I like things to be organized – if you look at my desk or my filing cabinet you might disagree. That’s because I also tend to lack focus for mundane tasks like paperwork. When it comes to my childcare program I am a little conflicted regarding organization.
Some synonyms for organized include ‘ordered, controlled, structured’ – none of those words reflect my view of activities in a flexible childcare program. However, other synonyms like ‘prepared’, and ‘well thought-out’ would be appropriate.
According to Dictionary.com ‘Organized’ is defined as “having a formal organization or structure, especially to coordinate or carry out for widespread activities: organized medicine; organized crime.” To ‘Organize’ is “to form as or into a whole consisting of interdependent or coordinated parts, especially for united action”.
I like these definitions because in order for any of our daily activities to be successful we need to be able to function as a group. We need to find a balance between our unique individual needs and the needs of the others in the group. We need to get to know each other and that takes time.
We’ve been in a state of flux for what seems like a very long time – two whole months. We have not had a ‘normal’ schedule for two months and it has been frustrating at times. It began with the start of the new school year where the little ones go through a period of ‘loss’ and sometimes struggle with missing their mentors who are now away much of the day.
We’ve had many other adjustments too. Some parents have had changes in their work schedules which resulted in altered pick-up and drop-off times. The little ones get used to a routine where certain children regularly go home first or last and variations can be confusing.
We’ve said some good-byes and enrolled two new babies. There have been some necessary adjustments to nap times, meal times, seating and sleeping arrangements. We’re trying to accommodate each individual without being too disruptive to the group.
It has been challenging. Only once in the past two months has attendance been ‘normal’ – by that I mean no one was absent and everyone was dropped off and picked up on time. It’s hard to call it ‘normal’ when it has only happened once but on paper that’s the way it should be.
It’s impossible for anyone – especially young children – to feel part of a group when you don’t understand what that group is. We can’t focus on learning and growing until we find our place. We need to get organized because this state of flux has been hard on us all.