Training early childhood teachers, leaders and teams in management principles with boring management quotes just does not work. Why not help your teams learn through games and rhymes?
Here are some great management principles disguised in simple everyday games and rhymes. Play and sing while you learn and lead! Become a better leader, mentor your team to be more organized and be able to manage time, change and people, effectively and successfully. Try it, it is fun and it works too. Play the games given below with your teams and then at the end of the game share the management gyan with them!
1. Passing the parcel- everyone knows how to play this game- but what team management lesson does this game teach us? - Simple, do not pass the buck, some day the ball will stop at you and you will get the forfeit. So do your work and your duty and if at fault take the blame, don’t pass the buck!
2. I spy game – a simple game, in which you hide an object and others have to find it. What does this game teach us? – It teaches us to be keen observers and look for the hidden quality threats in our centre. So play this game often as it develops keen observation skills which will help staff to seek out what’s wrong. It can be a miss spelt word on a chart, a cobweb hiding in a corner, a nail sticking out from the furniture, a water puddle that can be a potential safety threat.
3. Mary had a little lamb- and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go- what does this rhyme teach us?- a simple management principle- Follow the culture of the organisation. Be a good leader and train your team well, explain the reasons behind the rules and the systems and then you will have stress free teams that focus and agree on quality, quality, quality.
4. Race around the clock with hickory dickory dock- time management is the lesson from this rhyme. With the advent of social media, teams now struggle with multiple tasks and don’t know how to prioritize for time management. The mouse knew what to do when the clock struck one- do you? Teach your teams to set an hour wise timetable/target for themselves. A beautiful way to teach and practice time management.
5. Little Bo Beep has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them……. when new academic year begins, a lot of things are happening together and coupled with weather, moods, deadlines there is a high chance of work going haywire. When teams go haywire or a day goes hay wire and nothing works, just go with the flow and slowly things will fall into place. Disorganized day schedules can add to stress levels and tears so just leave them alone and they will come home……!
6. Little boy blue has a job to do- but where is the boy? Fast asleep. There is always that one or sometimes two staff members that go unnoticed and play hooky while others work hard. Are you aware of each staff’s schedule ? Are all aware of duties and responsibilities? What is every team member’s job description, and if they ‘sleep’ on their duties then what are the repercussions, define the duties and define the repercussions or else you will have some team members always sleeping on the job and others bearing the brunt of it, and doing all the extra work.
7. Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet…- New teachers and new staff members are like little Miss Muffet, scared of the unknown! Prepare teachers especially new ones about the job and the ‘emergencies or things out of control’ that sometimes add stress to the job. Is she/he prepared or will she/he be like little Miss Muffet when faced with the spider? The biggest spider that we need to watch out for is staff gossip as it drives away many a Miss Muffet!
So you have a rainbow of songs and games to practice and play at your centre with yourself and your staff. And in each of the above is hidden a management principle or training, so in true spirit of developmentally appropriate practice even you are playing while you learn!