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Childrens Centre Teachers- Opinions Please!


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Hello everyone,

I posted recently to say that I have just started in a new post. I'm finding it enjoyable but at the same time so difficult to get my head around!

At the moment I m finding my timetable the most dificult thing to adjust to! I'm working with the 0-3 s for two days a week- (supporting staff, and modelling etc) and then the other three a combination of shadowing, meetings and pre school visits.

 

I would really like to know honest opinions on my timetable situation which I don t really feel 100% comfortable with......

 

My issue is that on my days with the 0-3, I am counted as a part of the ratio which I'm finding quite difficult in terms of being there in an advisory role and I am also expected to carry out the same shifts as the rest of the staff which includes quite a late finish one evening. Some weeks I have Cluster meetings and senior management meetings which mean that I can get home late up to three nights a week. My feeling is that I would like more of a floating role and to not be commited to the rota as I have other responsibilities which take up time and energy in my evenings not to mention paperwork that I will be bringing home!

 

I think this is difficult compared to school, where you self- manage your time by going in early or late as you need to for your own classroom, yet you are protected by the Unions advice of 'no more than one meeting after school per week' for example.

 

As I am new to the role I dont really know what to think? I d like to have a realisitic view of what others are expected to do.

 

Am I making a fuss and not being flexiblie enough?

 

Any advice very much appreciated!

 

Belle xx

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Sorry can't help with your query specifically because I have no experience of the position.

 

What does your contract say, does it indicate the expected number of 'unsociable' hours? Is there any reference to work/life balance in the centre's employment phylosophy?

 

Maybe this is something you need to have a chat about with your employer / line manager. I would think that employment terms differ between different CC's depending on the unique needs of te local area in which it is placed. If you feel unsatisfied with the employment conditons you have every right to voicethese. Maybe your employers are unaware that the situation is impacting too much on your family life.

 

I hope you can work out a solution / compromise with your employer and get back to 'enjoying' all aspects of your job again.

 

Peggy

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Hi Bluebell 77, are you a teacher and appointed on teachers pay and conditions? If so I dont think you can be expected to work the typical shift pattern you see in day nurseries.. Peggy is right its worth looking at a job description but then if its anything like the Children' centre where I worked, there wasnt one!

 

I would also find out what your LA expectes, some are futher ahead than others in terms of what they expect of their CC teachers, some have a LA wide job descritpion, some dont. I certainly think that if expected to 'lead and advise and support delivery' that you cannot be counted in ratio. I was never in ratio, I was always able to work with the nursery manager to decide which room needed my support and in what way. Sometimes that meant releasing a member of staff to do a sepcific task or modelling pratice to other staff but I was always supernumerary.

 

However there are also many CC teacehrs who are empoyed as 'THE' nursery teacher for the nursery and are in ratio all of the time.

 

In short, there is no 'one' answer.

Its also worth contacting other CCs in your area to se if ther is a network.

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Mundia has mentioned some very valid points there and I would also emphasise that every Children's Centre seems to employ their teacher on different terms and conditions!

 

I am now at my second Children's Centre as a teacher. At the first, I was on teacher's pay and conditions, working term time only, and I didn't feel that the arrangement worked when everyone else worked all year round. In my current job I am on the same terms and conditions as everyone else, i.e. NOT teacher's, and it's much better. We all work flexi-time against contracted hours and so can claim TOIL when we stay late or start early.

 

Like Mundia, I am ALWAYS supernumerary when I am in the nursery rooms, unless I am called in specifically to cover for a short time due to unexpected staff absence.

 

Do you have contracted hours? If so, then you have a good starting point for discussions with your line manager. I think a "floating role" sounds appropriate and allows a good degree of flexibility. You certainly shouldn't be taking paperwork home to do. Make a list of your issues and concerns and also some possible solutions and arrange a meeting with your manager ASAP. The role of the CCT is still very new and it may be that the management are still unsure about how to use your effectively and in what capacity - you might find that your reflections on how your role has worked so far can have a positive impact on the way forward. I certainly don't think that you're being unreasonable in your concerns. I think that time management is a huge issue to get to grips with when you're used to a "classroom" life and it'll take a good bit of trial and error before you find the correct balance.

 

Don't worry though - these are all normal teething problems with this role, I've discovered that through discussion with other CCTs! I really made my first job up as I went along, giving input where I felt I could make a difference! I didn't have a job description for 18 months!

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Welcome to the world of children's centre and yes eveyrone does it differently. Some do it really well and some don't. I think that it all comes down to money - in some authorities the teacher is on a soulbury scale (all year around) and in others on teacher scale. One issue is that the teacher's salary as I understand can be allocated to the children's centre budget as they are supposed to oversee all the activities . As the nursery has to be sustainable and not all authorities are willing to support this - one way is to have the teacher working in the nursery. I think it is dependent on the authority and how much money they are willing to support the nursery as let's face it they are not sustainable. Not too sure what the answer is but I would certainly want the teacher working in the nursery at certain points during the day as I am under pressure to be break even and I need to look at things very carefully when i am budgeting and one way would be to include the teacher in the shift to avoid having to get an extra member of staff in until we meet the break even point. I think you need to look at what you job spec says and take it from there - burnout I think is probably rife in children's centres so you need to take it easy - it cannot all be done but not sure this helps at all.

