Escuela Infantil La Cañada

Escuela Infantil La Cañada

Status: Public Kindergarten

Interviewee Position: Kindergarten Director and Teacher

Country: Spain

Early Retirement • Sick Leave • Conflict Resolution 
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Internal conflicts arise from inflexibility when it comes to differences of opinions and lack of desire to change habits.

Attempts have been made to solve internal conflicts via dialogue and active listening, although sometimes legislation is used.


Full Interview

The current situation in the institution.

Let's see, we are in a very important moment of change. There are also many teachers coming from Eastern Europe. We are experiencing legislative changes. We are undergoing changes of our ways, forms and methods, a social change, plus a legislative change, plus the need to adapt to all these changes. That is an important part of training, because everything comes from the world of digitalization and of course people who were born in the digital era find it easier to adapt.

We are a little bit older. I manage quite well but I have colleagues of my age who find it difficult to adjust to the digital world and the methodology where digitization is the priority and I see a great deal of difficulty there. We do not have the same learning capacity as the students when it comes to digitalization. We try, via training, taking care of ourselves a lot, our physical and mental health, but it is difficult.


In your experience as a director and teacher, do you encounter any problems related to the reduced working capacity of the teacher in your institution?

Here in the center, yes. You notice that age is important, that interpersonal relationships are influenced a lot if someone is feeling burned out or there is always someone who is complaining, because if you are around a person who is complaining you let yourself be dragged down by this. If you live to complain, sometimes it makes you reduce the quality of your work. You might ask yourself, why should I do this? I don't have to do it, I don't feel like doing it. So it's true that in the end, the overall mood goes down. It is not the same when the whole team works with enthusiasm and the desire to overcome the smallest problems, which arise from day to day, the difficulties, things which are unpredictable in life. So there are some things that hurt you.

With older children it is more difficult, but the people working with such young children, they are usually people who have a different kind of illusion. Of course, because the younger children are more grateful, in the sense that they are kinder. If you have a child in third grade, and you have been teaching them from the beginning of the course to the end of the course, you make memories and you can see their development, but you have to remember that you see the children all the time, this constantly changes. The face looking at you, before the child did not walk and now he walks. And when you watch the little faces when they see something new and it impacts them. This is what you are seeing. 


What are some reasons that have led to internal conflicts within the institution?

Sometimes the disparity of criteria and sometimes being flexible, the acceptance of different opinions, and also how the environment is, sometimes we are very comfortable and we don't want to have to make any changes. If I have had this kind of programming for 20 years and it has worked for me, why do I now have to change my programming, or why do I have to act like this now?

If I live installed in this community, then sometimes the feeling arises, why do I have to do this? We have to accept that people have different points or view and we have to manage these points of view to see if we can achieve something together. It is important to share and discuss everyone's opinions and arguments, if they are valid. Not "it used to be done this way" or "they do it this way in a different institution, so since I like it better, I will do it this way".


What specific activities would you incorporate to manage these issues?

Well, we have a proposal, because this year we had a very good coordinator, which suggested incorporating some fun activities. For example, everybody brings the picture of when they were little and we have a contest. Last year we had a tortilla de patatas contest, everyone brought a tortilla, and then you had to taste it and vote and who won the contest for best tortilla de patatas. We are doing some things so that the people can have fun. I would like to do more activities like this, but the administration can make it demanding.


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