Monday, July 26, 2010

Demonstrating Initiative as a Casual Staff.

So last week, I completed two days at a childcare centre near Ashfield.

The group leader, YL is a singaporean chinese who married an Anglo Australian, with three children.

To provide some background info about this lady, she is in her mid 50, but doesn't look it. She has three children, and has been in travelling and married for 20 over years with her husband. She was personally working as a manager in Quality Control in Singapore until she moved over to Australia.

Among some of the feedback that she provided for aspiring staff who would like to look for more permanent work at centre when on casual assignments include:

1. Initiative- 
Casual staff need to take and demonstrate take more initiative in the classrooms- According to YL, it was the little things that counts, that make or break the chances of securing a job offer from the Management. 

2. Need to demonstrate flexibility.
As in when casual staff have been instructed to perform a duty and a parent comes in to speak to them, they should leave whichever work they are doing and instead attend to the children. I.e take over group time, or whatever duties that could keep the children's attention and keep them away from trouble!

Taking care of the children are more important during these times! This is more essential and important in centres that are not able to employ above the child adult ratio, or have limited funding for employment of staff to come in for ratio purposes. Yes, this happens in countries with strict child adult ratios in the classrooms.

3. Use more 'teaching language'. 
- Perhaps that this teacher possess a more thorough personality (as per her previous work as a manager in Quality Control!). Hence, she was particularly insistent on this in her teaching methodology.

Although I do believe it'd be good to use 'teaching language" if not just to keep the children's attention and keep them thinking, but also to demonstrate one's skills as a trained staff. I do agree that it is important to be trained in the arts of "teaching language" but more important is when to use it, and not to over do it.

In summary, a teaching qualification is important.

But the above aspects are just as important when one is out looking for more permanent work. If not important, are ESSENTIAL!

Sadly, these sort of things are not taught in the textbooks, but rather, are picked up along the way as one goes to work, and hopefully, well.. they learn!

3 comments:

Chrys said...

I guess those three elements are crucial not just for casuals but for anyone in an education setting, especially with taking initiative and demonstrating flexibility. Personally, I feel that it is not just here in Australia that these elements are looked for, but also back in KL. I say that because I tend to keep staff with these elements more. With using more teaching language, I suppose it will come as you gain experience as you need time to grow and develop your own style. In addition, everyone has a different set of 'cultural baggage', which will affect the way they shape their teaching.

Just thought I'd share my sentiments. :) Are you based in Sydney now? Hope you are enjoying yourself here...

CY said...

Yeah, i'm based in Sydney now.

Are you running your own childcare centre?

Chrys said...

Oh, cool! Whereabouts in Sydney?

Erm, I don't run my own centre. My mum runs a centre in KL and I've been helping her since I was 10, in any way possible. It was not until I started my degree that I took on a more serious role.

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