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iddy biddy chairs

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by totally disheartened, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Is it just my back that's starting to resent being hunched over tiny tables whilst sitting on the teeniest little red chairs that force my knees to roughly the same height as my bellybutton? I feel like a not so amusing Alice in Wonderland. I have told both my class teacher and my line manager that on occasions I've needed to take painkillers because of this minature furniture but it seems I'm stuck with it.
  2. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I refuse to sit on Reception chairs - I got a Junior chair from the hall and that's very comfortable.
    BTW, did you see the article about the huge numbers of staff working in Early Years who have back problems?
  3. If I sat on a 'grown up' chair then the computer stations and tables would seem even lower. Thanks for the link. Wish my school would consider the appropriateness of furniture for us adults as well as the children [​IMG]
  4. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    We have adult sized chairs with short legs that fit at the tables and can also be used to get closer to the children without actually sitting on the carpet. They are low, though, so can still be difficult for some people.
    With reard to this and the other similar thread, I think I will be able to continue teaching in Reception until I'm 60 but I can't imagine working beyond 65 as the government seems to want us to do. I pity the younger teachers who will have to do this.
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    totally disheartened, in workplaces it is the employers' duty to provide appropriate equipment etc for the employee, but it is also up to the employee to take responsibility for themselves and use the equipment and their own bodies correctly to avoid damage. I would say that if the furniture etc is giving you physical problems then you need to do something about this, not just feel that because this is the way that your management team says it has to be done, that is way it has to be. They are not going to thank you for a claim against the school. They'll wonder why you didn't make yourself abundantly clear sooner.
    I do not remember my primary school teachers or nursery school teachers grovelling around at child level all day and causing themselves pain. If three quarters of early years teachers are having pain from whatever the current methods of getting down to a child's level are, it shows that the majority of them are not going about this in a business-like way. You are teachers, not cannon-fodder. Why would you do yourself damage on a daily basis? There has been no educational study has there to show that these methods that put teachers in pain improve a child's NC levels?
    Maybe for work where you really need to be at the child's level, e.g. helping them improve their pencil grip and handwriting, you need to bring the children up to your level.
    Perhpas you could get lots of volunteers to grovel on the floor with the games and the jigsaws.
    Try Pilates too.
  6. One of the many joys of the Foundation Phase. Not sure how I can take more responsibility for this? Have informed my line manager and my class teacher ( I am an LSA, the class teacher is SMT). How can I go about it in a business like way? The children are small so the tables, chairs, sinks and storage is all low to suit their needs. Foundation Phase pretty much killed off teachers desks, there's very few tables in the classroom so it is a case of teeny furniture or the floor. Neither are great when you're doing it all day.
  7. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    try doing it whilst being pregnant ... not me but my colleague is and I dread to think what she will be like by the end of the summer term ...
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If you're having to take painkillers, or see a doctor, maybe you could ask about a referral to occupational health, who might be able to advise on the necessary adaptations (ie a suitable chair) to prevent you suffering more ill health.
    The pregnant colleague needs to get something put in her risk assessment - it can be reviewed, and if the lack of suitable furniture is a problem, it should be.
    Oh, and don't accept "it's not a problem for me". It might not be, but it is a problem for you, and if not tackled, they could end up with you signed off with more serious back problems.
  9. the lovely TA I worked with last year had a bad back - the school consulted with her and bought her a stool on wheels that kept her in a comfortable position, but in the end she accepted defeat and moved to year 1 along with her stool!
  10. I'm a yr2 teacher and although our furniture is not 'iddy biddy', it is still small. I use either a stool or a gardener's kneeling pad rather than the children's chairs. I can easily move around the table to support different children and in my small classroom neither of them take up much space.
  11. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    I worked in Early Years for a few years and often had backache. Moved to key stage 2 and problem was solved. I'm sure that there are health and safety rules in place in offices and factories to prevent employees from developing back problems. Why should education be different? Oh yes because we are all supposed to suffer in silence for the benefit of the children and their education. [​IMG]
  12. I can sympathise!
    I am working in a nursery and a creche at the moment, and they have very mini furnature. I have resorted to sitting on the floor! A pillow helps ;)
    When I had a placement in a Reception class, I used to manage on the diddy chairs in their, but always ended up with bruises on my knees where I would hit them on the tables.... either when I walked past or when I was trying to stand up/sit down! [​IMG] The joys of working with the younger ones! The banter is worth it though :)
    Hope you find a solution.
  13. I work as an early years consultant. When I visit pre-schools and nurseries, I ask for an adult chair and usually someone finds me one. If I going to deliver training I request that I and the practitioners have adult chairs. They usually find me one, but most of the practitioners are sitting on chairs for 2 or 3 year olds. I often carry a fold up adult chair in my car and if they cannot find me a chair (sometimes in church halls someone has locked the chairs up) I will bring it out.
    None should be expected to sit on child sized chairs.Go to your doctor, physiotherapist or trade union.
    Where else would this happen?
  14. Couldn't agree more - I am in Y1/2 and have had the same problems. As I had been in KS2 for 7 years, my problem was seen as a 'pre-existing condition' and OT wouldn't help. I had an OT person talk to me and make recommendations - but nothing can or will be done - I am now paying for private physiotherapy to keep me upright and into work every day.
    Completely Sympathetic

  15. 15 years of Reception chairs did such damage to my back that my head bought a posture seat for me, solved the problem!
  16. Absolutely right. If Unions are as useless as teachers say here, then someone (teacher with a solicitor/barrister spouse, sibling etc) needs to look at the legislation for H&S and disabled rights at work, then make a formal written complaint. It would be good if someone just a few years off retirement, so not bothered about threats to future employment, did it, as they would be able to spin it out against recalcitrant management to get it before a judge. That, rather than a settlement, is what is needed for every other teacher to benefit from it.

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