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Ten Strategies
for Keeping Negativity from Infecting Your Center

When it comes to negativity in the workplace, you have to find the source and stop it before it affects everyone in your school. Negativity leads to unhappy employees, diminished enthusiasm, squashed creativity and a general attitude of "whatever" and "who cares." That is not the proper atmosphere for young children and it's no fun for the adults either. Below are ten strategies you can use to put a stop to it!  

1) Take an honest, hard look at management. This includes those with a managerial title such as Director, Assistant Director, and Lead Teachers , as well as those with perceived authority such as the school secretary, "office lady" and even the cook and housekeepers because they are in and out of the classrooms and interacting with the staff more often than you. What messages are all of these employees sending each day? Do the director and assistant director follow-thru with what they say to  and promise the rest of the staff? Do they solve problems the staff bring to them or ask for their help with? Do they treat all employees equally and with respect? Do they model the behavior and characteristics they want to see in other staff members instead of reacting in kind? Are they cheerful, respectful, compassionate and professional at all times? These are the people your employees turn to when they are disgruntled simply because these people are more accessible than you are. Make sure you are all sending the same message and that they are extensions of you and what you want for your school. Do not allow them to commiserate (sympathize with, empathize with) negative employees because that is the easiest thing to do and then simply be the "reporters" who bring problems to you. They must be extensions of you and handle these issues before reporting to you.

2) Give your managers the tools they need to get their jobs done. Train them to be problem-solvers. For example, if a certain teacher is routinely calling the office for help with particular children or at particular times of the day (such as nap time), then there is a problem there that needs to be solved. Does the teacher need training on handling difficult children? Does the daily schedule need tweaking so there is more time between the end of lunch and the beginning of nap time? Being able to identify the real problem is a great tool for managers and naturally leads them to the next steps required to resolve issues.

3) A good owner or director is a walking-talking training seminar! For example, be sure your staff know why you act like the happiest goofball on earth when you greet the children each morning. I once asked a group to imagine what a video  of the owner of their school as he greeted the children coming into his center each morning wold look like. The teachers and staff began smiling and imitating him as they played out one enthusiastic and obnoxious scene after another. "There he is! Goooood morning!" "Hey, princess! Glad to see ya!" "Wait a minute! Where's my high five?" "Good morning sunshine!" "It's a great day now - Steven is here!" etc. I asked the staff why he acted like that and they responded, "Oh, that's just Mr. Hayes." "That's how Mr. Hayes is." "He always does that." I said, "No, ladies, he does that because that is how he wants YOU to greet the children. He's hoping that if he does it to the hundredth degree you might pick up on it and do it to at least to the tenth degree." (Mr. Hayes was sitting at the back of the room nodding vigorously.) Then I asked them to imagine another version of the video edited to focus on the children's faces. I asked the staff to describe what they saw. "Happy kids." "Laughing kids." I said, "How about: Kids who feel cared about. Kids who feel cooperative and would do anything for you including mind you instead of misbehaving? How about kids who are happy to be at school and anxious to begin their day? Kids who feel capable and important!" I encouraged the teachers to think about other behaviors Mr. Hayes might be modeling hoping they would pick up on. And that when he or another manager and even other teachers came into their classrooms to assist them in handling a problem, to watch carefully and learn and adopt the strategies they observe!

4) Do not feed the negativity. Negative people enjoy the negative energy of arguments. Finding even the smallest things you can agree on and pointing them out to the negative person instead of arguing will get you both on the same side so that real problem-solving can begin.  "Can we agree that this is not working?" "Can we agree that this was an unkind thing to say?" "Can we agree that a different approach is needed?" "Did you feel left out? I would not enjoy feeling left out either." "You seem frustrated. Can we agree that is where we need to start?" Ask a lot of questions and listen to the answers, but insist that the employee be specific and gives examples to support his negative observations or behavior. This gives you a starting point and does not allow the employee to just be negative out of habit or vindictiveness.

5) Do not inadvertently reward negative behavior. For example,  some people are attention hogs and they do not care how they get it and when you spend a lot of one-on-one time with them to discuss their negative behavior, you are actually making the problem worse.Counsel once or twice but then, if the behavior continues, it's time for an improvement plan! By the same token, do not stop asking them to do their share of unpleasant tasks, do not lower your expectations regarding their job performance and do not let them get away with little things because you dread dealing with their negative attitude.    

Click here to download this month's Director's Handout "We Don't Do That."  

 

 6) Teach people how to be positive. Maybe a certain employee was raised in a very negative household and really does not know HOW to be a positive person. Educate her so she knows that negativity is a choice and you need her to make a different choice each day. You need her to choose to have a positive attitude and to speak with positive words and to act  with positive actions. Furthermore, that her mood is her own choice every single day. Her reactions to things are her choice, and that all the seemingly trite sayings are true: "Be a fountain, not a drain." "We are what we repeatedly do." "You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind." "Be so good at what you do that you cannot be ignored." "Bring your own sunshine to work each day." "Every day may not be good, but there is something good on every day." "No one can fix your misery except you."

