks or activities to those educators, things that will help reduce the workload of those who are still doing the written work. For example, if you create a learning cycle for a specific child, delegate running the learning activity to an educator and they can still take photos and give you notes so you can write it up.
Casual staff are also great at helping in this way. I have found that they often want to be more involved and helpful. When someone comes to cover your lunch break, ask them to run an activity and then ask them about it when you get back. Just because you are responsible for the written documentation, does not mean you have to do everything.
I still think it is important for educators to know how to write the documentation, even if they do not like that side of the work and will not be responsible for it. Knowing what goes into it will help them when exploring activities with children and giving notes about what happened.
Team leaders should also notice what educators do well and follow their interests. If someone is extra creative, make them responsible for the craft table. Educators interested in sports can help children develop their gross motor skills. Of course, we all need to help with ensuring we cover all areas of development, but delegate these areas of interest when possible.
A team leader is there to lead the team, but the best way to lead is to be supportive, understanding and to really know the members of the team. Find what works for everyone. Create a working environment with minimal stress and maximum opportunities to shine.
Do you need some help as a Team Leader? Do you need support with discovering how to follow team strengths? Comment below!