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I'm off.....

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by 1992CO, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. After teaching for some years in the nursery class of a School and Children's Centre the system has finally got to me and I handed my notice in after Christmas. I am a teacher with 20 years experience and am fed up with going on 'training' alongside 16-yr-old day nursery workers and being called a 'practitioner' in a 'setting'. I'm NOT!! I am a TEACHER in a SCHOOL!
    Fed up with the EYFS, stalking children with bits of paper and a camera.
    Fed up with being expected to plan individual learning for the 65 chn in my care.
    Fed up with new chn starting *****-nilly - no notice, no paperwork, no introduction, sometimes not even a surname or DoB.
    Fed up with CC staff being replaced ad hoc with inadequate and illiterate trainees.
    Fed up with lack of professionalism and care from people I am supposed to manage.
    Fed up with spending hours of my own time sticking post-its and photos in files for NO professional reason other than a nice gift to parents at the end of the year. I AM a professional and I DO know my children without having 17 post-its from various staff saying that little Johnny can count to 10 or that so-and-so can cut with scissors.
    Fed up with doing the bulk of the paperwork despite having a co-worker who is supposed to share it.
    Fed up with the EYFS allowing children to run wild in the name of 'Creative and Physical Development'.
    Fed up with the govt expecting me to a be a parent to all these chn and provide experiences that parents should be doing too.
    Fed up with flexible provision.
    Fed up with falling standards of behaviour and expectations.

    Do you get it yet? I Am Fed Up! Can't wait to leave in a few weeks. Looking forward to sleeping properly, enjoying not having work constantly on my mind, not having to spend hours doing paperwork at home...... and to becoming the nicer person I know I am really.!
    But I will miss some of the children and a few of my colleagues.