7) Silence is not always golden. When addressing negativity in general or specific negative acts such as gossip, remind people that silence on their part can be interpreted by the Negative Nellie as agreement, acceptance or approval. "Do not be the sympathetic audience for anyone who has an ongoing habit of being negative. It will sap your strength and energy!" If they are not comfortable confronting or openly disagreeing with Nellie, they should at least abruptly end the conversation by making an excuse and walking away, or  changing the subject.

8) Address the behavior and the results of the behavior. "Negativity is demoralizing to you, your co-workers and the children in your care. It saps energy, and stifles fun and creativity. It causes you and the people around you to lose confidence in one another and to lose hope in general. I just don't believe that you like to feel this way. Is there anything going on that I can help with? Because this has to stop." Sit on the same side of the desk beside the employee the first time you have this conversation so you convey that you really care and want to help.

9) Avoid trouble to begin with. Think about the questions you routinely ask during employment interviews. Could any of them alert you to a possible negative attitude? When you ask about past employers, is the response overly critical, negative, harsh or inappropriate? You can also ask for an example of when they felt they were treated unfairly at their previous position. Negative people will usually pipe right up with a response or even two! If you see red flags of negativity that signal it may be a bad hire, move on to another more optimistic prospect. You can train someone to be a more effective preschool teacher, that's your job. But it is very difficult and time-consuming to try to re-train a Negative Nellie into a Positive Polly.

10) Encourage your employees to talk with you when they have real complaints and be sure that you have the reputation of being someone who really listens and actually helps solve problems.

A note about mental illness - If during your counseling session with an employee about his negative behavior he states that he has a mental illness such as being depressed, bi-polar, or even that he "may have a touch of Asperger's", tread lightly. These conditions can be viewed as disabilities. You need to consult EEOC Guidelines on Accommodating Mental Disabilities before proceeding - just to protect yourself from making a mistake while dealing with this issue. In the meantime, you can address the specific policy violation or issue and ask the employee what he can do to improve the situation.  

 

 

2015 Winter & Spring Conferences 

Friday Management Session/$99.00 per person

8:30am-1:30pm (7 clock hours)

 Director's Boot Camp # 24 "Survivor: Supervisor Edition"
(each attendee will receive a 2 hr take away training module)

In this session Owners, Directors, Assistant Directors and Admin staff will be given the new and proven techniques and strategies on customer service, communication, risk management, employee development, professionalism, and center perception to protect the facilities reputation & growth in this challenging market.

Saturday Management Session-Director's Round Table
9:00am-1:00pm /$99.00 per person /7 clock hrs.
(Each attendee will receive a 3 hr. take-away training module.)

       Extreme Makeover Management Edition: Learn proven strategies to help you lead and succeed. You will get ideas and tips for managing yourself and others. Join us to learn the secrets of

making your organization a great place to work. 

Saturday Staff Session-/$29.00 per person

9:00am-1:00pm (7 Clock hrs.)
(Each attendee will receive a 3 hr. take-away training module.)

Group Discount: 10 or more staff- $25.00 per person

*KEYNOTE* "Reconnecting with Your Passion"

     Extreme Makeover: Classroom & Caregiver Edition
This session is a real eye-opener and covers: safety and supervision in the classroom, teamwork in an early childhood classroom, the recipe for a successful classroom including the top 10 ingredients, tips on avoiding burnout, setting up a model classroom that is developmentally age appropriate and much, much more...

Fri. Feb. 6thth & Sat. Feb. 7th

Crowne Plaza- 6121 IH-35 @ 290

AUSTIN, TX

Fri. Feb. 27th & Sat. Feb.28th

Holiday Inn- 4635 Gemini Place

FORT WORTH, TX

Fri. Mar. 6th & Sat. Mar. 7th

Holiday Inn- 318 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd.

SAN ANTONIO, TX

Fri. Mar 27th & Sat. Mar 28th

Hilton Hotel- 6780 Southwest Freeway

HOUSTON, TX

Fri. Apr. 10th & Sat. Apr. 11th

South Fork Hotel- 1600 N. Central Expressway

PLANO, TX

Fri. Apr. 17th & Sat. Apr. 18th

Waterway Marriot- 1601 Lake Robbins Dr.

THE WOODLANDS, TX

Fri. Apr. 24th & Sat Apr. 25th

Holiday Inn Park Cities- 6070 N. Central Expressway

DALLAS, TX

Fri. May 1st & Sat. May 2nd

The Clarion- 4300 West Wall St.

MIDLAND, TX

Fri. May 15th & Sat. May 16th

Quality Inn & Conference- 2843 West Northwest Loop 323

TYLER, TX

Visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com 

to register online or download the Registration Form (under the conference tab) to fax or mail. For more information on one of these exciting sessions, call 972-979-0282
 

 

     Reputable and Established Child Care Business

     and Real Estate                                  $2,800,000.00

This state-of-the-art building was built for the specific use of caring for up to approx. 200 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Hours of operation are 6:30am to 6:30pm Monday-Friday, year-round. The business has been extremely successful and is a solid producer with an excellent location. With a strong cash flow, in a growing area this preschool generates a strong ROI. Additional acreage included with the sale would allow for expansion or development to generate extra revenue. This one-of-a kind deal is located in a sought-after market/community and Independent School District. The facility is well-maintained, clean and safe. The furniture, fixture and equipment are in good repair. Experienced Director and great staff allow for minimal involvement of the owner for the actual day-to-day operations of the school

See you next month with more new and exciting ideas and information!

