One regular staff of the centre went on untimely maternity leave due to threatened premature labour. The centre employed a new staff to cover the teacher on leave. The newly employed staff is a qualified and well-experienced teacher. The conflict started when other staff members took notice of how the new staff responded to children’s challenging behaviour. Her words and actions directly violated the centre’s positive child guidance policy and made everyone uncomfortable. Dissatisfaction, professional dilemmas and discomfort filled the once cordial atmosphere around the centre. One day, a child continued to talk even after the being given a reminder to listen to the teacher reading the story. The new staff member gave a stern warning using hostile words and non-verbal language. The child did not stop straight away so the staff took the child away from the mat and forcefully put him down on the floor. The boy cried and the team leader intervened, mediated on the situation to resolve the conflict between the teacher-child; new staff and other staff members’ growing dissatisfaction over new staff’s practice and management’s aim to maintain a positive culture around the centre.
The evident leader on this situation was the team leader. It wa...
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...they exercise it in their daily practice to maintain ethical fitnesse (Cherrington, 2002).
Leaders can come up in times of crisis, emergencies and changes such as the crisis the team went through with the untimely leave of another staff. The challenge that resulted from the different orientation of the new staff required the leader in the setting to use her skills, knowledge and wisdom to support the staff, manage the centre and care for the children and families around the centre. Dependable team members who step up when needed and take on leadership responsibilities underpin the importance of collaboration for success in the ECE setting. Women’s gentleness and emotional wisdom is central in her role as a leader and in establishing a caring, positive and responsive organisational culture that provides quality service for the benefits of all stakeholders.
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