The overall company culture is that all the teachers, directors, and students are a big family working together and supporting eachother to help give the students the best opportunities to learn as much as they can about everything they can. Whatever personal drama is had between teachers or the directors neither let it effect their abilities to be cordial and respectful to eachother for the sake of making sure the students know that even if you don't like someone, you still have to treat them nicely. Often, these personal dramas are sorted out privately and relatively quickly. Thus, making this childcare facility a great place to work with out negative tensions hanging in the air so-to- speak.
Support from management
The Directors do set clear goals, which are realistic most of the time, but sometimes are a little to high for teachers and students to meet. The Directors do include teachers on any decisions and hold regular staff meetings welcoming any suggestions any staff my have for improving any aspect of the business. Both Directors are also very good about keeping an open door for employees to come to them at anytime should they need help with anything.
Each classroom has 2-3 co-teachers whom work together each day to plan out activities and lessons for the week, and teach those lessons daily. For the most part, the teachers within each classroom and in neighboring classrooms all work together to help provide the best experiences for the kids, and to help each other from getting burnt out. Without janitorial staff, both Directors and employees work together to keep the school clean and organized.
Freedom to work independently
At this childcare facility, because it is still relatively small and in order to maintain legal student/teacher ratio there has to be 2 or 3 teachers per class much of the time. However, each team of teachers for each class is trusted to their own lessons, and are at the opening and closing hours of the day as well as mid-day nap times are entrusted to work on their own. Every once in a while a director will come in to check on things. But for the most part it is solely up to the teachers within the classrooms to decide how their classroom is ran and how to handle any problems within the classroom. However, the Directors do frown on yelling at the students too often, and prefer you as the teacher get creative with other ways of getting a child's attention and redirecting them away from bad behaviors.
The directors are really good about making sure that employees have all the information and tools necessary to do their jobs. They will tell you when the company is doing well, but not when it starts to do poorly. However, teachers paying close enough attention to students leaving their classes and the exchange-rate of their co-teachers can figure out for themselves when the company is doing poorly or doing well. The directors are also willing to give you feed back on how you are doing or how you can improve as a teacher.
In the line of work that this company in... it is 90% women that work there. The few men who have and to my knowledge still do worked for this childcare company have had the exact same career opportunities as the women working there.
Attitude towards older colleagues
The company does hire older workers, whom are very highly supported and appreciated by the company as a whole, but whom are also held to the same standards as younger employees.
Office / Work Environment
The work environment is comfortable for the most part, temperature control seems to be the only issue as the temperature gauge for the pre-k through school age classroom also controls the temperatures for the directors' office; and the gauges that control the temperatures in the toddler class also control the temperature for the pre-school class. Because the ventalation and sizes of each of those room is different, it is difficult to keep temperatures in all of those room comfortable for everyone to work in at the same time. For example, when the temperature is kept at a comfortable level for the pre-k and school age class, the directors' office gets too hot for them to work comfortably and vice versa.
The company as a whole seems only mildly concerned with awareness for the environment. A few teachers in the past have tried to raise further awareness but their attempts were short-lived. To my knowledge there is not currently, nor has there ever been in the past any kind of official recycling program in place. However, teachers and directors do often do their own recycling of various items such as pizza boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, milk cartons, cereal boxes, etc. They then turn these into art, science, math, and sometimes social studies materials for the students to use for a various lesson enhancing projects.
The Company does highly value a work-life balance for the most part. In cases of familial and medical emergencies the directors tend to be very understanding. They are also very supportive of trying to help their employees make efforts in achieving their personal life and career goals. This is the reason I was kept as a floater teacher during my time there, so that I would be available to go on interviews with the school district. It is also why I was initially let go from my position at this childcare facility. The directors felt that my working there were preventing me from growing and reaching my full potential as a teacher. When I was still searching for new employment and they found themselves short staffed again they asked if I would come back. I happily did until they had full staff again, then they placed me as an "on call" teacher so that I could have time to focus on fighting against the forces preventing me from working as a teacher in the school district and still be able to come in when another teacher had to be out. Although, the directors are in the habit of forgetting when a teacher has asked for and been approved for time off months in advance, and then giving that time off to other teachers whom asked for the time off closer to that time, thus making it so the person who requested it months ago now required to come to work on a day they needed off for personal reasons or face being written up or fired for not showing to work anyway. I was lucky that in the one time my approved-months in advance time off was taken away... that the reason I needed it ended up not being needed after all. So, I wasn't too upset about it. I would have been though, if my reasoning for it had not fallen through. I had asked for that day off, that got renigged, so that I could use it to make last minute preparations the day before my wedding. Since the wedding got postponed anyway... I didn't get too upset and came in to work that day.
I am very proud to have worked for this Childcare company. It has been recognized as the best Childcare facility in our local area in every way possible. It has been recognized as the most affordable by the parents whom bring their kids to this childcare facility, the best academics by QRIS and the licensing department, the best health and sanitation standards by the health and licensing departments, and the best over all quality child care by all the above.
Job security.... is an issue. If we lose student enrollment, teachers start getting let go. When new students start coming in new teachers come in or old teachers might get the chance to come back. Job security is directly tied with student enrollment.
The building is all one level, and easily handicap accessible throughout the building. However, the company though trying the best with what they can afford sometimes fall short of being able to provide adequate academic resources necessary for students with certain disabilities.
It is OSHA compliant, and rated among the top childcare facilities in our local area for safety. However, training to prevent accidents in the workplace is not provided, while training for how to deal with accidents in this kind of work place are required. It is generally accepted that where large quantities of children are, there are going to be accidents. Since this is a childcare facility with 4-25 students in each room at any given time... there are going to be accidents. Most are often preventable with good classroom management strategies. However, brand new teachers just starting out without prior college training or experience teaching in other childcare facilities won't have the necessary classroom management training to be able to prevent many of the everyday accidents that take place in this type of workplace.
The work is very challenging, and can be very fun especially when it produces happy and excited children when they learn about topics they're interested in, or finally understand a concept they were struggling with. I am very proud of the work I produced at this childcare facility. It is a very rewarding job to see that excitement on a child's face because of something you taught them.
Inclusive / Diverse
This company as a whole is very diverse in its staff, students, acceptance of students and their families from diverse family dynamics; and is diverse in the curriculum and strategies used in each classroom for each subject taught.