Four easy ways to rock at your new role
Four easy ways to rock at your new role:
- Get on the same page with your team, and get to know the centre vision:
A great first step when starting in a new room is to make sure you have knowledge of the routine, what is required inside or outside, any activities that may need extra supervision, and any specific health needs of children. Make sure you know who to ask if unsure, and have read the key policies for important tasks like administering medication. Find out the centre vision from the centre manager or Head teacher so you get a feel for what the centre is about, or what the team and community value.
- Prioritise building relationships with children, families and team members:
Remember relationships are the key to success in any role. Forming great relationships with your team members and centre leadership will help you find your sense of belonging in the centre and will ensure you have the support you need to succeed. Every team has different people with different personalities, and often relationships need to be actively built and nurtured. We know building strong relationships with children and families will also support a new team member to feel included and welcome. Take that little bit of extra time to ask your new colleagues about their families, values and beliefs. If you don’t agree with something they do, try to understand the situation from your colleague’s perspective. Set a short term daily goal to find out something new about each child or team member.
- Begin supporting children to build competence and become independent straight away:
One of the most powerful things you can do when starting in a new room is to support the children to build independence and agency. If children are engaged in an activity, support them to reset the area before they leave so its ready for the next chid to come along. Put a wet cloth beside the easel so children can learn to wipe up any spilt paint. Put some ‘stop signs’ beside the blocks so the children can put one on a tower if they want to leave it and come back to it later. You will feel much more organised and in control if the room stays reset, and children will become more engaged and competent. Your new team members will notice too! Setting high expectations with children around respecting the environment from the first day you are with them will set them up to succeed. Its much easier to start off that way than try to change bad habits later.
- Be prepared:
One great way to take the stress away from starting a new role in an early childhood centre is to come prepared. Bring a magic box or bag with you filled with a few trusty activities and teaching resources. It can be a life saver to have something to pull out when you need a strategy to engage children quickly. On your first day find out what children are interested in and what their individual goals are. You might be able to find a few new books at the library, or some information to support their learning on the internet.
Starting in a new room can be daunting, but also really exciting! A little bit of preparation and you’ll be confident in no time. Remember getting to know the expectations of the role and building relationships is are well known strategies that promote success! Good luck!