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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. So - 30 to 50 minutes per week x how many weeks per year? - plus all the decision making as to what objective that fulfils plus all the filing, plus all the local authority moderation plus all the completing the FSP.....

  2. I think not!

  3. Hi!

    I am so relieved to come on here and find that people seem to be doing exactly the same as me. I am a Nursery teacher with a class of 26 full-time, full-day children with a Nursery Nurse. We try to do one focused activity every day (although sometimes they roll over to the next day as some of the activities take them a long time) but generally we stick to one activity, while the other adult manage the class, making inicidental observations, questioning and "keeping order"!!!

    We do a whole-class or large group session first thing in the mroning for about 15mins (usually based around a book, rhyme or poem, or a maths activity). Then we have a whole class / large group session after lunch - Letters and Sounds. And then another at hometime (a story / rhyme time). Like you, we fill in assessment sheets for every focused activity as it helps me to plan for the next week. This also picks up any interests for me to try and plan in next week.

    We're expecting OFSTED soon and I am terrified that I am not doing it right. This approach really seems to work for my children and they have come on leaps and bounds since September. Like you said, our job is to teach and that's what I'm trying to do...! I like to think that if I can justify what I'm doing and how I work the day, then they'll be able to see that it is the best way for this class to work and progress, but who knows...

  4. "The thing is, the SMT at my school is actually very supportive and
    understanding.I dread to think what it would be like for those who have
    SMT who are keen to jump on every bandwagon that comes hurtling past at
    top speed."

    The problem is in my school the SMT do it exactly that. Now the Foundation Stage Unit is in chaos and the last reception children have come into Year 1 working a year below national expectations. Now the head wants to lay the blame at the Year 1 teachers' door!
    This is definitely not what I signed up for when I did my PGCE. After 5 years of twisting and turns I want out and as soon as possible. The credit crunch doesn't scare me - what does is that if I stay teaching with this pressure I will end up with a serious illness. Roll on Easter!

  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Alas,we too have a FU in chaos. I never in my born days thought I would have to drag screaming nursery children inside because their time is up for outside play. Apparently, the authority want this.

    The blame has to land somewhere so I guess it might as well be me.
  6. A primary NQT I know had been one week into her job (mixed YR/1class) when she was visited by an EY advisor. NQT questioned a great deal of what she was 'advised to do' (such temerity) and was told by the advisor that she had been 10 years in the job and nobody had ever argued with her before.
    Her HT said that she should have asked the advisor to come and work with her class for a while and demonstrate exactly how she was to put all the 'advice' into practice...

  7. It seems to me that local authority advisors cause a great deal of unhappiness and lack of confidence.

    Maybe it's time we ignored them completely - or as voters and taxpayers call to get rid of that middle parasitic layer.
  8. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Re: Her HT said that she should have asked the advisor to come and work with her class for a while and demonstrate exactly how she was to put all the 'advice' into practice...

    That would be my words to anyone - has anyone tried that AND got the advisor to show they can put their words into practise???
  9. Am so glad it's not just me too!! my authority has started the extended hours - I have never felt so bitter and resentful in my teaching career as I do now knowing I am teaching more than 6 weeks a year (hope I've got the maths right!) than the rest of my colleagues. Flexible entitlement has had a huge effect on the staff - I just feel I can't do my job properly; I'm too exhausted, so are the experienced NNEBs who have recently lost thousands of pounds in their job evaluations- no-one seems to give a stuff. why should they take work home? you're right -they're not paid enough! I then have the 65 files, folders, reports and profiles (and parents) to deal with. I am desparately wanting out of FS.

    we then have smug advisors telling us to get our long observations and next steps for learning sorted out and how marvellous us EY practitioners are!!! I'm sick of hearing myself moaning. Give me Year 6!!!
  10. Hello all.
    Have I missed a meeting here? Where does it say in the EYFS that we shouldn't be teaching formally AT ALL? Teacher's TV has some great videos for the new EYFS and they all seem to have a balance of child and adult initiated/focused activities?
  11. What you have missed, perhaps, is that early years staff have been totally overwhelmed with not only bureaucratic overload and rubbish for many years, but also contradictory advice and a ludicrous observation and formal recording system which gets policed in reception classes by local authority advisors, inspected by Ofsted and dictated by everyone above school level.

    So, everyone is now cynical, feeling like they cannot please anyone, and at one point or another feel inhibited to use their own judgement regarding what they consider to be 'best practice'.

