Most people want to feel supported and valued in their place of employment. Being in an environment that is positive and respectful motivates employees to do well in their job and to stick around. If you have high employee turnover, it may be that your employees are not motivated to stay. You may need to evaluate what is important to each employee and help support them in a way that makes them feel encouraged and appreciated. This could range from thank you’s that show appreciation to simple stress-less techniques that allow employees to cope with their frustrations. Having these things in place may help increase employee longevity in your program.
Below are some questions and answers that may help you as a childcare professional, whether you are the director of a program or a teacher in a program.
Question: I don’t feel supported at work, what would you recommend to help me stay motivated?
Answer: It is important to be able to advocate for yourself as an educator and childcare professional. If you feel that you are not getting the support that you need you will want to professionally bring this up with your director and offer some ideas for further support. Keep in mind that education is a stressful and greedy career that demands a lot from people. There will be many things that you can do personally to lighten your stress and there are possibly things that your center or director can help with as well.
Some suggestions that I often give professionals are to find ways to simplify their daily tasks and ways to destress. For some people that means relying on support staff for more help. Other times it means cutting out the smaller things that are truly unimportant or getting your students involved in some tasks to simplify your day to day routines.
Question: Is it a good idea to have a “teacher of the month”?
Answer: Teacher of the month may be beneficial to motivate some teachers and may do the opposite for others. It is important to know your staff before making these decisions. Some programs will actually have students vote for teacher of the month and that seems to have a very positive influence on morale. After all, children are the reason we teach!
Question: I am the only person running my in-home daycare, what resources would you recommend so that I don’t burnout?
Answer: Since you are not going to have any staff to mentor and support I would recommend researching some self-care and burnout prevention resources. It is important that you take care of yourself so that you can run at optimum level and not feel overwhelmed or overworked.
Here are some resources that you may enjoy:
Question: I am a highly sensitive person and tend to be more empathetic, which I believe causes me to feel more exhausted after work than the typical person. Do you have any suggestions that will help me from getting burned out?
Answer: Working with children and having those extra perceptual tendencies as you do can definitely take a toll on your energy level at the end of the day. If you are like most child care providers you have an absolute passion for the wellbeing and success of all children. This often means that you put their wellbeing before your own. My first piece of advice is to find the balance in this. It is challenging to do initially, but if you are able to balance your needs with your work demands you will find that you are a better educator. Take deep breaths and short breaks if things get overwhelming. Ask for help and delegate tasks if you need to.
Next, consider a low impact activity after work each day such as yoga or meditation. These may not be your preference but something that requires little energy on your part and a relaxing environment may be extremely beneficial. Make this your transition routine from work to home life and see if that helps you to feel less drained.
My last piece of advice is to accept that you cannot take on the entire world and fix it, though I guarantee that you wish you could. Try not to get wrapped up in the negativity of things around you and instead see the positive and try to be a part of that.
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