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Feel like I am failing these kids

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by foggy98, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Thanks for your last post optimistic1- I appreciated that.
    I think that those of us who are not supportive of EYFS as it stands, and who feel that they can actually see the naked emperor, are often treated by LEA advisors and the like as being cognitively challenged and are sent on courses aimed at less experienced staff and are given handouts and bright ideas to keep us in check.
    So when I feel a sniff of that happening on here I am very sensitive and like you respond more forcefully in the virtual world than back in reality. However as Ava says debate is good.
    Advisors don't seem to recognise that it is not that I don't understand EYFS pedagogy- it is that I don't agree with some of their interpretation of it and also that I don't feel that it can operate withi the financial constraints and lack of trained staff.
    This thread has been on the hot topic list on the home page all day, so has been brought to the attention of all posters, not just those on EY forum, so perhaps has generated more interest and hence the 6700 views.
    I am glad people beyond EY are interested in this topic as parents need to be aware of our dilemmas as teacher of their children. I have said before that it is the parents who have the truly independent voice and carry more clout than teachers .
  2. Talk about things going round in circles. The 'outstanding practice' described on this thread is more or less the same format as I used when teaching YR. If it is making a comeback I might be tempted to re-join and top up my pension! https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/332764.aspx?PageIndex=1

    On the issue of listening to parents I always feel they should have more credit for using their commonsense and good judgement than we give them. When they start to complain there is generally something out of synch. I still remember trying to explain to parents how we were using 'real books' to teach their children to read. 'Yes,' they would say, 'but when I cover the pictures up they can't read any of the words so that's not reading is it?' I think they had a point there.
  3. Debate is healthy and all threads of this sort are a really useful way of reflecting on and challenging our own practice.
    But please don't use statistics to paint a picture AvaG. 6700 views does not equal 6700 people (could be just the same few people following a healthy and interesting debate) - just as an average score of 6 on EYFSP does not equal an average well adjusted 5 year old!!
  4. Possibly so, but it is an unusually high number of views for the EY Forum and worthy of note.
  5. Please read my post carefully. I did not state that 6700 individuals had viewed the thread, and did not feel that I had to qualify my observation and patronise everyone else by reminding them that the number of views does not equal the number of viewers. Even if it is just the "same few people", then the thread has struck a chord with them and they are so engaged with the debate that they keep coming back. (E.g. if 50 people are following this thread then they have each viewed approx. 130 times to read new posts and mull over other people's points of view. In my opinion that is significant for this forum.) That is the 'picture' that I was trying to paint. But thank you for the Statistics lesson.

  6. This thread is getting an unusally high traffic for our forum and because of that I am also posting this link.
    I just wanted to draw attention to the thread above which is relevant to this thread and gives anecdotal evidence of pressure being placed on teachers to "massage" profile scores which in turn makes them feel like they are failing the children which they teach.
    I feel that this sort of pressure is very wrong and LEA professionals could be taken to book over this, should this sort of thing ever be investigated..

  7. I have spent a long time reading through this tread, first as some form of curiosity and then as someone who might have failed the kids.
    No, neither of these ended up as the reason for my continued reading, it is the passion and diversity that working with EY children brings out of all of us whether we are are 'old school' or have embraced the fully child initiated route.
    I feel it is to early to say that this or that interpretation of EYFS is 'the right way' to go, like so many others I feel we all have to be respected and left to do what we feel is right for our particular group of children, that as they change, so do we. It was always thus in early years it's only the way it has been documented and made 'statutary' that has really changed, oh and of course the huge pile of sticky notes! Whether, like me you've been teaching for years or have only just begun, please don't be put off doing what you feel is right, reagrdless of how others may interpret the words of the various documents.
    Good Luck to all next year and have a wonderful summer holiday.
  8. Tiredandgrumpy

