In all workplaces, each one of us has strengths and weaknesses, and each in turn has different skills to add to the smooth running of the setting.
There are many different situations that can occur in a playwork setting. Not just with the children and young people in our care, but other factions can come into play, such as stress related issues at home, coming into school when you are ill, (but shouldn’t really be there), possible bullying in the workplace etc.
All these can add to the playworker feeling over whelmed, and unable to cope, with the everyday running of the setting.
If you have a close relationship with one particular colleague, then you will know distinctly know when there is something wrong with them. Showing your concern and lending a friendly ear, can help ease their situation, when they know that they can vent their feelings, to someone they trust.
There are certain times when some colleagues are ‘put upon’ and given so many tasks, that it just overwhelms them, and one can support them by lightening the load, and offering to take some of the tasks off their shoulders.
In the case of children and young people, there are differentiating circumstances when colleagues may need to have support. Here are a number of different scenarios:-
A parent is abusive to one of your colleagues, and may show aggressiveness. In my setting, the line manager would be called to deal with the situation, by passing word of mouth, quickly and efficiently ‘down the line’ so, that the member of staff in question is not left by themselves to deal with the irate parent.
If a co-worker is suddenly stressed and tearful for no apparent reason, it could mean that they are in a depressive state, and maybe counseling would be a possible option for them to consider, and they could be approached by a close colleague to make this suggestion, in an appropriate and sympathetic manner.
A member of staff is accused by another co-worker of a misdemeanor, which is false, which you, yourself know to be untrue. You could, or actually should be a character witness for that person. After all you would hope that they would do the same for you, if you were in a similar situation.
A member of staff runs a choir workshop, once a week, and was unable to attend, due to illness. I offered my services to take the evening session, so that the children did not miss out on a rehearsal. I have also supported in Christmas concerts and rehearsals for similar reasons.
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