Table of Contents
Introduction, aim and rationale page
An applied understanding of the us of leadership styles page
And of the demonstration of teamwork
Critical recognition of the role of each member in the team page
and of their own role as leader and leadership skills employed
Importance of teamwork page
Reflection of personal learning page
In my portfolio of work I will produce evidence of appropriate work carried out in one room of an early years’ childcare setting. I will provide evidence of carried out of a Christmas party and Santa’s visit in a Junior Toddler room. I will demonstrate a critical recognition and evaluation of own team player and leadership skills within work environment in relation to this event. I will include my understanding and appropriate used of leadership styles to this event. I will provide my demonstration of teamwork in providing quality care in early years setting linked to Aistear and Siolta. I will provide reflection on my personal learning .
Aim and rationale
The aim of this practical learning is to gain a better knowledge and competency to work as an effective leader and member of a team independently or in a supervisory capacity in an early years’ setting. Through carried out a Christmas party and Santa’s visit in one childcare room define leadership and an effective team in early year’s educational environment. The aim of this learning is to link a theory with a practice . The rationale of this practical learning through carried out this event provide opportunities for me as a childcare practitioner to develop greater knowledge and awareness of final decision like independently or in consultation with others; show evidence of how I collaborated with other team members in order to come up with the event; why teams are important in the early years and linked to Siolta and Aistear.
An applied understanding of the us of leadership styles
and of the demonstration of teamwork in an early years setting.
In accordance to Lewin’s Leadership Styles the Democratic leaders make the final decisions, but they include team members in the decision-making process. They encourage creativity and people are often highly engaged in projects and decisions. As a result, team members display a high job satisfaction and high productivity. This is not always an effective style to use, though, when you need to make a quick decision (Lewin, 2019).
Through carried out the Christmas party and Santa’s visit in the Junior Toddler room I remembered about the leadership styles which would be appropriate as to the principles of the childcare setting as to my own personal beliefs. I adapted the Lewin’s Democratic Leadership Style as I thought its suits to the type of my personality. On the one hand, this style helped me heard the different opinions, ideas of my colleagues and on the other hand kept the final view in the decision making process. Through using this leadership style the team members were engaged in the process and we all worked like one team.
Critical recognition of the role of each member in the team
and of their own role as leader and leadership skills employed
In this part of my learner record I would like to evaluate my own role as a leader in organising Santa’s visit in Junior Toddler room. In order to make the visit more successful I decided to organise a formal staff meeting just in 10 days before the visit of Santa. Through the main items of my agenda we made little notes from our discussion and then adjusted the individual task in accordance to colleagues competences, creativity and ability (decoration of the room, dressing up, organising presents, party food etc.).
The meeting helped me to organise the event more effective as I felt our team cohesiveness and all my colleagues were included and shared their ideas, suggestions, feedbacks etc. It was absolutely a new role for me to be a room leader and especially before the very important event in early years’ setting as Santa’s visit. I tried to do my best and lead my team to bring all people together to achieve organisational goals. I provided the manager’s consent form and parental consent form which were linked to principles of a quality centre to reassure as the manager as the parents.
In that day we all were fully prepared to Santa’s visit and met him in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The room, windows, a front door, Christmas tree were decorated. All the staff in a Junior Montessori room dressed up in the Christmas jumpers etc. The children and even some parents were dressed up too.
We had enough chairs for all 15 attending children, their parents etc. In that day we were no need extra staff as four of us were presented in the room.
It was our general idea to rehearse the Christmas songs in the mornings during circle time. At that day we were so happy to sing Christmas songs again together with Santa.
As we were asking the parents earlier to bring in the little present so at that day all the children got their Santa’s gift and no one were disappointed.
At that day, to make it a little bit more special for all the children, we provided a party food such as sausages, chips. Before we were asking the kitchen staff to cook the food for our room so had no problem and got the food on time.
I knew that it was a short space of time to organise the Christmas event like we did. However by using good leadership skills like being approachable; communicating constructively; listening actively; being confident and working collaboratively with other team members on the same goals helped all of us to carry out successfully the Santa’s visit.
