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An early years classroom ???

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kerrence, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. We have just been informed that we are not a very welcoming classroom and that we are not organised and that there are children all over the place involved in playing and doing things and that the headteacher can't understand it. The headteacher wants us all to stop and say good-morning or good-afternoon when he enters and when he has a visitor. I work in a class of 22 four and five year olds - they all will be 5 this year (2011) - in a private international school (3-18years) in Spain and we try to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The qualified nursery nurse and myself a qualified teacher believe in learning through play with adult-led focussed activities, we have whole class learning, small groups and individual. I am not exactly sure what he wants and I need advice and thoughts from others. As teachers we always verbally welcome him and any visitors but he expects more..am I being silly thinking I am not that keen to stop all the children from their activities to say good-morning. Also any ideas about organisation we tend to be very cross-curricular. He has had very little experience of early years and is secondary trained. Please help any advice is welcome!
     
  2. choralsongster

    choralsongster New commenter

    It sounds like your classroom is exactly what an EYFS classroom should be about. Your Head should be happy that the children are all engrossed in their learning, and not shouting and screaming or fighting.
    Do you have any support teachers who would be able to explain to him, or point him in the direction of effective early years practice. Stopping the children unnecessarily could be to the detriment of their learning and development - perhaps you could suggest that he goes around and speaks to the children to find out what they are doing xx
     
  3. He is showing a woeful ignorance about early years. I would be tempted to show him the ofsted criteria for good practice in foundation. This might help:
    http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Forms-and-guidance/Browse-all-by/Other/General/Are-you-ready-for-your-inspection-A-guide-to-inspections-of-provision-on-Ofsted-s-Childcare-and-Early-Years-Registers
    He is not alone, however. I had a headteacher who came into my, similar, nursery environment. She spoke to the air (I was sitting with a group of children and had said good morning to her as she came in) "Oh, nobody has taught you to say 'good morning'". I knew then that it was going to be a steep hill to climb!
     
  4. My classroom is very early years based,but why can't the children stop to say hello? Surely you have a signal that stops them, it only takes a second. If children are in school, they should be learning the ways of the school, and that is respecting the head teacher and visitors, otherwise, they get into year one and don't know what is expected of them in terms of being polite, listening and greeting people....believe me, I had those year ones in my class last year so my reception children this year have been encouraged to do it from the start!
     
  5. Hopefully the children are absorbed in what they are doing. They are not being rude by not saying hello, they just haven't noticed that these people have come in. Yes, you could signal them to stop. But why? The visitors are grown ups, and probably teachers, surely they understand about 3-5 year olds. They have most likely come in to speak to the teacher, and if they want to speak to the children en masse (unlikely), that's the time to stop them. Politeness to visitors can be shown, as someone has said, if visitors move around and talk to the children.
    I don't actually see that it's so important to stop and greet in year 1 either. Perhaps if the children are on the mat, but not otherwise.
    I can see that if the school wants children to greet visitors from day one of year one, you have to introduce it during the reception year. But I would only do it if there was that expectation imposed on me!

     
  6. he is being obnoxious, authoritarian and ignorant. AN early years classroom is a workshop, children are engrossed in their labour. As others have said any message to the whole class can be given at whole class times. IN any workshop marked by any real effort the only people for whom we would stop what we are doing en-masse and bow and curtsey and say good morning is the queen, the sandwich man or the woman from salaries. Why should the children have any interest in saying hello to him, what is he going to do for them there and then in the middle of their mornings play/work.

    It is not teaching them to be polite as bumblebee said, it it is teaching them to 'know their place', to be syncophantic, and insincere and it takes away from the genuine respect and attention that the class teacher actually merits for knowing the children individually. In fact it is a mark of the headteacher that the children do not spontaneously say hello to him. Children naturally, incessantly and irrepressibly do that to anyone who makes the slightest impression on them. There is absolutely no need for them to have this bred into them by fear and sarcasm or punishment or reprobation neither in reception nor in year one.

    There is an art to teaching chlldren respect for others and it is called 'do as I do, not as I say', so practise what you preach unlike advice which appears disdainful to the children in the least. I would also add from experience that in private schools in spain the head could just as well be the owner or closely allied to him and whilst education is in the name, business is the game so it is a particulary difficult wicket you are batting on, but bat you must, anything less is selling yourself short.
     
  7. Yo yohanalicante! [​IMG]
     
  8. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Established commenter

    I would agree personally that I wouldnt ask chidlren to stop and say hello, in a classroom in the UK. But, I d think you need to take into consideration the context of the culture within the country you are in. When I worked overseas, even 5 year olds stood and said good morning to any visitor entering the classroom, such was that culture.It would have been quite rude of me to have dismissed this just because I didnt like the idea much.
    I dont know the working culture in Spain, having never worked there, but if its a normal part of the culture to do this, then I think you should, after all you have chosen to work there.
     
  9. I take your point about the the cultural issue. However, presumably, the school wants the teacher to follow the EYFS. I don't think it is in the spirit of the EYFS to interrupt children while they are engrossed in play, but putting that aside, it is worrying that the headteacher seems unhappy with the children moving around and choosing freely. If he wants the school to follow the EYFS he shoud know that this is what an EYFS environment should be like.
     
  10. it is NOT the culture of Spain. SO don't do it. It is the culture of vanity and ego. You are a teacher, albeit an international one, you are not a dog trainer,
     
  11. Just to say a big thank you to everybody, I really appreciate all the advice and it's made me realise that I'm not losing it completely - THANK-YOU. It is pretty tough at the moment so I needed this! Yohanalicante you sound as if you know this type of school???
     

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