    Tiredandgrumpy New commenter

    Isn't everything we do yesterdays ideology? The theorists aren't held to account because it isn't their job. Just like any other discipline, they present their findings and leave it up to us. It's up to us to become mini researchers ourselves and open our minds to new ideas and discoveries. Otherwise, none of us would be discussing any of this - and that would be a huge shame. I don't believe anyone working in EY believes they've 'got it' because it's such a changing beast but at least there are people out there trying to understand the potentials of children. I feel that the fact it all changes so regularly is what makes it so exciting. As tiring and frustrating as working in this system can be -and believe me I feel like screaming sometimes - I'm pretty sure I don't want to be anywhere else. Maybe the answer would be to expect more theoretical learning and understanding before teaching a YR class- I don't know. Maybe this phase should be given more respect as a 'subject' strength area with much more emphasis on how young children think and learn. It's just an idea. Maybe an unmanageable one but there's nothing wrong with being aspirational<strike>.</strike>
  9. Spot on!
    I think that we need to look at how we train teachers and fund them to train. I suspect that those of us who are challenging recent changes might be those who spent three or four years at teacher training college and are mature in years. It might not be our advancing years that has given us wisdom or grouchiness but the fact that we had a lengthy training in the discipline of teaching.
    Can you fit training for EY into a nine month course- most of which is on placement?
    Teach people theory and they are empowered to make choices not just follow the bright ideas that are called initiatives.
    Every child a talker is about to launch very soon- in my opinion if EY staff both NNs and teachers were trained in language development in the first place we would not need the initiative that is being rolled out and used like elastoplast to patch up poor initial training.
  10. I do hope I have not offended anybody under the age of 50, on reading my last post back it sounds rather pompous. I sound like a patronising old git and I apologise for that.
    Perhaps I will be heading for my pension sooner than I thought...
  11. Take a deep breath- I'm sure the kids think you are great. I think it's time to stop stressing about what they aren't doing and look at what they are achieving. Pictures can tell us so much about the moment and they can help you remember what happened.
    We must remember that everything is new and exciting to them and that having someone to share their discoveries and celebrate what they can do is more important than placing a red mark in a book. I have used rewards such as points make prizes and challenge the reluctant boys to complete tasks such as writing etc. ICT is a great way to grab their attention, we go to IT suite twice a week and explore art, maths, language. The most important thing you can do is give them the time sit back and look at what they are achieving. I'm sure it can't be as black as you think. Why not get them to draw a design of their ship and ask them to label it ( they'll be glad to see you interested in what they are doing.) The kids just love chalking and painting outside, its far more exciting than filling in a worksheet.I'm new to this game as well, but the kids do enjoy it. I hope this helps. Don't forget you are still the teacher and I'm sure you can do it. Good luck.
  12. When I did my PGCE most of it was in a lecture hall - totally irrelevant and out of date materials. I wish most of it had been on placement - might have learned some practical skills rather than have to have made it up as I went along.
  13. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    You havent offended me and I have only been trained 7yrs but I am very glad I took a 4yr full time B.Ed route and the quality of the teaching and learning was excellent, we had access to professionals within their field in our training including some excellent EY professionals and yes I do agree that this makes a difference as does being pro-active and continuing your own learning journey (did ya like that bit)!
    Anyway I too have found this thread very interesting as it is not all about child initiated according to the EYFS but a well balanced mix, I qoute this at the advisors etc... and ask them to show me where it says it should be all free play and free flow and free anytime snack bar, as it does not say this anywhere. I can just imagine it, I would spend the day sweeping up the snack area. I can see how this would be suitable in a unit with so many children needing snack but not in one classroom, the social aspect of the snack table just provides too many opportunites for social skills etc... the positive points as far as I am concerned from my evaluations far outweighs any negative.
  14. You are so right there was another thread about snack time a little while ago, there Iconfessed to being traditional, the children sit at the table in key worker groups with their adult and as you say the social skills, the speaking and listening, the 'try something new' approach to fruit and veg and just how to eat and drink nicely in a group far out weigh any free choice snack arrangement.
    The children are also far more willing to talk about what goes on at home in this situation and that is invaluable! [​IMG]
  15. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Wow, I have been away a couple of days and there were 26 new posts in 48 hours! Have nothing new to add at the moment. A bit brain dead with 1 day to go and counting. Know I will get emotional tomorrow when I say goodbye to them, even though we are an FSU so will see them again. Had a few very involved social service cases this year and while I am glad to see one of the families succeed and come out the otherside, also sad my involvement with them has come to an end. Enjoy tomorrow and I know we will all remember why we do this job despite all the rubbish we put up with. We can all wave them on their way knowing we have done our best.
  16. I agree with planning activities that are play based to make them more engaging for the children, and I like the fact that children spend part of their day choosing independently and being creative. However, I definately expect children to complete activities with an adult everyday and teach 3/4 small carpet sessions. I'm lucky enough to have a large team so we can teach sessions and activities in smaller groups (some children are choosing independently while others are called across to an activity) and I have two adults rotored each week for indoor/outdoor support who manage the learning environment, behaviour and train the children to take care of resources etc. Without the luxury of so many staff, I think this would be impossible and I admire the fact you have managed for a whole year! I think this approach is being taken too far by some advisers who don't think about the practicalities of actual day to day teaching. The children need to be taught the skills and knowledge they need, so that they can apply them independently in the first place!
  17. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I went to a fully open plan school in the 1970s, where there was very little teaching (this was right through juniors) and we mostly chose what we would do, which was mostly colouring, until the paper ran out part way through the year. It didn't work for children who were much older than EYFS so I'm not surprised that something similar isn't working for the youngest children in school. Our school was staffed largely by teachers who had done their teaching practice at the school. They'd been taught the theory at college and didn't know anything else. My mum, who was an old school teacher, said the noise level was incredible and she couldn't have spent a day in there!I had a marvellous time but I didn't learn much.