    It's Orwellian and a mess and totally unacceptable.
  12. Thanks Debbie,
    No - I definately haven't missed that. I'm in complete agreement with the overloaded assessment in Early Years and in fact all year groups. I have a mixed age year R and year 1 class and am not looking forward to adding APP for my year 1's.
    My question was about teaching - more specifically timetabling. I am unsure, as everone else seems to be, exactly what my day should look like hour by hour as it were.
    Are there any other Year R and Year 1 mixed age class teachers out there with ideas about this? I am interested in running a 'play based'/exploratory year 1.

  13. I would suggest that you make writing instruments available in different areas of your classroom. The role play area is most important, perhaps take a look at how many tables and chairs you have and consider if you could remove them to make space for learning areas. My classroom is very small too, so I only have two tables with 6 chairs at each, then there is a messy tray (great for forming letters/ hiding letters), role play area (most speaking and writing comes from this area), a writer's table (very popular!), a construction carpet, a small world/puzzle carpet and lastly two standing easels. Most of these areas lend themselves to writing... you could model this to the children.

    Good luck

  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Wrong thread, comfy? [​IMG]

  15. http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/291322/4248457.aspx#4248457

    This is another developing strand which is about who uses what tracking procedures.

    It's point is the confusion we witness everywhere about what to 'do' for the best and the enormous amount of staff time it takes to keep up with (what I consider to be) pointless tracking and recording.
  16. I will certainly follow it through.
  17. Being sent home from school at lunch due to bad weather I thought I would do a little research on EY forum. Having read most of this thread I feel so much better that I am not on my own in my thinking! This is only my second year of teaching and I chose to teach in EY as I thought that I would be able to TEACH the children in creative ways, providing them with lots of first hand experiences. Over the time I have been teaching I have changed my planning and timetable so many times I feel dizzy!! I just don't know what is best anymore! I think a large failing of EYFS is that the people creating it have no experience/recent experience in teaching EY children, they just sit in their offices and think it would be a good idea, without actually thinking about the implications for children and adults in these settings! I also think that trainees are not given appropriate EY training! While I was training I specialised in EY but still had no idea how to plan for EY correctly, how to navigate the FSP, e-profile or EYFS, among other things once I had graduated and I went to a very good training provider!!! Throughlots of research and implementing my own ideas I have finally found a balance that I am happy with! I am now doing three formal teaching sessions a day with play afterwards for children to apply these skills in activities set up around the classroom, with some opportunity for child initiated learning. My school is happy with this and many of the children are writing in there play and showing other taught skills. Standards are already a lot higher than they were last year when we had loads of child intiated time BUT how long will it be before some inspector or another comes and slates what I am doing and telling me it is all wrong?? As a new teacher I see so many flaws in the system but have no experience of the 'old ways' to compare against! Something needs to be done sooner rather than later!!

  18. So I went to a "twilight moderation cluster group meeting" the other night. And I was told that it is not enough to be collecting evidence against the early learning goals. Oh no. We are supposed to be collecting evidence against all the 40-60 months development matters points AS WELL. The moderator said she would be ''extremely shocked'' if she did not see this in our assessment file. I asked how I was supposed to do this for 30 children, in addition to collecting evidence for the ELG. She said it was "perfectly possible" if I am observing the children every day. Then she said if I typed up all the 40-60 development matters points and stuck it in my file and highlighted it in different colours for each half-term then that would be "a move in the right direction".

    A number of points came out of this meeting:

    1) No-one has a clue how to set up a system for assessing the ELGs and keeping the evidence. Every single person at the meeting had had to make up their own system because no format has ever been provided by either central Government or local authorities.

    2) Every single person had been told different things about how much evidence they needed. These ranged from

    - 3 pieces of evidence per ELG

    - one observation per child per half-term

    - tick lists and knowledge kept in one's head ready to discuss with the moderator

    - scrap books of random evidence with a highlighted list of ELGs

    3) The advisers / moderators did not know what to suggest, apart from reiterating that there were "certain things" they would be looking for at moderation.

    I would like to know why these "certain things" cannot be shared with us? Why are we being tested on whether or not we have managed to create the "right" system, when no-one knows what that system should be? Why do we need to assess against development matters AND ELGs? Does anyone do this? When? How? Why does no-one know how much evidence is needed? Who is all this evidence for?

  19. Sall

    You know we don't need written evidence.

    Look to kee her quiet there is a tick list type thing on resources.

    I will post you the link if I can find it..

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