    Oh, and before you ask, my HT, AHT and Chair of Govs don't want me to leave - they're stunned that I am going. Must have been doing something right during the years of unhappiness.
    Just had to vent my spleen somewhere - sorry!
  2. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I don't have all those problems as I am a Reception teacher in a school but I can see where you are coming from, especially the post-its. When I was in Nursery I went on those courses with 'practitioners' and came away feeling my intelligence and professionalism had been insulted - sorry if that offends people but that's how it was.
    I have another 4 years to go until I can retire, sometimes I long for it sometimes I know I'll miss it. I hope you find something to do that uses your skills and that you can enjoy.
  3. So sorry you feel that way, but good luck anyway.
    I decided not long ago that I was a professional too. I work my socks off to make sure the children in my reception class get what they need (what I think they need and not the government or any other advisor that comes my way) and if anyone else thinks otherwise they will just have to sack me!!!! I am NOT putting myself through hell trying to count bits of paper, worry about writing up observations and providing masses of evidence to prove what I already know about these children. If they want to know what I know then they just need to actually talk to me (I know that's a bit radical) but that's how it is for me. I love teaching and I will not let 'these people' push me out - so there!
  4. Thank you for kind messages of support. Glad i'm not alone in my way of thinking. If I was closer to retirement I might have stuck it out but the idea of the weeks, months, years stretching out interminably...............
  5. I am not a teacher, I am a nursery nurse. I dont like to be called a
    practitioner or told I work in a setting either. I have worked with children in nursery/ schools for over 20 years. I am willing to accept changes but agree with a lot of your comments, my next training course I suppose should be shorthand and photography!!!!!! I must improve I must improve.
  6. I totally understand where you are coming from. I too have been teaching for nearly 20 years and lately as a reception teacher. I am not a practitioner! I feel exactly the same way and I also hate the way the school system has changed from being a team effort with no one person except the Head being more important than any other to one filled with ambitious, self-serving fast track people who are now being put in charge. I really don't think I can do one more year.
  7. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    It could have been me writing much of the original post! After almost 3 decades I too may be on my way ... I want to TEACH and not parade around so much with an observation sheet; fight a loosing battle at tidying up time because the children have been doing their "child initiated" thing of seemingly trashing much of the provision - NEVER have I had so many things broken or lost ...; and stop wasting so much time trying to locate children for my focused activity ... I constantly feel like I'm "spinning plates" ... Today "my class" all sat down and I closed the doors off to the other 2/3rds of the new unit and left them "free-flowing" whilst we practiced in peace and quiet some writing on white boards - it was BLISS!!! I don't care if someone thinks I don't know about child development etc etc ... I could tell from the childrens reaction and how they all joined in so well that they enjoyed the experience. Guess what ...we just might do it again tomorrow ... I'm feeling positively rebellious!!!
  8. So sorry you feel as you do and what a sad way to end a great career. I can understand all of your reasons. But practitioner didn't worry me as my doctor is a practitioner and so are my solicitor friends I always took the dictionary definition
    Practitioner: One who practices something, especially an occupation, profession, or technique
    I have been retired now for some years so all I can say is enjoy your last term and then get out there and enjoy life after EYFS.
  9. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    1992CO- go back to school- you will love it! I felt EXACTLY the same way as you do and resigned as a CC teacher last summer and have gone back into a y1 class. Initially, I couldn't get into it, but I love it now- you can put all your wealth of skills to good use- not pussyfooting around worried about whether you are allowed to ask a child to tell you something to see if they know it or whether you have to lurk in corners hoping to get evidence., not having to deal with children who have no boundaries and it's called child initiated learning etc.etc.etc. My 30 children are making great progress- especially with their reading and I am putting my heart and soul into the job- it's such a relief to plan, do and review and just get on with it, see what they've learnt and then plan the next bit. Seriously- don't rule out back to school- I'm sure you won't regret it. Good luck.
  10. Sadika
    I don't understand why you think it is rebellious to teach the children? I am strongly FOR child initiated activities but they have to be in proportion to teaching both in a formal way so I am also FOR formal teaching. I formally teach when we all sit on the carpet for phonics and other inputs and the children all do an adult led or supervised activity each day and I teach informally by joining the children in their play and then helping them by enhancing their learning, other times I just keep out of it and watch them (sometimes I take photographs too). It just needs to be a balance - one is no good without the other. Don't feel that you are rebelling, know that you are doing what you know is right for your children and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
  11. This really strikes a chord with me. It seems we have so many 'experts' in schools now, within SMT and coming in from outside! I've worked in 2 schools in categories and they are groaning with the number of experts installed. Theses individuals all have interesting things to say, which are worth having a discussion about, but this is not how it works. Their ideas are given the status of pronouncements as to how things should be and they ride roughshod over the class teacher's knowledge and expertise about what suits her/him and the children who s/he has particular knowledge of.
    The big thing that gets ignored in all this is that it is essential that the classteacher has confident ownership and authority in her classroom. He/she is not just somone who delivers someone else's ideas of what is good practice, and it is a patronising insult to try to turn the teacher into this automaton. What's more, by undermining the teacher's confidence, creativity and sense of purpose, these people are undermining the essential ingredients of a good educational experience for children, and alienating a committed and enthusiastic workforce.
  12. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    It makes me sad, this thread.
