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I feel like I don't know what I'm doing anymore!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Salleriano, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. It's interesting to see 'new names' joining in with this thread.

    It is high time that we started yet another petition which could be worded very simply along the lines of:

    We, the undersigned, have very grave worries about the nature of the 'guidance' stipulated by the government for the Early Years Foundation Stage regarding observations, assessment and recording to provide 'evidence' for all 'birth to five years' settings. We also deplore the flaws in the system of assessment for the Foundation Stage Profiles for FS2 (four to five year olds). Furthermore, we object to the Local Authority policing of our practices and our settings' files which is underpinned by law. We suggest that the government's ideas on how children should be relentlessly observed in the belief that this is essential for 'informing practice' and transition is not only misguided but detrimental to both the well-being of the adults in charge and the children themselves. Many of us regard this as unnecessary 'wrong' practice and virtually Orwellian. We urge the government to 'look, listen and note' the upwards evaluation of practitioners and teachers in the birth to five domain as currently it is looking like the government chooses not to heed the comments and objections of its ordinary and very sensible citizens.

  2. mac64

    mac64 New commenter

    Asking children to circle a word under photos of them playing with giant lego bricks is apparently too academic even if the activity stemmed from a collection of ci moments (comment made during a mock ISI inspection). Maybe if we had used sand, paint or magnetic bits and bobs it would have been deemed less academic. I think I've lost my way as I can't quite see how my children will cope if we don't some odd bits of formal work here and there.
  3. Who is actually going to school to 'learn' these days?

    It appears that it is the teachers not the children! We are so busy following them around 'learning' about them!

    I did a long observation on a boy in my class a while ago and noted that all he ever does is play with the cars (making car noises) and chase his friends playing superheroes-nothing uncommon there I doubt!

    I decided I needed to develop his interests in other areas so through direct teaching I 'taught' him how to play in the role play area for instance. Obviously I didnt teach him well enough because I am still observing him only playing with cars and chasing his friends.

    I have taken away the cars-so he chases his friends!

    I have made the role play into a mechanics workshop, put car stickers in the writing area (in fact turned the whole area into a car!) Through Teacher led activities parked cars and written his name in the space, measured and weighed cars etc It is only during direct teaching time that he tries new things and learns!

    But when playing he still only plays with cars, making car sounds and chases his friends!

    I have obviously failed as a teacher!-or maybe I just havent been 'teaching' enough.

    This boy would benefit from directly being taught for about 75% of the day. Surely this in itself is a viable observation and should be acted upon- I think he would learn so much and develop well if this were the case as he enjoys the teaching times-however the play police will not be happy! Also I have no time to teach him as too busy watching his friends play cars and chase each other!
  4. blaster - you have just described 99% of the boys in my class!!! And like you say, without DIRECT teaching, that is all they would ever do! It's fairly obvious - I'm not sure why the Government doesn't get it....

    I have one boy who is incredibly able with reading and writing, but I have NEVER EVER seen him use these skills when he is playing, probably because he is PLAYING and boys like playing with cars and chasing people - and why not?! When directed by an adult he will usually write full sentences and use amazing phonic knowledge, but of course that sort of evidence can only count for 20% of his profile.......

    Why can't we let these children have a proper childhood and still teach them basic skills? The Government have got it all confused by making everything play-based. Of course there is a place for play, we all know that, but there is also a place for work/teaching, and the two things are not the same. The children are not fooled either!
  5. Danousia

    Danousia New commenter

    So glad i found and read this thread - was beginning to feel like the only one.

    I'm confused by the whole planning aspect of foundation - there just doesn't seem to be enough time to fit everything in. We have Y1 style numeracy first thing, RML (phonics) and handwriting to follow then a topic / literacy based afternoon. Also fitting in P.E., reading with the children, ans some free choice. I feel like the poor little things aren't really being taught much of anything good quality as we're too busy trying to fit everything in.

    Time for obervations and child initiated activities are virtually non-existant. Then there's the free flow between the indoor and outdoor classroom to manage (which i'm doing rather unsuccessfully right now [​IMG] ). Feel like a right failure and not sure why i bothered retraining in the first place.

    Trying to focus on how much i love the job of teaching and being with the children but it's hard to keep that at the forefront all the time.

  6. and there was me feeling like I was the only one who can't seem to work out how to fit it all in!! Very glad I've found this thread after another day of stress and feeling guilty because I'm actually 'teaching' my children how to form letters/recognise numbers/use a computer!!do we need to 'invent' sicky labels for things we know that the children can do but only see in adult-led sessions? perhaps this is the only way we can do the job?!!!!
  7. This is so true of my class! The only difference I have is that I have an added layer of Y1 children as it is a R/Y1 class.I feel like I am jugglng so many balls at the moment.I don't know any more what is rght , wrong or indifferent-got a studen at the moment so am having a bit of time to rethink but finding it diffiult to advise her what to do.
  8. Just because you 'teach' a child something does not mean they learn anything. I work in rec which is mainly child initiated. The children make more progress because their interests are catered for. Their involvement levels are very high = deep level learning
  9. jabbateacher

    I take your point but when my class started in Sept only 1 child knew 20+ letters and 3 knew up to 4. So I taught them, through very structured adult directed teaching activities. Now more than half of them can read and write cvc words Many do not choose to use this knowledge in their child initiated activities but are very confident with this in adult directed activities. They are often very involved in these activities because they feel a sense of achievement. Does anyone seriously think I am not going to give these children profile points simply because they haven't chosen to demonstrate these skills in their play? After all I could always set up a photo and write a made up scenario if that's the evidence the profile police want.
  10. Isn't it all so middle-class and cosy thinking that children should 'learn through play' and want to 'write through play' and so on.

