Well, where do I begin, as no two days are the same, so I will start with me….
Hi, I am Lisa Spinks and I have worked at Spring Nursery RAF Honington for 21 Years. A bit of background about me, I completed my NNEB when I was 18. This has always been my passion and I have worked in various places including Australia during my career.
Working at Spring is my most rewarding where I started as an assistant and worked my way up the ranks (as they say!!) to be Manager, something I thought my confidence would stop me doing, but here I am. My nursery is a large Spring nursery of 92 places for 0 to 5 years and an Out of School club/Holiday club which takes forty 5 to 12 years old. This is all year round from 745am to 1800hr pm. So hopefully the picture is set as to how vast and different each day will be.
Life as a Manager is definitely never dull, each day brings its rewards, challenges, happiness, and sadness to which I am always learning with each new challenge or task I am presented with. My day can start as early as 6am from that dreaded early morning call…. Staff sickness. The one we dread as that means the day starts with you rushing around to find cover, but somehow, we find it all works out. I have an amazing team of staff who are very supportive, loyal and have a great passion for what they do. I wouldn’t be the Manager I am without them.
The children are my drive, watching them develop throughout their time with us gives me a massive sense of pride and achievement. The first time they say my name – WOW it pulls your heart strings every time. Don’t get me wrong some days are hard, stressful and you feel like running for the hills, but as you walk down the corridor, and you hear a voice call “Lisa”, and the days has a purpose again.
Through managing a nursery, I have learnt many new skills, from staff recruitment, Ofsted inspections, finance – budgeting to name a few and still learning every day and developing myself as well as my team. A manager has to have many heads, from being an effective listener, caring, supportive, approachable, and yes, my door is always open. Let’s face it not everyone is my friend especially when I have to say “No” to something, it can be tough but through Spring I have a network of Manager’s who I can find support with what I need, and I feel part of a wider network almost like Family. Delegation is a key skill that I have learnt to process over the years. At first, I thought it was a sign of weakness having the mindset “The staff would think I didn’t want to do it”. My mindset has now changed and being able to delegate empowers my staff more by using their skills and knowledge and the realisation that I just can’t do everything. We are a Team.
We like to celebrate birthdays, special occasions, and achievements and on 25th April this year I celebrated 21 years at Spring Nursery and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. A big thanks goes to my deputy Sarah Horne and Hayley Dye for organizing the events that took place, we had a surprise meal out with present and old staff, banners were everywhere, my fridge was filled with goodies. I received amazing gifts and a beautiful book handmade and full of beautiful comments about me and pictures, a real treasure to keep. I felt so touched and a realisation of I am doing an amazing job for children, staff, and parents.
Would I want to do anything else…absolutely not, this nursery is my heart and soul, and I can’t possibly imagine doing anything else.
Thank you to all who has believed in me.