Leading People in Early Childhood Settings Case Study

Petrina Boles

Early Childhood teacher, Minifie Park Early Childhood Centre

The Leading People in Early Childhood Settings course provided the ideal support for Petrina Boles to assess and adjust her management and leadership style to ensure that she was able to foster a positive working environment in her new role as an early childhood teacher.

​​​​Petrina Boles has not always worked in early childhood education; in fact, she has a business degree in tourism management and up until two years ago had held various high-level positions in the travel and event management industries. But a feeling that she had always missed her calling was the impetus for Petrina to take her career in a completely different direction.

 

 

Leading People in Early Childhood SettingsYOt__QvUrv4http://www.bastow.vic.edu.au/Lists/Videos/DispForm.aspx?ID=36Leading People in Early Childhood SettingsThe Leading People in Early Childhood Settings course provided the ideal support for Petrina Boles./captions/YOt__QvUrv4.vtt<div class="ExternalClassD2FEE85ECC6540D78770FD546772E4A1"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">My name is Petrina Boles, and I am the kindergarten teacher at Minifie Park Early Childhood Centre.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And I did the "Leading People in Early Childhood" course through the Bastow.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">This course with the Bastow for me was really great because not only did it give me some really good ideas and some strategies to be able to use within our setting, it also reminded me of some really key principles and basic principles that I learned many years ago were also able to be used.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">They just needed to be tweaked a little bit to be able to be used in our setting.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">The facilitators for this course were amazing.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">Not only did they have the research based, but they also have a lot of their own experience.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">So when they we're talking about a lot of the concepts and ideas in making their points and trying to get their ideas across, they were able to draw not only on the research, but also their own personal experiences.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And so they're anecdotes were often quite amusing, they are incredibly intelligent, and often made us laugh.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And it just really gave me that sense of, OK, deep breath.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And the workshop days came along at fantastic points when I was starting to feel a bit stressed.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">So to go along and have them give you a really insightful anecdote that makes sense and resonated within me, it really was fantastic.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">Another real highlight of the course for me, and a bit of an unexpected highlight and benefit from doing the course through Bastow was meeting other people, other early childhood professionals who had been in the same boat when they first started.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">Perhaps they had already been through some of the things that I was getting be concerned about and were able to offer some really good advice.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">So the networking opportunities and meeting other people who are in the same sort of situations was incredibly refreshing, and it was I didn't really expect when I signed up for doing the course in the first place.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">Since completing the course with Bastow, I really noticed a dramatic improvement in the way that our team works together, how we communicate with one another.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And in turn, it has created a really positive working environment, which can only benefit the children because we're a much happier stuff.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And of course happier staff with a really good flow within the room.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">We all understand our routines, and who's responsible for what.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">It can only mean that we have much happier children and more time to be able to spend with them as well.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">--Since Petrina has come back from the course, we've noticed that there's been some positive impacts on her program.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">We've noticed that her team have responded quite positively to her relational leadership style.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">And we've noticed that the overall environment for the children has been very positive.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">--I'd highly recommend this course with Bastow.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">I'd recommend to anybody who is leading any kind of team, whether it be leading a room, leading a service.</span><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><br style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="color:#484749;font-family:"open sans", sans-serif;font-size:15px;">I just think this course offers so much in the way of ideas and strategies and is so specific to the early childhood industry.</span>​<br></div>

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In 2012, after graduating from a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood), Petrina stepped straight into a teacher role at an early childhood centre.

“It was what I had always wanted to do,” explains Petrina. “I decided to go into early childhood because I believe – and research backs this up – that the two years before a child goes to school are vital to how a child learns.”

And although Petrina was sure that she had made the right decision, the transition from office to early childhood centre was not all plain sailing.

“Starting out as a new graduate in a long day care centre was very different to working in the corporate world,” says Petrina. “I hadn’t worked my way up the ranks and not everyone understood where I was coming from, especially in terms of my management and leadership techniques.”

In her search for guidance and ideas on how to “reignite and adjust some of the principles” that she had drawn on in her previous work for an early childhood situation, Petrina enrolled in the Leading People in Early Childhood Settings course at Bastow.

“I wanted to restructure what I already knew to suit this new setting, which is exactly what the course did, and it did it very, very well,” she says.

The course particularly appealed to Petrina because of its focus on how to develop constructive, respectful and productive relationships, and the opportunity it gave her to reflect on her management and leadership style to determine how she could make them “more relevant”.

The Bastow course not only gave her “a new way of looking at things”, but it also gave her the confidence and reassurance that she wasn’t the only one grappling with these issues. She discovered that other participants were also looking for support on how to set up and lead a team “without friction”, as well as how to develop a collaborative culture that encourages ongoing learning and development of all staff.

“By about half-way through the course I realised that my team didn’t really have a set idea of who was responsible for doing what, and that this was a really basic thing that everyone had overlooked.”

This realisation changed Petrina’s motivation from “trying to be a leader and delegating everything”  to actually asking people what they thought needed to be done and who they thought was the best person to do it. And with this consultative approach, the team now works more effectively because the “communication is more open and more respectful”.

Ultimately, however, it all comes back to the impact on the children, and Petrina is convinced that a more collaborative management style, together with good time management and a clear role structure mean that staff can spend more time with the children.

“Instead of one person doing everything and getting exhausted, all of a sudden you have a team sharing responsibility for the load and everyone  knows what’s going on, and this creates a more positive experience and environment, which is better for the staff and, most importantly, for the children,” says Petrina.

For more information: Leading People in Early Childhood Settings