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Am I Being Unreasonable


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Hi all

 

I have a personal 'thing' where i believe that the staff should not be sat with their backs to the wall, unless sat with a child and reading, or feeding a bottle etc, but definatly not when the children are no where near them. now my deputy disagrees with me and says that some staff need to have their backs against the wall (i understand this and if they can substantiate this need with a medical note then fine!, but otherwise i feel they should display open and inviting body language.

 

I have raised this issue a few times and have now got to the stage where if i see staff with backs against wall (and no children near) then i will take them in office and raise it. well tonight i walked into our toddler room and one member of staff was sat with back against the wall, not near the children, not interactiing. (other staff were sat in middle of floor playing). i asked the member of staff who had her back against the wall, why was she leaning back. she snapped at me (rather abruptly) 'my back is sore', so i said if her back was sore maybe she should go home, because right now she was not able (in my view) to do her job. she snapped ' i will go home in 10 minutes and then leant back. At this stage i asked her to come to the office where i told her i did not appreciate her attitude, and that i did understand she may have a bad back, but could she see that we can not be sat with our back against the wall, especially without the children. I also asked her why she had not told me about her back earlier, she shrugged her shoulders and did not answer. she then asked to leave because her back was sore.

 

i know i should maybe not have challenged it in her room, around the other staff (learning curve for me), but it was the fact that i responded on the first thing i saw.

 

now, am i being unrealistic in expecting staff to not sit with their backs against the wall (unless with a child).

 

what are the expectations in your settings?

 

Dawn

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I have to say that I have no problem with people sitting with backs against walls as long as they are interacting with children and , having a severe back problem need to do so. BUT not all back probs can or necessitate a medical cert., they just hurt and need a bit of rest. If staff aren't playing with the children or are shirking responsibility then may be there is an issue, but I sit with my back against a wall to observe, make notes and children always come and sit with me, play or chat. I don't really see a problem, sorry

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NO YOU ARE NOT. Sorry for shouting but i feel strongly about this, had the same problem yesterday, quickly gave staff a task to do, and told room leader to make sure that she is kept occupied at all times. If you are not feeling o.k don't come to work, staff sitting and not doing anything, but talk about their boyfriends, hair and every other topic, really gets at me. Staff meeting on Tuesday i have to yet again raise this issue all bit it in a diplomatic manner about how children enjoy Adult interaction sometimes, without intervening in thier activities, i.e encouraging. Oh enough ranting sorry :o

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Isn't the real problem the not interacting with the children rather than the back against the wall??

 

Perhaps you should have a talk with your staff (perhaps at a staff meeting) about the importance of interacting with children - perhaps ask one or two of them to prepare a presentation for the others about the different ways of interacting (and the importance of this), followed by a discussion, to get them thinking about the whole issue. Alternatively some training perhaps that might get them motivated. Another way to motivate them might be to try and focus on and praise what you think they are doing well.

 

It is very stressful managing staff isn't it - I recently went on a really good training session on people management that really helped. perhaps your LA run one?

 

Good luck Dawn, let us know how you got on.

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I understand exactly what you are saying but agree with starburst, I think the real problem is staff not interacting with children rather than sat with backs against the wall.

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I agree with the comments made above- the underlying issue is the lack of interaction rather than sitting against the wall. When I was a student teacher i was told to sit not with my back to the wall but rather in a way that could allow me to scan the class if without moving my position. So I ask staff engaing with children to first consider how best they can interact with the group or a child and keep an eye on the class at the same time. The do usually sit with their backs to the wall but not against the wall and certainly not in the background!

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I work in a Nursery so appreciate this may not be of any use for your situation, but I had a problem with 1 member of staff who was not interacting at all. I got round this by organising a rota for the 5 of us to file post-it's observations etc. at the end of each session- whilst the children had a story, and she commented on how many everyone else had done as opposed to her 1 or 2 in a morning session! I then got her to suggest how they could have done so many and gradually the penny dropped that it was because they were involved with the children. It also turned out that reading other people's notes gave her more of an idea what to write each time (?!) and the problem gradually sorted itself out. She still has her back against the wall sometimes, but now spend most of her time on the floor with children so I don't make a big deal about this. Good luck!

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I'm with others on this one, I don't have a problem with back against wall (or radiators when its cold outside!!!) as long as you are interacting with or observing the children.

 

Sometimes children want you near them but not necessarily involved in what they are doing and this can be a great time to prop yourselve up against a nice warm radiator and make copious amounts of observations on that child.

 

Like the others, I think you need to deal with the lack of interaction with the children rather than the issue of leaning against the wall.

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