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I can't deal with this

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by emsy104, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I am currently in tears composing this message after having to go home as I was shaking and feeling sick to my stomach. This morning I went into the head to let her know that I wasn't coping very well with my class and job in general. I am nursery teacher working in a nursery that was set up last September. The first year was a success happy children, happy parents, children making very good progress. All the planning, resources, budget, staffing and routines were put in place by me. I was very much left to get on with it! Although it was a success, i found it very difficult physically and emotionally and went to the head for support with various issues, several times. I feel as though I have been given very little support and having been managing the nursery (although i am not paid to do it) This year along with all the issues that have carried over, I have two very difficult children with behavioural difficulties. I have been repeatedly to see the head to ask for guidance and support with these issues and she is very pleasant. However I feel she is not really interested and doing nothing about it. It has all got too much and I feel I can't cope. I am constantly upset and am doubting my capabilities as a teacher. I am seriously thinking about handing in my notice. If anyone has any thoughts or advice It would be much appreciated.
  2. You need to tell the head that you feel as if you are not getting enough support with these two children and that you are at the end of your tether.
    If you feel able, and you think you can do this, write some simple explanation and observations as to what is happening and try to identify yourself the problem, and what you think the solution might be. Put it on paper as professionally and simply as you can.
    Your head cannot, then, hide away from the problem because you have penned your problems, worries etc. She cannot have a conversation with you to 'think' she has helped with the problem without more fully addressing the problem.
    Meanwhile, on a private level you could do with a supportive shoulder. Is there anyone you can talk to simply to help you keep your chin up.
    Before you hand in your notice, see if you can go through more options to get a solution.
    I suspect that far too many senior managers in far too many schools hide away from the problem of children causing difficulties in mainstream classrooms. In fact, it's not a case of me 'suspecting' because we read many stories of this kind via forums and newspapers.
    You may well, ultimately, need a school with a more supportive headteacher - and they do exist - but not necessarily in every school (sadly).
    On the other hand, you may have a great head who simply is unaware of just how challenging your role is and how low you are about it. Make sure that you are clear about this to give the head a full chance to support you.
    In many classrooms in many schools there are children causing untold misery to teachers, assistants and to other children. Too often those not in the classroom can be an ostrich about this. It's up to the teachers not to let senior managers be ostriches about this type of scenario.
  3. Just wanted to you to know that i have read this and have listened.
    In the very short term - take two days off. if at the end of the second day you are still in extremis then go to the Drs for sick note if he thinks this is appropriate.

    Way forward in the long term-

    Tell us a little more perhaps.(without going into any detail that will identify you)

    How long you have been teaching, experience etc..

    Sort of catchment, private or maintained, staff ratio etc. Do you have other teaching colleagues. who should manage the nursery ?

    Have you spoken to you EYAT about referring these children etc.

  4. PS - Just in case my posting was ambiguous about the children - I'm not blaming the children or judging them or focusing on them - the issue to me is about the head's insufficient response to the situation- not what should be done about the children themselves.[​IMG]
  5. I see what Debbie means. Debbie speaks wise words <u>the issue to me is about the head's insufficient response to the situation-

    My own reply came in at foot soldier level looking for practical solutions for support with the two children because I had no expectation that SMT would offer support or that money would be available and you would need to look for solution yourself.
    On reflection irrespective of problem there should be a way via SMT that support should be available for you.
    Don't hand in your notice, if you need a salary, without anything to go to as work is thin on the ground at the moment.

  6. And I expect the vast majority of teachers have been in tears and felt like this at some point.
    I have - and at the time, the problems always seemed unbearable because it's such a hard job teaching a class full of children day in and day out. We are all sympathetic but never doing anything in haste. Re-group first and try to look at the situation as objectively as possible.
    The first time I got in a state over a teaching scenario, I went to my headteacher at the time with my many complaints. She gave me some extremely helpful advice.
    She simply asked me to write something down about the issues 'professionally' and then we could look at them together.
    I have carried that idea with me ever since. I try to put my finger on the 'issue' at the heart of the situation - and I try to unpick all the bits and pieces to sort them out, clarify the problems, the possible solutions - and who is responsible for the problems and/or solutions.
    If you can think with clarity, despite being tired and overwhelmed and unhappy, you will, I suspect, start to feel a bit calmer about the situation and that will help you to know what to do next, or, if necessary, who to contact next.
    So, identify the issue or issues.
    Identify who you think is responsible, or who should address the issues - and in what way would you like the issues to be addressed.
    And is there a half-way measure in the meantime.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your kind words and advice. I am new to TES.
    In reply to Hedda Gabbler
    How long you have been teaching, experience etc..
    this is my fourth year of teaching
    year one, reception and 2nd year in nursery

