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Advice Using An Experienced Nursery Nurse


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Hi there! I am due to start my NQT in Sept in a nursery in a school! I am looking forward to it and went in today to meet the staff and to see the routine of the nursery this year! I also meet the nursery nurse who will be with me full time! A very nice lady, but Im a little bit worried about the fact that for 8 years she set up, ran and was head teacher for a nursery- she has now decided to do her degree (which she is doing now) get experience in a state school and to do her PGCE when finished her degree! She was very nice with great ideas, but part of her came across as very dominant and I ve done this I can do that! How can I approach it tactfully in sept that I am the teacher and she is there to support her as well as using her to hr best potential because lets face it she does know what shes on about and also without coming to blows or someone being pushed out! I want to work as a team with my support staff, but dont want her to think she can take over! I may have got her all wrong just want to seek some advice incase it all goes wrong!! Thanks

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HI green.

You are right to be cautious but you may also find that your fears are unfounded.

I worked with very competent nursery nurses in a nursery, who supported me well as the new teacher but were inclined to run rings around anyone new on the scene such as supply teachers!!! :o


You must utilise her skills and you can ask her advise in terms of "what do you think" but she should also, as you say support you. I am sure that if she is following the training route you describe, she will understand that.


If you have concerns once you are there as the teacher I would suggest that you get advise from your Head or mentor, either to tackle it or to support you in your approach. Is it possible to broach this with them before September?


Nursery nurses as I'm sure you're aware are a real treasure. Make sure she knows you value her and I expect everything will be fine!

Good luck.

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Hi there,


As an 'experienced' NN myself, may I chip in? Obviously, I can't speak for the lady in question, but my feelings would be to make a new teacher feel 'secure' in their support, then through discussion feel out their vision and see how my experience can help to lead this forward. Working together thus, it should be possible to build a strong team - does that sound too airy-fairy?? I can be a bit idealistic, but I do strongly believe in supportive working environments and experience supporting innovation.


Very good luck to you ! :D


Sue :D

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Hi Sue,

that sounds really supportive and hopefully just what green will experience but it is quite daunting for the young & relatively inexperienced teacher to take control in the classroom and of a team, especially when the NN is so much older and experienced. Although as LSAs are such a feature of our calssrooms nowadays, this is perhaps not confined to nurseries.

Green, I am sure that by telling you of the other ladies experiences it was meant to reassure you of support and not meant to be intimidating.

You must be confident that you are the teacher and that you have been appointed to this job and the school chose you so must think you are up to it.

But I reiterate, don't fret ask them about it if you have concerns. Only you know why those alarm bells are ringing.

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Three years ago I was in the same position. My first post and a nursery nurse who has worked there for 25 years. I felt quite vulnerable at first as I felt that she knew the routines much better than I did and there were things that they had always done in nursery that perhaps I didn't quite agree with and I felt unable to speak my mind. I also felt that she was waiting for me to do things wrong (what's this paranoia?). It didnt help that we have quite different personalities.


But I must say that three years down the line we have an excellent working relationship. I have always discussed things with her that I have not been sure about and she has felt at ease to discuss things with me. I just approached things in an informal way and when concerns are raised about anything I have made sure I have done anything in my power to sort things out.


I would say dont make any radical changes unless you have discussed them and you both agree. This will strengthen the team work and will make you both feel that you achieve things together. Support any further career development she wants to undertake - give and take advice - you both have skills that each other can learn from


It wasnt easy for me at first but looking back it was just me worrying too much. Have confidence in your own ability. Your nursery nurse wants the same as you - a happy and constructive working environment.

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:D Ta very much guys for your advice- I av been thinking since and am sure itll be fine just pre-job nerves and worries! Ill be sure to let you know! Thanks
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