Building and Maintaining Positive Professional Full-Day Kindergarten Team Relationships PDF Version As of September 2014, Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) will be fully implemented in Ontario. FDK classrooms have a team of two educators who work collaboratively as partners to provide a full-day of learning for four and five year olds. DECEs (Designated Early Childhood Educators) are registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) and are obligated to adhere to the Ethical and Professional Standards of Practice for Early Childhood Educators.The majority of DECEs in Ontario are members of one union, ETFO, CUPE, or OSSTF. Some DECEs are still not represented by a union. FDK teachers are members of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and governed by their Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice and are members of ETFO or OECTA. DECE and Teacher collective agreements differ from local to local and as such can create misunderstandings. These misunderstandings can be avoided if each one understands the collective agreement language and entitlements. FDK is a unique partnership. Here are some strategies and suggestions for you to consider to help build a positive and professional working relationship with your partner: Building the Relationship
Remember… Conflict can be good. Dialoguing together can encourage discussions. Explore new ideas and thinking as you share your experiences from different backgrounds and situations. If problems arise, how can you resolve them?
Things to keep in mind:
Available Resources and Supports for Conflict ResolutionKnow who your local ETFO president is and make contact with them. Teacher and DECE local presidents meet regularly and work together on an ongoing basis to support members and provide advice with problem solving and mediation if necessary. Your locals are there to support you in the following ways:
Before going to your principal, connect with your ETFO president or ETFO Provincial PRS staff to seek advice. They may suggest speaking with your administrator as a team and can offer support on how to approach the situation. ETFO Member Rights and ResponsibilitiesETFO represents teachers, early childhood educators, and other education workers in Ontario schools. The following provisions of the ETFO Constitution are directly relevant to the issue of respectful professional relationships, and apply to all ETFO members: Article VI: Code of Professional Conduct 6.1 A member shall:6.1.6 strive to eliminate all forms of harassment between individuals in the educational system;6.1.7 endeavour to ensure equity and inclusiveness in the workplace; and6.1.8 strive to achieve and maintain a high degree of professionalism and to uphold the honour, dignity, and ethical standards of the teaching profession. In addition to the rights and responsibilities, each individual school board will have Respectful Workplace policies and will have its own standards that apply to the professional relationship between co-workers. Make sure you are familiar with your school board’s policies and procedures. Remember, working together, communicating, and being respectful of each other's experiences are key to building and maintaining positive and professional relationships in FDK. For further information contact Professional Relations Staff at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 at the provincial office. See also ETFO’s website www.etfo.ca – Advice for Members.