Nikki

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a children's centre support teacher and I am employed by my local authority on teacher's pay and conditions. I am not counted in ratio's but I do often offer to 'cover' breaks etc when they are short of staff as this also gets me in the rooms with the children and I feel more a part of the team. It's all about being flexible! As we are teacher's we are expected to work our 1265 hours over 195 days including 5 for professional development or commonly known as INSET and of course 'any other additonal reasonable hours that the job may require.' Interpret that as you wish-I have! I don't have any specific timetable I adhere to as the job is so bitty, I just fill my time and manage it how best I can in conjunction with the areas of development I am working on within my centre. Some weeks I spend a lot of time in the rooms other weeks I don't! It's not my Nursery and they not 'my class' so we need to remember this when we work alongside our colleagues! I also think every centre is very different and of course it does all depend on the area you work in too and the authority you work for. Thankfully my authority treat us on par with the Asdvisory Teacher team except we are still at practitioner level whcih is really great!

 

Anyway - hope this has helped! :o

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Hello Bluebell77

I've been a teacher in a children's centre for almost 3 years and I'm lucky to have a much more flexible way of working than you seem to be expected to have. I can't possibly see how you can give the support, advice and guidance required if you are counted in ratio. The only times I have been counted in were in cases of sudden staff illness when cover staff couldn't be found at short notice and this has only happened on a handful of occasions and I was happy to help out. I try to spend 50% of my week in the nursery - centre business such as management meetings, training, staff supervision etc permitting - so no two weeks seem to be the same. I hope you can get your timetable sorted out so that you will be able to be more flexible and floating as I think it will really restrict you in doing the job required.

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Hello everyone,

I posted recently to say that I have just started in a new post. I'm finding it enjoyable but at the same time so difficult to get my head around!

At the moment I m finding my timetable the most dificult thing to adjust to! I'm working with the 0-3 s for two days a week- (supporting staff, and modelling etc) and then the other three a combination of shadowing, meetings and pre school visits.

 

I would really like to know honest opinions on my timetable situation which I don t really feel 100% comfortable with......

 

My issue is that on my days with the 0-3, I am counted as a part of the ratio which I'm finding quite difficult in terms of being there in an advisory role and I am also expected to carry out the same shifts as the rest of the staff which includes quite a late finish one evening. Some weeks I have Cluster meetings and senior management meetings which mean that I can get home late up to three nights a week. My feeling is that I would like more of a floating role and to not be commited to the rota as I have other responsibilities which take up time and energy in my evenings not to mention paperwork that I will be bringing home!

 

I think this is difficult compared to school, where you self- manage your time by going in early or late as you need to for your own classroom, yet you are protected by the Unions advice of 'no more than one meeting after school per week' for example.

 

As I am new to the role I dont really know what to think? I d like to have a realisitic view of what others are expected to do.

 

Am I making a fuss and not being flexiblie enough?

 

Any advice very much appreciated!

 

Belle xx

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Hello Bluebell,

 

Very interested to read your question. Just started as a childrens' centre teacher in September; we don't open until January so trying to set up groups, write policies etc but also Nursey Teacher this term so struggling... Hope things improve next year so i can just be CC teacher and not nursery; big headaches at the moment mainly coping because I can count down the days but feel frustrated and incapable that i am doing both jobs poorly.

 

Would be interested to keep intouch with you.

 

JL

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Mrs Tiggy Winkle

I find this thread quite reassuring - I have just been appointed as a CCT on a 'supply' basis through an agency from January for the rest of this school year. They have had problems recruiting which is why they went through the agency, and haven't had a CCT for some time. The previous teacher was very much nursery based and this is something that the CC manager wants to move away from. She sees the role as much more overarching across all areas and groups, and I am really excited about the prosect of working in a real multiagency and holistic way, and hopefully targetting the families and children that can really benefit from extra input at an early stage. Although I am not starting properly until after Christmas, I started my induction and familiarisation yesterday, have been in again today and will be there again 2 days next week. I think the role is really going to evolve with time as we look at areas for development, and the best ways to improve outcomes. Because I am working through an agency we have agreed a 9-5 day and I am on a daily rate. This is likely to be flexible tho to fit with meetings and things and I am quite happy to work on that basis, I can't really see how the role could fit into a typical teaching day, with term time only working tbh.

The other thing about the role is that it doesn't seem to fit a typical image of a CC - the main cc staff share a couple of desks in the parish office. Around the corner is a community centre where some groups are held. Then there is a private day nursery, two primary schools and a pre school all within walking distance. There are also other settings in the wider area. When I first heard about the role I envisaged a nice new building with a purpose built day nursery and all groups and offices housed within that same building - maybe this was a misconception on my part, but all CC's I had come across previously seemed to fit this model - how does this compare to other people's set up?