    Sort of catchment, private or maintained, staff ratio etc. Do you have other teaching colleagues. who should manage the nursery ?
    school nursery (private run under the governors)
    29 children 15 full time 22 am and 22pm
    I have a line manager EYFS co ordinator
    3 staff (one full time)
    Have you spoken to you EYAT about referring these children etc.

    Not as yet head would prefer to wait untill the end of Feb
    she doesn't like outside agencies coming into school

    Thanks again
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time. If it's any comfort, we've all had years when we've had to have eyes in the back of our head because of children whose behaviour poses a risk. It's knackering and you're only too glad to hand them over to the poor belaboured reception teacher. I've worked in a private school and there were children there with major problems too, though not quite on the same behavioural scale.
    What are your relationships with your EY co-ordinator and line managers like? What do the NNEBs think?

  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I am an experienced nursery teacher, but this year had the year group from hell. I too wasnt coping and wasnt getting support from the head or anyone for that matter. In the end I did lots of long observations of the children concerned, so I had lots of evidence. Eventually this did the trick. (They always seemed well behaved whenever the head popped in and had improved over the term, so were thought not to be a problem anymore.)
    I would keep pushing for interagency support, a key aspect of any nursery, whether there are issues or not. We have a childrens centre close by. I also have good contacts with health visitors and speech and language teams. These dont cost anything. Maybe the head is thinking more in lines with ed psychs etc which do cost.
  10. In my LEA for fee paying schools if the child is under school age then they can refer to other agencies free of charge with help from EYAT , EYAT has been very helpful over that and it has been successful.
    Here comes the but- once the child hits compulsory school age school have to pay for extra support, passing charge on to parents and it is often at this stage that parents opt for maintained for children with serious needs becuase it is cheaper and so school loses a fee paying pupil.
  11. Please speak to your Union.They wont do anything you dont want them to but will give you lots of advice and support which is what you (and we all!) need.
    We've all been there, and I dont say this to diminish your dilemma. This is your livlihood, your career and you need to move on from being so fed up. Let us know how you get on
    X X X

  12. Would it be possible for you to have a behaviour chart for the two causing you problems? If you just make a long list of all the things that can go wrong or that they do, make a timetable chart and at the end of the day just tick off how many times and when things went wrong due to these two; you can then take your amunition to the head and there can be no argument about how bad things can be for you. We have all been where you are and know just how low one can get. Chin up! You can do it, Good luck!
  13. I don't want to dampen all the necessary sympathy and support you are being offered but just a thought. Maybe nursery isn't the place for you. It is a privileged place to be, working so close to life's spring. A place of light and energy and of infinite variety. However such energy can be tiring and at times produces uncertainty, powerlessness, confusion, even anger and despair. It is at times too molten, too raw, too indefinable to get a handle on, yet at the same time mysterious and engaging in its frequent revelations. Yet these in turn release greater effort, more sensitive observation and the discovery of long-forgotten knowledge. The children ask for our attention to details about what we often consider nothing at all, yet they repay us by revealing the smallness of our knowledge yet the immensity of love and inderstanding we possess.

    I would be very surprised if your first year was such an unqualified success. Especially after working in year one and reception, where the parameters for success are often more simply conceived and easier to fulfill. The nursery is where there is less of this security and it is a reassurance no-one can give and it must be encountered inside oneself. The head may know this, or may not, but in a way it is irrelevant, the work is yours, the opportunity to understand something new is yours, to grow as a teacher is yours. Difficult children are the ones who teach us most, they push out the envelope of our understanding, send us searching for answers, not in outside controls necessarily but in child development, in shared perceptions and can give us an access to our own otherwise hidden mis/pre-conceptions. Its all normal, that which you describe is the path of real learning. Perhaps we are used to being rewarded for meeting outside goals, agreed policies, superficial targets. Now there are no such things and the children haven't yet learned to play this game. So you get them raw, in all their glory. It really is wonderful, it gives you the oppportunity to deploy so many ideas and if you engage them you will feel a sense of achievment you will find it hard to better. It is a great opportunity to dilaogue with those who have also bathed there in the waters of the spring of life and have come away with understanding, appreacitaion and deep, deep love of its myriad aspects. Read Montessori on children and self-discpline, read Susan Isaacs on childrens motivations to learn, read Tina Bruce and Chris Athey on free-flow play and schemas, read Tizards and Hughes, read Alice Miller, read V Axeline, read Vivien Gussy-Palin, read 'Teacher' by Syliva Ashfrod Warner, read read the bits of Steiner related to nursery children, There are many more but they are a few who might help shed some light and help you see not only patterns in the children's behaviour but also on what you as a teacher are struggling with, struggling to release inside.

