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What makes a good EYFS teacher?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Shabas, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. I am beginning to get confused about this! I thought it was all about children having hands on and 'experiences'. Today have been criticised for having borrowed a metal wash tub, wash board, carbollic soap and victorian clothes for nursery children to role play how people used to wash their clothes! Apparently what how could 3 year olds relate to this, what would they get out of it?
    Help am i going mad!! Your thoughts please ....
  2. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    WHO criticised this???
    Lost count of how many times my classes over the years have shared "Mrs Wishy Washy" and then gone on to wash clothes by hand - frequently using dolly tub, wash board etc ... and have been observed by "Early Years Expert" - loved it ... it's part of Kand U (history) for starters!!!
    I'm afraid no matter what goes on in the classroom SOMEONE will say "Yes - fabulous" and another "No - why are you doing that?".
    I once had an observation - numeracy focus - in the days when we had a "numeracy hour" - remember that? and had a group doing "one minute activities" eg how many beads can you thread in one minute? the children loved it and were getting (IMO) so much from it including being excited and trying to get the most ... even took their threading over to the observing "expert" who shooed them away (says it all really!) and then in feedback so-called "expert" said inappropriate (despite it being in the "numeracy strategy" details of which attached to my planning ...)
    Since then I try very hard to be true to myself and the children and leave the "experts" to their world of targets and paperwork in the belief that me and the children are ENJOYING the experiences and I know they are learning well!!!

  3. Love your post sadika! I'm pinching the threading idea thanks. I did a similar chopstick challenge yesterday where the children had to pick up as many objects as they could in a minute. They managed to break the wind up timer though so need to get a sand one.
  4. Thanks for your response, makes me feel that i am not actually losing the plot! I am finding it harder and harder to take these criticisms when i don't feel they are valid.
  5. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Try not to take it to heart ...
    Would still like to know: WHO criticised this???
    PS My children are reception but I still see no reason why not valid for nursery ...
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Shabas, I would have loved it if my kids had done that kind of thing at pre-school ........ apart from the fact that it would probably have brought back the eczema on their hands!! Is it someone a bit lazy or jealous who is criticising you?
    Teachers are the worst for being self-opinionated an absolutely convinced they are right when there are many different ways to skin a cat ........ and I used to be one. I did find one of the worst parts of the job was some of the other teachers.
  7. Hi Shabas
    This sounds an amazing activity and I am certainly going to incorporate it into my planning when I do Homes and Houses. As others have said there is always going to be someone criticising what we do, but just know you are doing a brilliant job.
  8. Hi Shabas.
    I think that was a wonderful even fabulous idea! I know from 23 years of running a pre-school that the children would have absolutely loved the experience.
    Why should they have to relate to it anyway? Follow your heart and forget the negative remarks you get.

  9. Hi I have been in early years for 27 years and would have loved that activity -in fact I have just done something very similar as a curiosity table for Big writing day at school. I dressed up as a victorian lady and was "hot seated" about the past.My Foundation kids showed fantastic imagination and did the most amazing writing so carry on as you are doing and ignore the so called experts!!! meg
  10. Love your idea! I have had a successful career in early years for the last twelve years and what you are doing is excellent early years practice! As others have advised ... stay true to yourself and carry on providing these wonderful experiences that these children will remember for years to come!
  11. Don't get downhearted-it sounds to me like you are doing a great job!! I work in a Reception class-overspill from our Early Years unit due to an increasing birth rate and I have been teaching for over thirty years. As long as the children are enjoying the activity and are learning then it does not matter what anyone says. Most of these people have not taught for years so how would they know what to do?
  12. well yes, as an activity itself to wash their own clothes or the dolls clothes or some other concrete relationship to their daily lives, or even just to play- but to try to talk about victorian history, WHY? why is that relevant at three years old, did it come from an enquiry of the children? or from a grandmother? it does sound a lot of the teacher and only a little of the chld. The means are fine but is the end justifiable or desireable? So perhaps there is a legitimate query here. And yes I teach young children everyday. What they might have got out of it (will have got out of it) might not match your currilcular pretensions (sorry but they are) and might this be the point of the 'criticism' it might be to help you reflect. History in the nursery/reception. year one is highly personal and certainly hard to abstract to the victorians, although the language and vocabulary and the work singing are all enriching, the history might perhaps as well as be sung to the wind.
  13. I think that this activity is very relevant to a three year old. While the activity itself may not be understood by the child to be a "history" lesson, in years to come it will remain in their mind and could very well be the key to a love of history by the sheer fact that they will remember their experience at 3 years old. I have some three year olds in my pre-school that would in fact enjoy the experience and I know that it will open up a great discussion at circle time. EYFS children need to have experiences that inspire them and I think that you, by your comments, are under estimating their ability to understand what this activty was trying to do.
  14. Yohana, I think children can get interested in 'the olden days' if they are prompted to observe stuff in traditional tales such as the absence of cars and TVs and the presence of horse drawn carriages, castles, spinning wheels and porridge for breakfast. It doesn't have to be a history lesson, just a role play experience of 'the olden day's, when there were no washing machines. All the better if it is connected to favourite tales whether Mrs Wishy Washy, Each Peach, Pear, Plum, or a trad tale. Their experience of these tales make it relevant and they will be aware that they are dressing up in olden days clothes in the same way that they dress up as superheroes or policemen. The Victorians don't have to be mentioned but the experience can help children understand that the world changes.
  15. I think the 'criticism' was probably focused around the Victorians as a topic for early years. Where did this come from? Was it something the children were doing or were you 'teaching' them about Victorians and then devised the washing activity from that? If the latter, then I would question 'Why?'. If the former, then fantastic because you have followed the children's interests and made it very real for them. What to remember here is that the washing activity, with the tub etc is lovely, definitely and my kids would love that. It is more about the process than the outcome and this is where you can argue your case, but I do think in order to give accurate feedback to you, we would need to know why the Victorian thing arose in the first place. I am an AST for Early Years.
  16. Thankyou for clarifying my post aneusden
  17. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    aeusden, please can you explain again what you think would have been the acceptable way for this topic and activity to have arisen as I did not quite follow your chain of thought.
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The Victorians isn't a particularly early years friendly topic as understanding the concept of time ...past...present ...future is quite a complex idea for young children to understand. Usually history begins with the child and their experiences ...when I was a baby ...when my mum was at school ...my granny's favoutite toy when she was small.
    Having said that using a wash tub to do the washing is a lovely activity and one I'm sure the children enjoyed and learnt from.
  19. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Where does the op say it's a topic about Victorians??? History is about anything in the past and imo how people used to wash clothes is a valuable experience comparing it to today's washing machines. As I've already stated I've used Mrs Wishy Washy many times to show children that things were done differently in the past ... and how modern technology makes our lives so much easier!
  20. roise

    roise New commenter

    Sorry but not sure I get the slightly patronising "Are the Victorians an appropriate topic for Nursery" comment, I wouldn't think that geology was an appropriate topic but hey my kids love dinosaurs I see no need to protect them from it. Georgian history may seem a bit a bit of stretch but Pirates they love. There is more to history than just personal time lines and teddy bears just like there is more to Geography than the local area.

    There are many aspects of History that will enrich young children's learning and while the majority of my planning is about following children's interests this doesn't mean that I don't ever offer ideas that I think they will enjoy that they might not have already had experience of. If the orginal poster was clear about what she wanted the children to learn and they obviously loved the experience then it is mindless nit picking to criticise it.

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