 

OK I'm not sure what I wanted to say with this post - I'm just rambling now! :o

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Guest budgie1

Hi Mrs Tiggy Winkle,

Your CC set up sounds like the "hub and spoke" model. My area has some of these (including mine) I have been working there since Sept and am still trying to get my head around it. Still, each setting is different with different strengths and needs, so life is never dull and no two days are the same. Hope you enjoy it! :o

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  • 3 months later...

how is the job going Mrs Tiggy Winkle? I am currently doing supply in a children's centre until the summer like you! I have been told that the job is going to be advertised soon for September- not sure whether to feel put out that they haven't just offered to keep me on in the job. Not sure whether to apply or not -would you?

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Guest Wolfie

Hi missc and welcome to the forum! :o

 

I'm sure Mrs Tiggywinkle will be along soon to let you know how she's getting on...I have a feeling that she'd tell you to apply for the job! xD

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Guest Mrs Tiggy Winkle

Hi Missc,

Welcome to the forum. I would say that they probably are not able to just offer you the job, they are probably legally bound to advertise and interview suitable candidates, but as you've been doing the job you should be in a strong position to apply.

At least that's the case for me, job has gone to advert, I've applied and interviews are next week - fingers crossed it will all sort out! I love the job and can't wait to get on with it without feeling that my time is limited - I have loads of ideas for developing my role further!

Watch this space :o

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thanks for your reply! Am feeling a bit better about it today- think I was just a bit surprised yesterday and didn't know how to feel! Not sure how i'll feel if I don't even get an interview or the job, and I don't think we can assume we'll get it just cos we've been working there although I guess that is a BIG advantage over the other candidates?!

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Guest Mrs Tiggy Winkle

Well I think it puts us in a better position to 'hit the ground running' - I feel like I've done lots of groundwork in building relationships with parents and settings etc. and it's all just beginning to pay off now, so I'll be gutted if they give it to someone else ! :o

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yeah thats exactly how I feel- it takes time to build all these relationships that are crucial to the role doesn't it?! Thanks for your reply, hope the interview goes well for you.

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Guest Mrs Tiggy Winkle

I got the job!! :oxD:(:(:(

So will be a fully fledged CCQT watch this space for questions questions questions - Wolfie I will be stalking you!! Ha ha

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Guest Wolfie
I got the job!! xD:(:(:( :wacko:

So will be a fully fledged CCQT watch this space for questions questions questions - Wolfie I will be stalking you!! Ha ha

 

I think you probably know as much if not more than I do! :o

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Guest sallyally

Congratulations! I got the job as a children's Centre teacher yesterday! I don't start until September, but am very excited and i'm hoping to use the time to really get to grips with the role as I'm currently working as a teacher in school.

 

I think this forum is a brilliant place to share experiences and ideas. I too will be asking questions, questions, questions :o

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Congratulations! I got the job as a children's Centre teacher yesterday! I don't start until September, but am very excited and i'm hoping to use the time to really get to grips with the role as I'm currently working as a teacher in school.

 

I think this forum is a brilliant place to share experiences and ideas. I too will be asking questions, questions, questions :o

Congratulations sallyally and welcome to the forum!

I am sure you will soon become addicted like everyone else!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Would just like to say hello to you all!

 

I am new to the forum and have been appointed as CCT, starting in September.

 

Looking for lots of support, ideas and opinions from those who are either in same boat as me (just moving from school to CCs) or who have been CCTs for a while.

 

I expect i'll be on here quite frequently!

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Guest Wolfie

Welcome to the forum shortnsweet! :o Feel free to fire away with any questions you might have...there are quite a few CCTs around on the forum now! xD

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Welcome to the forum shortnsweet! :o Feel free to fire away with any questions you might have...there are quite a few CCTs around on the forum now! xD

 

Thank you, it's nice to have a support network isn't it!

 

Am eagerly awaiting my contract and further details about the job as i still feel as though i don't know what i'll really be doing.

 

I just know that i won't be based at a particular CC but working across the borough.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi everyone. I am working at a CC and 6weeks down the line one of the SEN educators tells management that I m not doing any focussed activities and don't know how to set the room. Really disappointed now thinking of leaving before end of term. Suggestions please!,,

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Hi Maxy12

 

Thanks for your post and sorry to hear you so disheartened :(

 

What age are the children in the room you work in?

 

Did the SEN person give any suggestion at what sort of focussed activities she/he thinks you should be doing or what learning outcome they think you are not catering for?

 

Do you do your own room planning or is it planned for you?

 

Are other practitioners in other rooms having similar feedback so it is something that has not been communicated to you as a group?

 

Sorry so many questions but if you give us some more information I am sure we can try and help you :1b

 

Sue

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Hi Sue. Thanks for the response.

 

Our room has 3-4 year olds. We do our planning as a team and she works with two children. We discuss the learning intentions and link it to children's interest. She has never said anything to me, just got to hear about this from senior management. My main worry is the time this has taken to come out.

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