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Work experience students in class

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lizzii_2008, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. lizzii_2008

    lizzii_2008 New commenter

    In a reply to some of these messages I think it is totally out of order to just use this student as a 'skivvy' and if that is how they are used then that is what they should write in their work experience books. They have potentially asked to work in a school because that is an area that they are interested in and want to learn more about - not to learn how to photocopy and laminate. I understand that this is part of a teacher or TA's role but it shouldn't be the only thing the student does.

    I completed a BTEC in Early Years and remember being used as a complete skivvy to the teacher and was actually put in a kitchen to cut out a variety of shapes. I used to go home crying every evening and it completely diminished any confidence I had, luckily I was put in a lovely second placement where I grew in confidence and confirmed my want to work with children.

    For the initial poster I'd ask the student what they would like to get out of the placement? Aims and ambitions for the future? Then try to get him/her as involved as possible within the classroom. Playing and talking to the children is great, monitoring the painting/creative areas, reading, storytelling and there's no reason why they can't be involved in word or number games etc. You have an extra pair of hands so use them in ways that will benefit the children not yourself!!!
     
  2. Hold on a minute! I used to work in a nursery school where there was a lovely lady employed part time specifically to do duties such as laminating, photocopying and washing up. I don't think she was ever regarded as a skivvy by anyone, including herself. She was part of the team.We owe it to these work experience students to give them just that - work experience - and not cosset them about the world of work. They need to know that they have to be at work on time with their mobiles switched off, that it can be boring, that you need qualifications if you want a level of responsibility, and that you have to put up with being directed. Photocopying, laminating, washing paint pots are all part of the job. Preparing snack and washing up are actually very responsible parts of the job. And the students rarely have much experience of any of those things, so it's useful for them to learn.Of course they should have times to interact and play games with the children too, but let's not get precious with them. After all, in foundation we all muck in (unless lucky enough to have someone employed to do those housekeeping type jobs). Yesterday I was washing paint pots and the milk cups at 4.00 after everyone else had gone home as they are only paid till 3.30. If lucky enough to have had a work experience student I can assure you he/she would have been doing that job at 3.00, so i could get on with something else after school - for the children, not for myself.As for the student who thought she was being used as a skivvy - maybe she was getting a useful reality check. Well done InkyP.
     
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Thanks, thumbie. I have never used work experience students as skivvies, but tidying up, sharpening pencils and washing up is part of the job. I always get them to do activities with the children but these are activities that I have planned not sitting cuddling them, as some would prefer to do.
    I think some of them think that a placement in Nursery or Reception will be a cushy number, which it is in terms of hours. My daughter did work experience at a dental surgery and did the full working day, as do others in industry or shops. No sloping off at 10 past 3.
    I'm not anti work experience students, by the way, I have had some lovely ones who quickly realise what needs doing and get on with it.
     
  4. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    You obviously had a bad experience. I wouldn't think of a BTEC student as being on 'work experience', I would call this a 'placement 'and would expect the student to come with particular requirements to be learnt and assessed, although tidying etc would be included. I was thinking more of the 15 year old from the local school, some of whom don't really know what they want to do and some of whom have quite unrealistic ideas anyway based on their poor literacy and other skills.
     
  5. lizzii_2008

    lizzii_2008 New commenter

    Yeah, sorry I did understand you meant you school aged children but I was just recalling my experience.
    I do understand that sometimes you will get the 15 year old with a bad attitude who doesn't want to be there but then I don't think you can judge that until you actually meet the student. I mean back when I was 15 years old I knew I wanted to be a teacher and that is exactly why I chose to get my work experience in a school, much like a lot of my friends and it would really have knocked me if I was told to clean and photocopy all day.
    Yes, those jobs are all part of the job and they should be completed alongside other things such as storytelling, interacting etc. The student needs the whole experience, not just swept away to 'clean and tidy'. If that's the way teenagers are going to be treated then it's no wonder they show little respect to adults or have no intention of finding work or continuing education, a little bit of positivity and helping to raise confidence and self esteem wouldn't go a miss!
     
  6. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i do cleaning and photocopying and laminating, so my work experience students can do exactly the same as a real teacher. they also get to do activities with groups, etc. anyone who sighed at me for interrupting their conversation could expect a quiet chat...
     
  7. Part of working in infants and early years IS the sorting snack, washing paint pots, whoever's free running to the photocopier, cutting out laminating when you get a spare minute - whether you're ranked as a teacher, TA or any of the numerous alphabet soup of abbreviations going around at the moment that seem to change weekly.
    I've seen a real mix - from some utter gems who just know how to interact with the children and can't do enough to chip in and help - to some who just sit in the corner like a lump and to whom everything is an effort.
     
  8. Oddly enough, it's the ones who are happy to do the housekeeping jobs who are often also the best when it comes to working with the children. I've been lucky enough to have work experience students who will turn their hand to whatever is needed and then ask if there is anything else they can do at the end of the day, and I have always made sure the school get to hear about how well they have got on. But there are occasional ones who shout at the children, or try to mother them, or just simply sit around doing nothing when asked to support the children in their play. In a sense, it is like having an extra child, you have to find the right approach with each of them and support them in getting useful experience during the placement. And similarly, it is very rewarding when they grow in confidence over the couple of weeks you have them.I would advise the OP to find some specific jobs the student can take responsibility for each day, perhaps getting the TA to show her the ropes the first time; give her a balance of work with the children and other tasks; as she seems a bit lacking in confidence I would direct her carefully giving her a specific group of sweet children and a well-defined activity to start with; I would ask her if she has any special talents eg playing guitar that she could bring to the setting; further into the placement I would ask her to think of an activity she would like to do, and give her the means to prepare and resource it and advise her on it.
     
  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I've just had a reference request for one of my NN students. I'm tempted to write"Who?" I cant believe she would put me down for a reference when they only attended about 4 days over 2 terms!
    I have a student guide I give to all my students. It has all the basic details about the school and class as well as jobs they will do and expectations of dress code, behaviour etc.
    Incidently for those who think so called scivvy jobs shouldnt be given, our local college actually started giving lessons on how to sweep the floor 2 years ago before going on placements, as so many 16 year olds havent a clue how to use a broom. I kid you not!
     

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