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child sitting on teachers knee

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Pow, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    What benefits?
    If a child hugs me they don't stop to think is it appropriate and I would hope that I would hug them back without thinking is this in some policy or other... if a child climbs on my knee (as happened earlier this week (yes it happens outside EYFS too) then I don't want to think should I let them or is it in some policy or other...
    sorry but you are in danger of turning a natural response into something mechanical and contrived
     
  2. I would hope that any reasonable middle of the road policy would say that to rebuff a child because they climbed on your lap or kissed your cheek would not be acceptable it gives the green light but how about staff seeking cuddles and hugs from children ? Is that quite as clear ? Isn't that worth discussion and guidelines given pertinent to your own setting
    I ntoice that some nurseries/schools have policies re. social networking policies with children and parents. You could say , is that necessary ? Don't we all know how to behave inside and outside the workplace ? Doesn't that insult us as human beings ? Clearly people don't know the etiquette of social networking and perhaps the guidelines are there to protect children/staff/ and reputation of the setting.
    What is so different about guidelines on physical contact with children in our care.
     
  3. It would be interesting to hear from others and widen the debate.
    Chip in everybody...
     
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    and some nurseries (usually private) have written policies about the type of shoes staff are allowed to wear and length of nails and colour of nail polish but I wouldn't want to work there.
     
  5. The benefits I described in post 101.
    The policy removes that worry because you include in it that responding to children when they want to sit on your lap is fine.
    However, as this thread shows there are grey areas. Your policy would clarify these and guide staff as to what si or is not acceptable in your setting. That helps staff, it doesn't hinder them.
    Some men, in particular, feel uncomfortable about responding naturally to children, for fear of false accusations or just being looked at askance. A policy that sets the parameters would be useful to them, and anyone else who felt unsure. It is when you are unsure that your responses are liable to be mechanical and contrived. If you're sure about what is acceptable then you can relax.
     
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    There are so few men in EYs that it would be a shame if everybody had to get defensive on their behalf.
    That sounds terrible and I apologise for any perceived slight [definitely not intended] towards the men who work in EYs.
     
  7. I used men as an example Inky, because it made the point, but there are others who feel uncomfortable and unsure, and some others again who are unjustifiedly confident.
     
  8. I'm not even a teacher yet, I'm in my last year of school, but when I'm helping at my local Primary school I constantly check and consider any contact to make sure it can't be misinterpreted. I have decided that reaction is based on an entirely irrational fear that contact is somehow wrong. I have never had any trouble from parents or teachers. I think it is that uncertainty that I don't know what's acceptable that drives that fear. As I get to know the teachers better I try to react like the staff to any contact. I have been at a school where on my first day in the reception class I was told "you will be grabbed" by the teacher just before she let them loose. The schools in my area seem to have the same idea that "most" child initiated contact is fine and can be reacted to as judged by the staff.
     
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    What do you mean by that? Is the word confident what you really mean or do you meanphysically intrusive in a way that makes the children,other staff and parents uncomfortable?
     
  10. I'm talking about people who feel confident in their approach and don't really examine and reflect upon it sensitively, or ask themselves questions about it, just assuming that because it feels right to them it must be right. The result being that they may do harm rather than good and not realise it.
     
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Do you mean immature and not terribly bright staff?
    I must admit that the phrase 'examine and reflect upon' puts me right off.

     
  12. Shynnagh
    Thanks for posting
    You raise and intereting example.
    You are an older school pupil, presumably on work experience and hoping to be a teacher. You could already be 18 but none the less in this context you are still in full time school.
    You have not been given any protocol to follow other than
    I do feel that by not providing you with guidlelines that school is not protecting you as volunteer or its own pupils. It makes an assumption that you have prior knowledge.
    Quite rightly you are observing and reflecting on what you see. However there are many w.e. students who would not have your maturity.



     
  13. I just mean 'think'. And anyone can fail to think clearly on occasion.
     
  14. Sadly not all staff are experienced and sometimes some staff at NVQ3 level may have vastly different skills and training despite the same qualification . I know they shouldn't but in practice they do.
    They might appear confident at interview but once they are appointed you are stuck with them and have to devise ways of making things very clear and overt; they cannot read situations and to be frank are not paid enough to do so.
    If you are lead person in the setting you are responsible for their actions. Their response to any disaster or crisis is likely to be " "You did not tell me. "
    I think this is where a policy or staff handbook can be supportive for all concerned.
     
  15. Agreed anyobody can fail to think clearly at any level
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No the policy would create the worry that at present doesn't exist
    and you seriously believe that because it is in writing they will stop feeling uncomfortable?
    at present the *LAW* says it is perfectly right and proper for teachers to have acceptable physical contact with pupils so how do you see individual setting policy having greater weight to calm those fears?
     
  17. This debate is the virtual world is interesting but we all know the atmosphere it can cause in the real world.
    In the real world if two colleagues had opposing views on an important issue then we all know how difficult that can be and in the end a decision need to be made. People can be "argued" into submission by the one who has the loudest or most eloquent argument.
    I agree that where there is a thorny subject that a policy, can be helpful.
    Yes we know and agree that staff having physical contact is acceptable and legal but the definition of acceptable needs clarification and a policy might " remove " the uncertainty.
    In the worst case scenario it might also alert people as to when staff might observe the " unacceptable" happening.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Actually it has never been an issue in the real world for me Hedda but I do work with highly qualified,experienced and very professional staff and realise not all settings are so fortunate

     
  19. Sadly that has not always been my own experience and I expect there might be quite a few of us in the same position.

     
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    because we talk to each other and reflect on practice (and basically "sing from the same hymn sheet) without the need for things to be put into a policy I find it slightly strange that it appears to be such a huge issue. On the occasions we have had students who thought they should carry a child around all day a quiet word has been enough to resolve the situation. Perhaps if people talked more ... what was the old BT advert ...It's good to talk
     

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