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Confessions of an Early Years Practitioner

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Hedda Gabler, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  2. byjingo

    byjingo New commenter

    Same with us Msz.
    And now I confess that this week I got so fed up with children shouting at their friends, who were standing next to them that we spent an hour practising our whispering skills. It was bliss and the children were much calmer.
  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Let me see that's er
    Letters and Sounds Phase One, Apsects 1 and 6 isn't it?
    Was it child initiated though?
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    But I have another confession to make.
    I still feel fragile. Ashamed and ill at ease, often I feel that I may be in trouble of some sort. I deal with it by saying to myself, hey, it's only a job and if anything happens that is not OK, then I could find work doing something else, and I try not to get too attached to things. The bad times rather haunt me. My worst fear, is that I am not really any good at my job and that I will get found out and humiliated. I wouldn't do this to a fly, but I know there are people who will. I work extra hard to try to compensate.
    I work with a fantastic team now. Really lovely people. Lovely kids, lovely parents, lovely setting, everything lovely. Lovely line manager, lovely supervisor, lovely immediate team.
    But having been bullied, the feelings just don't go away.

  5. missjivebunny

    missjivebunny New commenter

    And more importantly, were they wearing 'listening ears'?
    As regards your second post Nelly, it is good to hear things are going better for you. I think it takes a long time to get over a situation like you were in..part of it is fear of ever feeling like that again. It is obvious to everyone on here how fab you are.
  6. Nelly, you are not the only one who feels they may get "found out" at any minute. I've not been in the rotten situation you were, but I still feel a fraud and that I'm never going to do the best for the children. I'm hoping it's not just the two of us who feel this way! :)
  7. Your really good relationship with the children is doing the best for the children.
    And this is nothing to do with philosophies, provision, bureaucracy - just you as a human being relating caringly and sensibly to other little human beings.
    That is not to over-teach, nor under-teach - nor to be their best friend - but to be sincere and model your humanity - sometimes that means to show some authority - and sometimes to recognise their authority by treating them with respect and affording them some unique time.
  8. Dear Nelly, I just wanted to say that your kind comments to me and others on this forum in the past show what a lovely person you are too. Also your perceptive and at times hilarious comments have had me in much needed fits of laughter at the end of difficult days! I have been through a similar experience to you and it is truly dreadful. Unfortunately as the workplace dilemmas forum shows, it is quite common. But it is not just people who bully us, it is the system too, and both disempower us and shake our self belief. I wonder if it is sometimes the system that causes bullying behaviour from pressurised management. I think to be a good teacher you need to be given personal autonomy and freedom to think for yourself and be creative.It is very hard to be true to yourself and your children in a straightjacket and self doubt then creeps in. I hope having a fantastic team around you will help over time and these feelings will lessen. xx
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    To quote from our recent Ofsted report
    "A key feature of management is the way the headteacher offers freedom ..."
  10. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I've been there Nelly and it does take time. In fact it took me 2 good schools and 2 good heads before I trusted that not all heads and schools are like the bully I had and that maybe I should trust the other heads opinion that I was a good teacher. That said I confess I still have days when I think I am going to be found out, but dont think this is due to the bullying, just the normal feelings of any teacher.
    I confess that when I got outstanding in Ofsted in my new school I let it be known down the grape vine to the bully and laughed out loud when he got satisfactory for leadership. I decided from then on to always trust my instincts about how EYFS should be taught and not let ignorant tw*ts like him change my ways.
  11. A lot of freedom is important - but what if the teaching is not effective enough?
    Freedom is great if the head is still accountable for academics and rigour, creativity and welfare - of staff and pupils!