  18. https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/333513/4744099.aspx#4744099
    The link above is to a question posed by a poster new to teaching. She explains that she had no training on eyfs and is struggling to understand the EYFS guidance.
    I am citing this not to expose the poster who is to be applauded for her honesty, but to expose the system which trains teachers and might have failed her.
  19. Just to throw another log on the fire, (as this is so interesting) I thought I would share this with you. I went to a Montessori Nursery yesterday and looked at their interpretation of EYFS. Most people will probably know that Montessori schools have set learning tasks which are achieved by interaction with their resources which are all made of natural materials and laid out neatly into areas such as 'practical life' etc. So the C I time involves selection from any of these materials.
    There was no role play area or sand/water play but there was a sand bowl and they take water outside in buckets. They have treasure baskets which the children use as role play props. I think that fact that there was no set role play area probably kept the noise down.
    The day is very structured and always the same. Free choosing, with one adult led activity (it was baking yesterday) then tidy up, carpet time, outdoor play, lunch. Then the same in the afternoon. The thing I was impressed with was how focused the children were throughout the day with a hum of activity that suggested engagement.
    The staff worked in a team of three during the main activity time. One was an observer and sat on a chair in the middle of the room. They wrote down anything significant on a chart behind them which had all the children's names on for that session. She also interacted with any children who came to her. One was a demonstrator who took children 1-1 and showed them how to use a peice of equipment then the third was the floater who moved between the children interacting with them and settling any children who wandered aimlessley. (Not sure who carried out the adult led activity)
    Because all the staff were inside together it gave a good ratio (which is only 8 - 1 in the first place and this is probably the most significant factor in terms of keeping children engaged). The chilldren were reminded of behaviour rules throughout such as how to carry a chair and were very independent in finding their own resources, putting a mat down and then returning all the equipment when they had finished. They cleared up their own mess using cloths from a trolley. Blue for tables and brown for the floor. They had a snack when they wanted it, poured their own drink and then washed everything up. All the plates and cups are china, no plastic.
    When we split our children and staff with free flow play it puts a lot of pressure on the one member of staff either inside or out, who is trying to engage/class manage, observe and possibly teach all at the same time. It also means that no other adult shared that experience with you so you have no one to discuss it with after and I think this is a loss.
    They had a boy there with autisim who had settled well as he benefitted from the predictable structure of the day. So there was choice but limited by the specialist resources available and you put one thing back before taking something else out. I am sure that many of you know a lot more about Montessori than I do, but I was impressed by the structure of the session as it gave the children the opportunity to focus rather than flit about. They had a successful Ofsted visit earlier in the month so it would seem this type of interpretation of EYFS is valid.

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