    I think opportunities for play - supported by adults and total 'free play' is essential - but there is nothing wrong with some direct teaching and teaching/learning conversations.

    Why doesn't everyone think what an ideal day at home might look like.

    One thing it surely
  11. ...WOULDN'T look like, is mum 'observing' little Jimmy or Jenny and writing everything down to match some inane assessment system.

    Followed by some local authority advisors policing the observations, evidencing and assessments.

    Oh, I forgot, even our childminders are supposed to do this - but what about when parents choose childminders over an institution precisely to BE closer to a 'home environment'?

    Oh - I'm so frustrated by all the rubbish - but we SHALL turn it all around one way or another.

    And if everyone keeps contributing to threads like this with their feelings and experiences, we can turn the 'evidence' tables on those on high!
  12. If there are people who think that 'deep learning' takes place only through play - or especially through play, then let them get on with it.

    The point of the matter is that the current ethos is being imposed upon people with different views by prescription, by inspection and by law. In effect, by bullying and intimidation.

    It's insidious.
  13. Oh my goodness I'm so glad it's Friday. I feel like I've had to spend this week following the poor children around with a clipboard trying to 'catch them' scoring points on this blooming profile, while covertly enticing them over to have some directed input, hoping my 'play based' TA doesn't catch me and tell me 'that's not how Mrs X used to do it. She just let them choose'. (Mrs X being the teacher I've taken over from). Well yes, that's why 75% can't actually master their own names yet! I love play being a part of FS teaching, but feel I can never just get on with enjoying being with the children while they're playing as I'm prancing around after them with a blooming clipboard fielding the 'what are you writing?" questions. Not that I blame them for asking. If I was dressing up as a fairy or playing with dough and someone was taking notes all the while I may well wonder too! Glad it's Friday and I have a bottle of wine!
  14. I just had to add that I too feel so de-skilled and disorientated with what is happening at the moment. I returned from 8 months maternity leave last Monday to a mixed reception/year1 class, and I am completely bewildered.

    I was supposed to come back to do ppa cover but my friend who taught rec/y1 previously has found another (better) job so I find myself in this position. It is the first time we have had mixed classes and nobody seems to have any advice which helps.

    I am currently feeling like I want to give up on FS altogether as I am so tired of being given conflicting advice. This is in stark contrast to 2-3 years ago when I wanted to stay in Early Years forever as I felt I had found my niche.

    I feel that I am no longer a teacher but just a pencil pusher.

    And constantly jumping through hoops.
  15. I've got so frustrated with running after children with a clipboard trying to catch them fulfilling the profile. Funnily enough I didn't catch one of them recognising numerals from 1-9 unless I ask them. I had specially put out loads of maths resources so I could update the profiles and plan from it. So now I have given up the ghost and made my own maths assessment (based on the scale points) then assessed everychild in my class. I know, I'm a bad, bad early years teacher. However, I now know that number recognition and the language of more and less is what I need to focus on next, so I don't care. With the HT's blessing I'm going to do teacher directed fun activities for maths and literacy all morning ( I think she just got tired of the boys making guns out of lego and shooting each other, even though they were supposed to be building a wall for Humpty). So what will I do when the early years advisor, who already thinks my plans are too prescriptive, visits next? Well I could lie and pretend the children are learning through their own initiated play. Or I could show her that the children in my class have made lots of progress and are happy and confident because I've shown them how resources can be used and what can be done with them. That we learn and play games together even though I thought of the game and not them.
  16. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Surely to do a quick class assessment tick list to find out number and shape recognition and counting objects etc is far better to find out where the children are actually at, than to spend weeks and weeks chasing children around to find that probably 99% are not going to actually show these skills while you are listening to their play.
    And who invented the daft title Problem Solving Reasoning and Numeracy. I can just see them sitting in their office one day thinking who can suggest the most long wordy title. What is wrong with Maths. Why do we have to be different from Key Stage 1&2, didn't they know they were going to change from Numeracy back to Maths when they put numeracy in our title.

  17. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    I have a FSP filled in by a childminder - child assessed as having achieved virtually all ELGs - some as early as 3 ears old ... this child is NOT a genius - TOTAL misunderstanding of it all - enough said!!!!
  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    EYFS is a con.

    I'm beginning to enjoy saying that. It has a ring to it.

  19. At the risk of quoting myself, as I have said this a thousand times over, I chose my children's childminder because I wanted my sons to go to a home environment and play with other children and go to the shops and watch someone clean and cook meals just like I do at home.

    Under no circumstances did I want them in a education type environment at the age of 9 months, because I don't think it is appropriate.

    We are being told to "teach" our 1 year olds (and assess them) and ensure we don't teach our 5 year olds anything,

    I have told my sons' childminder that if she ever starts to note down the marks J makes in his food I will have to have her locked up for her own safety!
  20. By the way, is the some way we can copy this thread and send it to the Government who apparantly want our views on the white paper? (see thread at top of forum by Gailrobinson)Surely this would constitiute "feedback"?

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