Friday, September 24, 2010

Pay rate: ECT in a Montessori Day Care.

Ok, I realised that this is a question regularly searched on Google.

I don't actually know how much a Montessori teacher earns, though currently being employed as an Early Childhood Teacher in a Montessori day care on a part basis (meaning less than 38 hours any time in Australian employment terms).

My pay as an Early Childhood Teacher is that as provided by the Industry Award.

However, due to the lack of Montessori trained staff, Montessori schools/day care centres here may/would be willing to hire staff only with Montessori Diploma. The pay rate would be dependent on the category under the Industry Award system, as well as the category that the centre puts you on...

Some of my staff still have to get their locally recognised qualifications by training distance with TAFE to get their Certificates 3, or Diploma. It may not be the most ideal situtation, but from what I know, the staff who did that managed to procure exemptions by half, which is good. (or better than nothing!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 18th: Programming in Montessori Day Care.

Today, I started Programming. Well, for the non-Montessori part of the curriculum anyways.

This is the part of the curriculum that is set out to meet requirements for day care Accreditation in Australia anyways.

First, it was a matter of getting used to the Centre's method of collating data. In a Montessori centre, the picture daily diary is not utilized as like normal play based centres, as this promotes product, rather than process.

Having to go through half a dozen observations in different writing styles, evaluate/plan individually, would take at least a minimum of two to two and a half hours just to get acquainted with the system.

Of course, with practice, it may come down to only one and half hours (hopefully).

As they say, the more one plans, the easier the process becomes.

The hardest part is just getting started. Let's pray for the best.

Fourth Week Trial: Montessori DayCare

The weather is now transitioning from Winter to Spring. With the stark change in temperature in the morning and at midday, unawares many people have caught the flu virus.

I hope it doesn't last too long!

So this is the mid of my fourth week. Today I start programming.

I would say it would be good for newcomers to keep under the radar, at least till they had a feel of the workplace before implementing any changes.

Will continue thIs post later.

-- Sent from my Nokia E71.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 14th: Being Called On Your Day Off.

If there is one thing I have to say about my current centre, the boss is.... petty, and erratic. I am not sure how many staff have an erratic and petty female boss, but she as hell is sure one ...

I realised that when I applied for the job in the centre, my days of "freelancing" would be coming to an almost complete end....A day off is almost wishful thinking.... *Sigh*.

Yesterday, the Coordinator asked me to stay back to cover someone else's shifts, but I told her that "I'd love to but I already had made an appointment". Thanks, but I have a spine!

Today, she gave grief to my colleague and me about having to stay back IF we are called to stay in late. She went on this tirade about "there will be days when we need to call you in early to cover another staff's shifts".. blah blah blah..

To which, today, the boss came in and said "the Coordinator was only being polite". Hhmph!

Thanks, but since I stay more than an hour away, calling me to come in early is almost impossible. If she doesn't realise that, the onus is on her, as she offered me the position knowing fully well how long it takes for me to travel to the centre anyways.Plus, I don't have a car.

I believe that if I were not in the work position that she has currently me at, she would not have asked me to stay back. From my sources, I hear that different roles have different responsibilities, and neither shall the twain meet, or her wrath be incurred!

There are days when I feel like throwing a fake sickie just to irk her.

But since I am being paid for my work, I decided that there are better things to do than to make your already mad boss go madder.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 12: Montessori Day Care Centre

So its now my official second day, 12th day since I started at the Montessori DayCare centre.

One of the Assistants has since left for her home country, so I was roped in to perform her roles and routines. At least, till the Principal decides what to do with me.

I start Programming next week, and hence have one week to collate all my observations - and pull all my ideas and resources.

So currently I perform the role of an Assistant who also has to do perform a lot of physical set-up work, whilst on the back of my mind, I have also got to prepare a lot of brain and paperwork.