    Most importantly, headteachers should provide genuine support.
    Good leadership is surely about making people feel happy, fulfilled, inspired and creative in the workplace (staff and pupils) but not in a Lala Land where happiness is deluding teachers about their role to bring life-chances to the children in their care - developing their FULL potential.
  12. Effective teaching is about creating the conditions for 'freedom' to take its natural forms, indeed we couold then add it is aslo to then study those natural forms and futher suport their evolution. It is about the rigorous organisation of time, space and materials and most of the heads of nursery schools understand this, burdened though they are by mountainous beaurocracy and therefore easy to take pot shots at. This teaching is not formulaic and there is no handbook or method to teach it. It comes about over years of reflection between ideals and experience. As time goes on the questions become more profound and the answers less simplistic. Life chances are made up of lots of factors. 'Effective' teaching in the early years is as much art as science and is part of a great tradition of play and imagination running trhough montessori, froebel, dewey, pestalozzi, steiner, macamillan, isaacs, reggio emilia, gussin-paley, Katz, athey and bruce and so on. This tradition questions aspects of schooling, as it questions all systematic attempts to define and determine the human spirit in a certain form that suits a political expediency. It is cross-generational and trans-national. These figures speak from the heart and thus inspire rather than holding teachers to account for not applying a method correctly, for not tying our shoelaces in the corrrect order, or the right kind of bow. Rigour with young children yes, but the right kind of rigour directed to where ithey need it. Not to making them into seven year olds when they are three. At its heart is passion, love and imagination. These teach children through osmosis. Systematic phonics might help some but it is not a formula for all.It cannot be held as a gun at the heads of thinking, reflective teachers to hold them hostage to a future in which so many variables come into play. The nursery schools in particular, nursery nurses and playgroups, steiner waldorf oral traditions and froebel play, montessori respect and reggio emilia social communication through media, would be perhaps more appropriate banners beneath which to pitch up our early years camp against the massed ranks of soundbites and spin. la la is the first language of lullabiesit is the languge of the cradle, of the mother, the family, the heart. Do not dismiss it. The early years teacher is the guardian of the great human spirit, the protector and voice of childhood babbling in its cradle of play and purposeleness. it is our future, it is not easily measureable nor accountable, its seeds bear fruit way of in a distance where we can only dream its forms. Honesty and doubt support space and nourish refelction. Do not knowck the nursery school heads. Question if you must the practise of putting all children up to eleven inder the same umbrella of primary school but do not denigrate the different forms in which happiness, creativity and fulfillment might be fulfilled. Thank you for your passionate post.

  13. I'll see that post-it note masterpiece and raise you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1rZqw5bXb4&feature=related which is just one of my favourite youtube clips ever (extreme sticky-note experiments)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpWM0FNPZSs&feature=related which is the way you DON'T use post-it notes to meet deadlines.

    Sorry - I love stop motion animations at the best of times and that first post-it clip is just incredible to watch!

  14. perriwinkle

    perriwinkle New commenter

    Wow!! Loving the clips......I just give the children the post-its and see what they write on them :)
  15. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    I confess that I didn't send home the letters which told parents that if their child attended punctually and continually for the next 3 weeks, til the end of half term, they could win tickets to the local arena to see a Disney on Ice production. I don't believe kids and their parents should be bribed to come to school. They should attend because it's the LAW [​IMG]
  16. I confess that I hate having so much more setting up to do (outdoors and indoors) than the rest of the school.
    I'm not too keen on the fact that I am only allocated half an hour for my lunch (with no other breaks) and then x's mum/dad turns up 10-15 mins late at the end of the session meaning I have wasted a third-half of my daily break.
    In addition to this I dislike the fact that our head makes me open up 10 minutes early if its raining (no matter if I have finished my lunch or not, again cutting down my daily break by a third!)
    I hate that the rest of the school 'forget' about Nursery and sometime messages aren't actually passed to us (we then get a telling off for not acting upon these messages and are often 'sent for' for last minute meetings, like we've just not bothered coming...)
    I dislike one of the members of staff who often goes out of her way to be purposefully awkward to manage, as she is older than me and has been at the school longer.
    But I do love my job (does it sound like it?!)
    I think all children have got something likable about them, even if it is difficult to see at first!
    I love setting up different activities, especially small world play, its like an art form..
    I love being able to see such quick progress from when they come in.
    I love it when parents say that they talk about school and their teachers at home, it makes you feel like you really are appreciated.
    I enjoy seeing all of the children's work on display and for them to feel proud of what they have done (and knowing that you were the one to help them do it)
    I love how they remember every word you say and then you can hear them pretending to be a teacher (and you see yourself in them..scary..)

  17. vickywitham

    vickywitham New commenter

    I love the funny things children say

    I enjoy eavesdropping on children's conversations

    I hate staff meeting that really don't mean anything to early years

    I don't like outdoor play unless the weather is great

    I don't do long observations

    I confess to not linking all activities to my focus, sometimes it's nice just to get stuff out

    I love messy play

    I love my job, most of the time :)
  18. keeley84

    keeley84 New commenter

    I dislike that:

    You know a child in FS has needs that need looking into BEFORE year one but because we 'play' all day they get pushed aside and all hell breaks loose when they join year one and cannot cope - then the EY "practicitioner" (also dislike this term) is soon being asked why this child wasn't identified earlier?!?
  19. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    So true Keeley. Even worse when it is a nursery child cos frankly you can go whistle if you want support.
  20. Spice0012

    Spice0012 New commenter

    This thread this fabulous, I've laughed so much reading some of the comments and they've made me feel partly human.

    ~ I confess that I hate in my school that management allow Nursery to play and explore there world but as soon as they move across the Unit into Reception they have to write a piece of literacy/maths/topic work each day and some of them are only days older than Nursery. What do they believe happens over the six-week holidays????????

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