    Commiserations to the opening poster - my heart really does go out to you and to anyone feeling as bad about teaching in early years.
    We are part of a political take over of infant education. Trying to mend the problems but in a way that has caused much upset and confusion. We all know the children who will need extra care, extra teaching, extra input - but instead of addressing this by more staffing, more funding - we have pounced on our reception teachers and made their lives hell.
    Where it was once nice to be surrounded by well, the detritus of enhancing the workshops, sweet to have toys and bits and pieces to fill out a theme, a topic, an idea - the price to pay for all that play and joy - I find myself longing to get rid of all the junk, all the folders, all the guidance, all the paper trails - a big bonfire would do.
    All I can say is, you are not the only one to end up feeling this way. Sadly.
    But in compensation - and you know this is true - you could teach any age group now - because teaching the little ones is the hardest - we might make it look easy- it ain't. And the strategies for quelling the littlies are more than adequate for any other year group.
    Go for higher up the school until you are feeling happy again.
    Bless you and thankyou for all the good work you have done.
  13. You speak such words of wisdom - i agree with you 100%. I am in similar situation, with very controlling SMT and am feeling like i am not able to be the teacher i want to be, make decisions etc for the children in my class (who they don't know) I have been challenged so much on what i am doing, i am starting to doubt myself! I am good, i know i am good, i need to remember that!
  14. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    If we get in a situation where we are blaming the reception teachers - instead of offering them any support and resources that they need...
    we are in serious trouble as a society.
  15. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    In reply to liliput: our "timetable" doesn't allow me enough time for "teaching" - hence my "rebellion"!!!
  16. I really feel sympathy for lot of what the orginal poster says but I just wanted to post that its not all bad. I've been a nursery teacher for over 20 years I still love it and teach just the same as always. Yes there is too much paper work and too may vague meaning less statements. Maybe it's becaue I work in an old nursery school with everybody tuned into nursery education that makes the difference. I love the freedom of letting children really develop through their play spend all morning digging a hole to Australia if they want with not a thought for phonics! Yes we have to take photos and do observations but I love sharing these with their parents and explaining how they are learning. I see colleagues in primary and secondary bowed down with pressure to get their children through various hoops but my head is much more interested in our children's well being and happiness! Yet our children go on to do really well at all their primary schools .
  17. Just remember they are loopy, all of them, the SMT and OFSTED the SIPS and STIFFS. There isn't a patented formula and there is some good advice on here to help reset your bearings- written planning: not necessary and so the SMT can stuff it up their intrays. Assessment: is to inform teaching not to provide pages of numerical tranquilisers for hyper managers who spin in ever smaller circles of inanity and all just to please the headless wonder who walks through the door wearing an inspector badge. Its a shame you are going rather than just being a strong, quiet example of the way it could be done, should be done, would be done if we stopped for a minute believeing the grand lie that the emperor is clothed in staticstical truths, rather then is naked in obvious lies.
  18. Dear 1992CO
    I feel exactly the same way as you and am also thinking of giving my notice in after half term.
    It is the constant drilling on how to do this, that and the other. From people who 'know best'. As you say, we know our children and we don't need to note down on countless observation sheets to realises what they can do. This aspect of the job, along with printing off photographs that show children achieving some area and then sticking these into a learning diary takes up most of my weekend and is driving me to resign. These are lovely books but are not beneficial to children's learning or needed for evidence. I can't and don't want to leave before the end of the year as I know the children in my class and their little traits which enables me to get the best out of them. A new teacher would have to, just as I did at the beginning of the school year, get to know the children and how each child learns best, this takes time and I don't want the children to lose out on their learning.
    I believe that the play aspect of the day is one of the most important aspects as I see the children putting in to practice what they have learnt. This can only be achieved if the relevant resources are provided. I used to worry about whether the children would achieve what is expected but they have gone up to year 1 above the national average. My children self register and then have 30 mins play. The amount of learning that goes on at this time is unbelieveable, socialising, creating, experimenting and loads of writing and word building with magnetic letters (usually copying what I do in Phonics). So Child initiated time is very beneficial.
    I apologise if I have rambled incoherantly but I should have gone to bed hours ago and I just wanted to let you know I emphathise with your situation.

    Good luck in whatever you move on to.

  19. I agree that this thread is essentially very sad. All that knowledeg and experience and love of children being destroyed.
    However, on a personal level it is also comforting to know that I am not the only person who feels that way, not the only person who is battling with the inappropriate demands and unnecessary paperwork and who is considering whether or not or how to continue.
    Good luck to you OP for being brave enough to make a decision and for whatever opportunities you find for the future. Your love of children will inevitably bring you back!
  20. There is another solution which is SO simple - and which should be more simple than ever when one is at the end of one's tether to the point of giving up on your livelihood...
    DON'T DO all the paperwork chasing - the formal observations, the evidencing, the complex recording and reporting.
    Turn the tables on the senior managers and advisors etc. by putting the ball in their court to PROVIDE YOU WITH THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THEIR EXPECTATIONS AND TO PROVIDE YOU WITH TIME-MANAGEMENT STUDIES TO SHOW YOU HOW IT CAN ALL BE DONE.
    Just run your settings sensibly and responsibly in an ordinary way and build ordinary and sensible relationships with parents wherever possible.


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