Saturday, July 28, 2012

Conflict at Work

Recently I have had a conflict with my direct supervisor.  It had appeared to me that she negative about the center and the people who work in it.  This is the first year that the center has been shut down in the summer. It is usually a year-round program.  She demanded that staff remove everything personal from the building because while they were laid-off for the summer, she planned to go through the rooms and strip and throw away all of the things she did not want in the rooms.  The teachers were very upset; many of them have worked in their rooms for many years.  As the new supervisor, she has told me to start throwing things away.  I have only worked in this center for a month and that time has been without staff and children, so I have no idea what things the teachers use all the time and what can be thrown out.  Anytime I ask my supervisor she says if it’s dirty or doesn’t look nice get rid of it.

I have two conflicts in this story. The first is with my direct supervisor and trying to make her understand my position of being new to the program and wanting to enter into this job as a supportive asset and not someone who threw all their stuff away.  The second is enforcing the demands of my supervisor, (and there are many of them) on the teachers and staff that I work with. 

Things I have learned so far from this class that will help me include.

1.      Trying to actively listen and understand my supervisors reasons

2.      Respectfully explaining how I feel about her requests

3.      Trying to discover a way we can make the center look clean and professional without throwing away too many of the teachers favorite things.

When I am trying to work with staff to understand some of the new rules that have been imposed, I might:

1.      Help them understand the reasons behind the rules

2.      Help them negotiate compromises with the supervisor when some of the rules are too difficult to follow in an active preschool classroom.


tiffany said...

I cant believe that the new director would do such a thing. That is absolutley absured! I can understand the frustration with that. I know that I would not take it very well if someone went through my room and began to throw things away, especially after I had been in my room for so many years.

Julie Rand said...

Hi Stacie,
I think you have been put in a difficult situation because as a new supervisor, you want to gain the trust and respect of your staff and what you have been asked to do will give you the opposite results I fear! I also would not take that very well as a teacher. Many teachers take pride in their rooms and have a lot of ownership over it. I think if it is involving health and safety issues (filthy toys, broken toys, or missing pieces, etc) maybe your supervisor can put out an email or some type of communication to let everyone know what is or will be happening to take a little relief off of you! However this type of "clean up" should involve the staff who are responsible for their classroom. Good Luck!