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:o Hello,

We have just started to have small group time and children's own planning time, work time etc in our reception classes. Whilst I can see the benefit to some children, those that are very young or immature, the older children seem to enjoy a more structured timetable with teacher led activities rather than complete free choice. Is it just me who feels that I am a crowd controller rather than a teacher at present and is this something that will improve over the next few months?Any reassurance would be great. Thank you Susan.

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Hi Susan

Just wanted to welcome you to the forum and thank you for your first post.

I think the term crowd controller can apply to most of us at the beginning of a new school year. I own and manage a pre-school and I feel that the first few weeks seem like we are just trying to keep everything in order rather than doing anything constructive. This is a time for you to get to know your children and for them to get to know you. So I wouldn't worry too much about it at the moment. Give yourself and the children time to get used to the routine-and above all enjoy them!!

Linda

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How reassuring to know that other people feel like crowd controllers. I am shattered this weekend after the children's first full-time week in school. i have some rally difficult boys who were already on IBP's in the nursery and are tring me out at the moment.

I do think that children with BP need more structure to their day to help them feel secure and yes for me to contorl thier behaviour. Often children with BP have not learnt to contorl thier own behaviour and feelings and have very little stucture at home.

I do think that in reception we are always pulled in 2 directions- going with the flow and childen's interests, but having structure and fitting in the Lit and numeracy. This is the problem we ar all trying to resolve - trying to please everybody. :o

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Dear susuan

what's worse :o is sometimes you can see that your elaborate plans for the morning in a particular area have been hijacked by the chidlren who use in perhaps in a much better and more constructive way than you had planned. xD Then you should pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for giving chidlren the chances, opportunities and confidence to use their initiative and organise themsleves in play independent on adult input. :(:(

 

Linda I'm so glad that i'm not the only one who feels like a controller. This year my nursery has particulalry young ones. Those who have turned 3 in july and august and i feel that for the first few weeks, there was no planning except going through routines. But that is the way it is supposed to be I guess. Now 4 weeks in they can use and tidy up resources as they move from area to area which means less tidying up at the end.

 

How do i explain this to KS1 and KS2 teachers- that the planning for these young ones is to reinforce, understand and remember daily routines- "blue aprons for..........," "red aprons for........."etc and "hang it up" "dont throw it on the floor.""don't wipe it on the shirt" and "don't eat your...use a tissue" !!!!!! :(

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Susan,

 

Firstly welcome to the forum, its good to have someone else to bat ideas around with. :D I hope you don't mind me saying but I think you've got it round the wrong way round in some respects. :o You probably think that the older more mature children get more out of adult led activities because they are easier to control. However, these are the very children who will actually get most out of leading their own play. They will become very engrossed in what they are doing and are more likely to think about what they are doing and ask questions to understand it better. :) The younger children with the behaviour difficulties are more likely to flit around, annoying the other children and not really getting much from their play. These are the children who actually require more structure to help them to learn what the boundaries are and how to play appropriately with the others. These children can be very hard work, and yes it is crowd control, but how rewarding next year when you see these children working with others to extend activities without any input from yourself. :D

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Hi Susan & welcome.

I agree with the others that I dont think you are experiencing anything unusual! :D If you can think in terms of facilitating the children's PSED then I think you will feel less like a crowd controller and more like a teacher! Make sure your demands are achievable and appropriate and you will see a lot of progress very quickly. PSE underpins everything we do in Reception classrooms and without some strong foundations, learning in other areas will not progress as you would wish so dont be despondent.

How long have you been a teacher in Reception? It is easy to forget that this time last year the class you sent up in July to yr1 were exactly the same. Stick to your routines, modifying them if needed and if not within the next few weeks then by January you should not a big difference.