Importance of teamwork
I think it’s very important in the early years setting when all team members working together on room goals. In accordance to Siolta, Standard 11- Professional Practice – Promote regular opportunity for reflection and review:
– encourage all staff to continually think about and review their daily practice – allow open space for discussion at staff meetings, promote the standards of Siolta as a basis for ongoing reflection;
-encourage staff to link into in-service training or local networking opportunities – offer some time back in lieu of attendance, subsidise the cost if possible, allow time for feedback from the event to other members of staff afterwards;
– ensure staff are regularly reminded of the key principles guiding practice within the setting and that these continue to influence daily work;
-put in place a supervision schedule to allow for feedback to staff regarding their practice as well as an opportunity for the staff member to discuss issues arising or to suggest ideas for future development (Siolta,219).
Teamwork is a vital component of quality in early childhood care and education. In accordance to Aistear – Irish framework:
-Encourage child care professionals to monitor each other’s practice, ask questions and seek clarification;
-Team new or inexperienced staff with experienced and skilled child care professionals who can monitor their understanding of policy and practice and role model appropriate practice;
-Plan professional development opportunities for child care professionals to learn about current best practice and to share the information with their colleagues;
-Provide professional resources about recommended practice in common areas such as staff rooms (Aistear 2019).
All the aspects are about a positive side of teamwork but we should always remember what the impact can be when teamwork fails. I think the first reason why people often fail to work together as a team is a lack of leadership. Every team needs a leader to set expectations and keep the group focused on the goals. A leader should be able to provide positive reinforcement to help keep everyone motivated. This doesn’t mean that they need to be mean and strict. Instead by setting clear standards and being fair if discipline is needed, a leader can create the kind of positive environment where teamwork develop well.
If we want practitioners to work well as a team then we need to make sure that all of them have proper training. In addition to training new practitioners should also conduct additional training on a regular basis to help reinforce setting goals and policies. Ongoing training is a great way to make sure that all practitioners are aware of their responsibilities and feel a part of the team.
One of the biggest reasons why teamwork fails is that there are not enough meetings where open and honest communication is encouraged. During team meetings the leaders of the group should open the meeting explaining reasons, goals etc. After this the team members should be encouraged in a positive manner.
For the team to be successful each member needs to pull their own weight. They need to feel welcome and appreciated in the environment where communication is open and honest and where team members are never “punished” for speaking up about any problem (Positive side of teamwork, 2019).
Reflection on personal learning of this task
In this part of my Collection of Work I would like to discuss the main five points of carried out the Christmas event – Santa’s visit – in the Junior Toddler room. Through this Santa’s visit I was trying a new role for me like a leader to form powerful strategies, analysing the current situation, picking the roles and responsibilities for four team members and organising successful and smoothly run the Christmas event in Junior Toddler room.
I would like to highlight that Christmas event was carried out very successfully. I think was a good achievement because of the formal meeting that we had before the event. For example, at meeting I provided the agenda where I listed the important items. Some of the items seemed challenging in the beginning such as bring in extra staff in case children become upset or just need cuddles but then had turn into more realistic by the end of the final meeting. We all felt our manager’s help by her understanding, mentoring and providing extra staff so we were appreciated for her support.
The next point that I would like to discuss that children were fully engaged in the process of Christmas event. I think nobody was bored as we rehearsed the songs all the morning before Santa’s visit so the children, their parent, staff members and Santa of course were active in singing their favourite Christmas songs at that day. All the children got their Santa’s gift.
I think it was very good point that all children, some parents and the team members wore the Christmas jumpers, Elf’s costumes, dresses, earrings, bracelets, Santa’s hats etc.at that morning. We reminded all parents, children, staff members about dressing up in a day before the Santa’s visit. Our good communication also helped create the right perception of our goals within limited time, keeping the festive mood stable as it was very important in that time of the year.
At that day, to make it a little bit more special for all the children, we provided a party food such as sausages, chips.. Before we were asking the kitchen staff to cook the food for our room so had no problem and got the food on time. All the team understand the purpose, there wasn’t any disagreement.
- Leadership Styles and Frameworks You Should Know.(n.d.).Access 2019,from https://www.verywellmind.com/leadership-styles-2795312
- Siolta The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education(n.d.).Access 2019,from http://siolta.ie/media/pdfs/Research%20Digest%20-%20Professional%20Practice.pdf