Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2007-11-03

Learning agile at day care

This Friday, in spite of the release, I took the morning off to spend some hours at Peter's daycare. The plan is to make a habit of it: been working too much and I want to spend more time with Peter. So, I want to see his everyday habits at daycare.
I've always wondered how they do it. Sometimes getting just Peter out the door during the cold/rainy season takes forever. And there are 14 kids at the daycare. And a staff of three persons.
Well, it all started with the personnel saying calmly: let's go out, everyone.
Some of the kids sprinted out the door and to their clothes. I went after, trying to help everyone at the same time. The staff didn't seemed stressed, but I was running all over. The kids spotted an eager helper and came to me.
After a while, an experienced woman said to me: just relax and go with the flow. What we do is that we let the most eager ones go out first. They are so eager that they put their clothes on themselves, if you don't help them. Then, when they are gone, most of the commotion is gone with them. And then we can ease out the small ones. With one in the staff out tracking the eager outies, the remaining staff can help the small ones. Then, when one in the staff has taken out the small ones, the remaining person help the older, not so eager ones.
So, what I did was that I disturbed everything. The eager ones saw that I was helping and instead of just putting on their clothes, they waited in line by me. The small ones got interested and came out to get some help themselves. So, everything took much longer time. So, lesson learned:
  1. Don't multi-task
  2. Don't offer help to people who can cope themselves. You teach them to be inactive.
  3. Help the ones in need, but one at the time (not to break rule nr 1)

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