Good luck. :o

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:D Hello and thank you,

I always read the comments and end up with a smile on my face. So things can't be that bad. I'm in my second year of teaching and we have advisors coming out of our ears! One person expects one thing and another expects something else, plans are too detailed, then not detailed enough and then too detailed again. We have a lovely coordinator who is very supportive but we seem to be spending hours upon hours revising plans, classroom layouts only to have someone else tell us that whilst we are moving in the right direction we still have lots more to do. We have one classroom assistant between us and have to cover 4 areas, this includes outside. One area has to be closed at any one time. I've downloaded planning sheets and other ideas from the site and hope to incorperate lots of ideas like pegs into our weekly plans. Thanks again everyone.

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AAHHHHHHHHHHH xD

 

all my chidlren were indoors this morning bec of the weather( I know we are supposed to take them out in all weathers but you can't force them out in the rain and most of ours don't bring the jackets) we stayed in. We had an interesting morning with sticklebriks ending up in the playdough- playdough is a pain to get out of the nooks and crannies of the sticklebricks!!!! paint all over the floor and most of the toys mixed up. This is after spednign 4 weeks teaching them how to put away and tidy up.

Then I have 3 children who insist on talking loudly when I'm reading a book and of course- 1 who refuses to face me at all. Oh and the 2 whos mums forgot to pick their children up on time, so we had to comfort them.

 

An assistant who can't understand the term "floating" and "giving them choice"

 

But do i care? I smile benignly now that i'm leaving thinking "this too will pass" :o

 

But seriously sometimes in nursery it feels ike 2 steps forwards and 4 back!!!!

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The meal was fantastic and I splashed out on a bottle of 'Bolly' :D after all I didn't have to work on Friday :o . Thanks for asking.

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Oh Leo you have made me feel so much better. I have a really difficult group of children this year and I feel really bad as I cannot get some of them to listen, stop hitting and kicking other children and me and my NNEB. I am seeing some parents this week. At least I feel that i am not alone. Thanks Leo

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It is nice to know that i'm not the only one feeling like this! :D

 

I seem to have a really difficult and immature group this year - they are obsessed with mixing up the toys, putting sand in the water tray and in the furniture in the role play area, as well as finding the bandages from the hospital role play area soggy in the bottom of the water tray when i was tidying this afternoon...

 

I also have 2 children who have come in with ILP's on school action plus and most of the class have very poor or no English - agh!

 

I feel shattered, it's only Monday and I have to finish reports which have to be handed to the head tomorrow morning

 

:oxD:(

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Leo,

 

That sounded like a great session. :D:( It was similar to my Friday last week, but then yesterday they were all little angels. When I took storytime at the end and looked around at all their little rapt faces (no-one jiffling or talking :o ) I remembered why I do my job. That sort of moment is so precious. No doubt tomorrow they'll be a nightmare but its the last one and then 2 1/2 weeks holiday!! :D:D:(xD

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hi Beau

how come you've got the break already?

is it because you are in scotland.

Oh i wish i could have a break- god knows i'm ready for one.

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It all rings so true!!! I had a terrible afternoon, & all my own fault! I seemed to have lots of 'stuff' that we had to get done, so I and my TA both had tasks to do with kids, & somehow I was expecting the rest to be able to get on with choosing without too much help!!! What a fool!! Noise level through the roof, toys mixed up & in places barely imaginable, & one very stressed teacher! My TA took pity on me & took them all outside for playtime while I picked up the pieces. Once again, I forgot that these children are a lot different to children in July. And I've been doing this for 4 years now - I really should know better!

 

Dianne xxx

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I found that when i made myself stop worrying about muddled up toys (they can be sorted as a focus activity) , odd things in the water tray (They'll dry, HOW? Where shall we put them......) sand in the role play area (if you're mixing cakes you do need something in your bowl, and it sweeps up anyway)and how many children were allowed anywhere(does it REALLY matter if there's 4 or 5 in the sand???) then things got easier.

 

In response to the initial post The Eppe reasearch shows that the most successful settings have a balance of child initiated and adult initiated activities.

 

Cx

 

:D:D

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your seting sounds just like mine.

I'd love to have an alry years consultant sort it out!!!!!!

its suprising what good ideas you have when you don't have to manage the chidlren first hand!!!

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