    A few kind words from the head are well-placed and at least aren't critical but the words you really need can only come from engaging with the body of wisdom accumulated to help us understand why we are teachers and what we are doing there in that place with young children. I think teaching is a journey for which there can be neither any real preparation nor any necessary pre-conditions to undertake. It can be for anyone, it is not gifted or instinctive or magical, it is our own life written large. It is a journey to the very centre of ourselves, to the very furthest and faintest origins. Beyond a certain point there are no tracks, no pointers, no landmarks, and at times no persepective, no distance, no horizon. Perhaps you are at one such place now. However such a journey begun as a worm, blind, wriggling, burrowing frantically until measure by measure you evolve some sense. It is a journey into the most poetic age, where all is fluid and changing. It is a chance to witness the living art at the heart of life. The children allow you to walk in their spaces but life will heal the ground behind you and you will never return to yesterday with them. BUt to be a witness you have to observe, and to observe you have to let certain scales go from your eyes. It is very difficult to do that when such weights and importance are added to those scales that the imbalance is strongly in favour of the unbalanced state you are describing. Perhaps less control and domination by will, attempts to over-organise a nursery nurse colleague (on her own journey) and fit children to plans might generate these feelings. Maybe not. Pause, reflect, observe, relax, sing and dance and play with the lightness of spirit that is our own gift and see what will happen. Good luck.
  14. WOW!! What a post some wonderful words!! Now back to reality!!

    A few years ago I experienced the same behaviour from two boys but I was lucky because one day a member from the Autism team was in to observe another boy who was autistic. While she was in she commented on the behaviour of the other two boys and advised me to have charts for them as Midgey suggested. I spoke to the parents and they agreed that if the boys gained their required number of( one boy had cars, the other trains, depending on their interests) then they would gain an agreed reward at home at the week-end.
    This worked and the parents commented that their behavior improved at home too_Often parents need help too.Teaching a nursery class is wonderful but bad behaviour from one or two children can disrupt and be very challenging!
    Don't give up, keep going and good luck!
  15. At one point I was headteacher in a school where behavious was close to anarchic from swathes of children.
    It was only liaising with the parents and getting them on board which truly helped to turn around the situation.
    Working in partnership with parents wherever possible is the best solution - but to do this we need to be sensitively honest to describe the scenario in school.
    However, where large numbers of children misbehave, this is not necessarily about home circumstances - and it is sometimes a case of the school changing their ways and expectations.
  16. @ post 13, Sorry but what a load of impractical old w a n k!
  17. Agreed but what lyrical prose.
  18. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    Hang on in there if you were previously happy with your job. I recently had lots of children with major behaviour problems all come in at once, this isnt counting the other sen children I have which includes several with serve language delays. Last term was an absolute nightmare with no support from anyone apart from my nursery nurse. As the term went on it did get slightly better, or rather I got used to it. This term has been a lot better due to a few of the children having moved on or up to reception.
    What is it you want your head to do to help you? Maybe thinking along these lines will help as you will know if it is possible for this help to be implemented.
    How many nursery nurses or other support do you have? Is there anything you could delegate? Who is your senco prehaps they can help.
    What are the behaviour issues you are finding a struggle, maybe some people on here will have some good ideas to support you, tried and tested :) xx happy weekend
  19. Hettys

    Hettys New commenter

    Yohanalicante, I do think it's a shame that you express yourself as you do because you say such wise things but it is almost unreadable, full of rambling metaphors and unnecessary flowery language. Your message which is usually excellent is completely lost. This is a chat forum not an English Lit exam.

    That said I agree with practically everything you say.
  20. That sums it up nicely Fuzyduck.:)

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