 

Staff News Header

Click here
to download
this month's
Staff Handout:

"Sweatin' to the Oldies! Traditional Games with a Preschool Twist!

 

 This handout includes eight different indoor games for working off stress and pent up energy during the cold, wet days ahead.  

 

 

Are You Listening? 

 

(tune: "Are You Sleeping?)

Are you listening?
Are you listening?
Show me now.
Show me how.
I see you are listening! (point to a group of children)
I see they are listening!
(point to other children)
Oh, WOW!
Oh, WOW!

other verses:
Are you jumping?
Are you running? (in place)
Are you laughing?
Are you sitting?
[Then repeat "Are you listening?"]




Our

Favorite 

Ideas from Pinterest this Month:

*Use goals as your password to unlock your computer screensaver or phone.  Think about how many times each day you use passwords. When you use a password you have to think it and you have voice it in your head and you have to type it out with fingers. This is the perfect way to reinforce a new habit or belief. Change your password every 30 days and by the end of the year you'll have kicked some bad habits and formed some good ones! Forgive@h1m; Qu1tsmoking4evr; Eatsmallde$$erts; Save4Disneytrip; Ch00seHappin3ss; n0f00dafter7pm.


*Always exercise on Monday. It sets the psychological pattern for the week.

 

*A little bit of exercise and a lot of water fixes a lot of problems.

 

*Change the t itle of your To-Do list to "Ta-Da" list for an extra feel good boost!


*Foam Dough - Step 1: There's only one step! Just pour any amount of cornstarch, and squirt about the same amount of shaving cream on top of the cornstarch (you can add more of either if you need to as you mix it until you get a moldable dough). Then just have a kid mix it by squishing it with his fingers. Add some food coloring (optional). That's it! Super easy. Super quick. Super fun! Enjoy!


*Attach a few strips of velcro to a piece of wood, a plastic tray or a cookie sheet and also to several hand-size toys or objects.  Baby will love pulling the items off! 

*Fake Snow for your Sensory Tub - Mix 1/2 cup white colored hair conditioner with 3 cups baking soda! It's that simple! And it is awesome, moldable fun! Add little top hats from the party supply store along with twigs and fabric scraps so they can make tiny snowmen!

*Jingle Bell Bottles - Take an empty, clear plastic bottle with smooth sides (such as Smart Water) and add a handful of small to medium size jingle bells. Hot glue the lid in place and let your little ones use a magnet wand to lift and drop the bells inside the bottle. Make another one the same way but fill it with water, too, for a different experience.

*Jingle Bell Tilt Puzzle - Take a round plastic take-out container, use a sharpie marker to color in the center section and add a jingle bell. Boom. DONE. Start the jingle bell at the outside and show your child how to tilt the lid to get the bell to the center red section!

spotlight products

  • Employer's Reference Manual  
  • Hiring Forms
  • Employment Forms
  • Employee Handbook
  • Parent Handbook 
  • Training Materials  
  • and more. 

You can purchase our products online right here! While visiting our website, be sure to click on "Newsletter" and scroll to the bottom of the page to view newsletters from 2010. More great ideas you can use right away!     

 

You'll also want to visit our  document center for free information you can print and use today!

  

Parent News logo

Dear Parents,

New Year's Eve Countdown Goodie Bags are a great way to spend New Year's eve with your kids! For each hour or half hour leading up to midnight, decorate a paper lunch bags a with a clock face denoting the time. You can start with any hour you choose. The hour right after dinner is a good place to start.


Decide if you will let your kids stay up until midnight or if bedtime for that night will mark the beginning of the new year your kiddos and make that many bags. Remember, you can also do half hours. If you plan to do after dinner to bedtime such as 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Three bags are not enough fun, but 5 bags are! (7, 7:30, 8, 8:30, 9)

Suggestions: A dance CD for a half hour dance party, a sweet treat for dessert, a deck of cards for a family game of WAR or Go Fish or Slap Jack, hula Hoops or Twister (hide them under your bed and put a treasure map in the bag so the kids can find them), a puzzle, glow-in-the-dark necklaces or flashlights, and of course party hats and noisemakers in the last bag! (Hint: Include a new bedtime storybook in the final bag, too. It makes a great bribe for transitioning the kids into bed.

WE OFFER: 

  • On-site Training for Staff and Management
  • Consultation
  • Brokerage Services
  • Products

 

For information visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com or call 972-979-0282

Previous Newsletters
 
October 2013 Newsletter November 2013 Newsletter
December 2013 Newsletter January 2014 Newsletter
February 2014 Newsletter March 2014 Newsletter
May 2014 Newsletter June 2014 Newsletter
July 2014 Newsletter August 2014 Newsletter
October 2014 Newsletter November 2014 Newsletter


    
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