Perhaps it is a good role for me to take, whilst I get used to the routines, and get a feel of the routines and try to fit into the team/study the staff's personalities, before assigning/delegating any duties

I read on a management website that a new Manager should not try to implement changes at least till after the first 30 days, and to think of doing that around the 60th to the 90th day.

That sounds like a good idea.

-- Sent from my Nokia E71.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

8th Day Trial: Programming

So today is my 8th Day Trial. Well, barely to say it is a trial any further, as I made the decision to sign the employment contract yesterday!

Based on the informal information 'digging' from the other teaching staff, I had the answers to my queries.

The centre did not have a certain time period where all staff had to take leave at the same time, which in a way could be good for some people.

Meaning one does not have to travel at the same time as others when tickets are exceptionally expensive, i.e. Christmas, Lunar New Year.

Even among Montessori Diploma trained/qualified teachers, I have realised that there are differences in the way that the curriculum is interpreted.

A teacher's personality, and disposition would affect the way the children responded to her instructions, regardless of the environmental set-up.

Will write more in detail later. Am really tired now. Watch this space!

-- Sent from my Nokia E71.

Monday, September 06, 2010

6th Day Trial: Christian Montessori Day Care

So, it's finally my 6th Day Trial.

I did not write for a few days as I needed to clear my mind, and not much of interest has happened at the days in between.

Today I tailed one of the main teachers, *Pam (not her real name), who managed the afternoon programme.

Pam was really lovely to observe, as she had a really calm disposition, and knew how to utilise her words, and voice effectively.

Her responsibility firstly was to supervise and manage the:
- the children, i.e. managing Transition & Group Times with the children after their Morning & Afternoon Outdoor Play.

- the Assistants- redirecting them if they were not performing their duties.

- and Looking out for the visitors, and parents.

I knew that the two main teachers were persons I should look out to observe. But as I was trained by the Assistants, I had to undertake the same roles and needed to have a good understanding of what they were supposed to do in order to supervise them.

Being an Assistant is quite difficult, and is physically demanding, as I found out. Its easier when you're young, but it gets harder as you reach your 30's.

Really, once a woman hits her 30s, and has given birth to children, fatigue just steps in more easily.

I did speak to the Coordinator, and although I was initially supposed to go on two weeks training with the Assistants, she mentioned that the Principal felt I was ready to go on trialling of the Programming.

Well, it'll be more brainwork from now onwards!

-- Sent from my Nokia E71.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

3rd Trial Day: Christian Montessori Day Care.

At the end of my work today, I managed to find time to have a chat
with the Day Care Coordinator.
The centre runs like clockwork, following a strict routine which
doesn't leave much for ad-hoc deviation.

Due to the adjustment to the nature of the work, and travel time, I
have not really had much time to read the policies given by the
centre, apart from during my lunch break, and on the train ride to and
from work.

I also found out unofficially the position that I was actually to be
offered, which I already did realised early, but this confirmed my
earlier suspicions!

With the Coodinator, I did bring up my queries on the dress code of
the staff, as there were some questionably matched outfits I had seen
in the course of the time I had been there.

Today I was tested on:
- stacking the kitchen dishwasher which I had to complete in 25
minutes, as it ate into my one hour unpaid lunch!
- clearing the outdoor sandpit area for the day.
Other areas which may be tested soon on!
- how to setup outdoor play area in the morning.
- how to setup Montessori work classroom for the next day
There was an interesting insight which I brought up with one of the
Directress, in regards to the wiping up spills. (Practical Life).

When children spill too much water on the activity tray, they use the
included sponge to wipe up the spill within the tray.
But what about if its onto the floor,or table?

She brought this question to the Coordinater, and came back with this reply.
Apparently there is a separate table, and floor sponge.

The rationale for this would include the reality element where in real
life, one would not wipe up spills and put it back into a jug/bowl/bottle etc, but use a separate wiping cloth for this purpose and dispose of the spilled liquid in a proper manner.

Makes sense?

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