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Too Much Writing


blondie
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we have a member of staff who is constantly writing observations on her key children - this has left other staff angry and annoyed - we have broached the subject through a staff newsletter but she seems oblivious!

i have broached it through a general chat when she was writing yet another observation on one of her children who was building using bricks ( he does this each time he is in)

"well e. is building again - thats the thing now , unless he does something really different you dont need to be writing anything on him" (or words to that effect)

she just continued to write - and i am sure that what he was building was no different to anything else he has built she then said " no thats right - e always builds such good models"

what do we do - she just seems obsessed with writing - and no matter what is said she doesnt seem to understannd that we are not meant to be constantly writing but playing with the children.

what is worse she can at times totally ignore any other children close what they are doing / saying to her as she is so obsessed with her own children.

any ideas would be a great help

thanks in advance x

Edited by blondie
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What does she do with what she writes? Is she noting any next steps in his learning - any possible lines of development you could ask her about? Could you hide the blocks to see what he does instead? :o

 

Seriously though - it IS annoying, I wonder why she feels she needs to do this - is it just this one child or all of her key children?

 

If she is doing the PLODS could you ask to see her planning for these?

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sorry was trying to show it as an example with regard to e. - he does do other things i promise!!

she does it with all her keychildren -she has five - it doesnt matter which area she is meant to be working in - she is always writing - and its always on one of her children.

she has next steps for her children and sometimes the things she is writing about arent one of the areas she wants - she just seems to feel the need to write.

we have signs saying five minute focussed observations mean exactly that - FIVE MINUTES - but to no avail.

we operate a free flow system and have this on a rota so each person knows where they should be and when - but she is so busy writing that she "forgets" when it is her turn to go outside - so i am constantly saying "f. its your turn to go outside " or " f. you need to go outside as m. has more than six children" - she will say "oh dear you need to remind me" but i am busy too.

sorry to moan but dont seem to be getting anywhere with her - HELP PLEASE X

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Have you had a look at her learning journey books, to see what is in them.... i check my staff's on a regular basis just to make sure they are being done etc.... just a thought!!!! Then you would be able to see what observations she is using..

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Is she new to the key person system and feeling terribly insecure?

 

Or is she using this continual recording as a way to 'duck out' of duties?

 

Very frustrating for you and other staff whichever it is - especially if she is missing/ignoring things that are going on around her.

 

Do you have staff appraisals planned anytime soon?

 

Sunnyday

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How about raising obsrevations at a staff meeting so she can she other's views about it as well? You could perhaps say you were drawing up a new policy or procedure or just reviewing observations in general and then get everyone to agree a min and max no per session/week/month etc- as well as reviewing how you use them etc? Perhaps seek la advice on it as well to add to discussion.

 

Also then do some discussion/training or project around what you want her to be doing instead ie interacting with the children. Perhaps say that you want to do a real push on developing the children's communication skills and ask for staff ideas on how they can do this. You could reinforce this by praising her every time you see her talking to a child perhaps or playing alongside them (and not writing!).

 

Another thought ask if she would mind taking part in a peer to peer observation looking at how staff interact with the children and get someone to observe her as she does it and also ask her to observe others, perhaps giving her good practice pointers to look out for when she is observing others eg how the member of staff encourages a child to communicate and to think for themselves, shared thinking etc. You could then ask her to reflect on what she has seen.

 

.

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Another thought ask if she would mind taking part in a peer to peer observation looking at how staff interact with the children and get someone to observe her as she does it and also ask her to observe others, perhaps giving her good practice pointers to look out for when she is observing others eg how the member of staff encourages a child to communicate and to think for themselves, shared thinking etc. You could then ask her to reflect on what she has seen.

 

 

Oh that's sounds like a good plan - use her qualities to promote what you want! Excellent idea! It would be really interesting to see what she takes note of

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thank you all for your help and suggestions.has given me some new ways to go about this.

she isnt new to the keyworker system and yes we have just sent out appraisals so will be able to talk about this as part of that but not sure if she will take any notice!

the newsletter was quite to the point saying that some members of staff had complained (which they had) that other meembers of staff were constantly writing observations which was unfair on other members of staff ,also that some staff were not being vigilant and watching their areas as they were too busy writing observations which was a h&s issue and also that some staff were ignoring other children to concentrate on their own chikldren which again was unfair on those children.

its sad because she doesnt really have any bond with her keychildren because instead of interacting with them she is just constantly writing about them - and its not fair on those children .

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I know someone like that. She does it because she really is lacking in confidence. She is secure with writing the obs but the next step scares her so she always has an excuse to put it off. I have no doubt she could do it well but she waits for advice on everything. She also is oblivious to critisism, she will sit tight with what shes comfortable with even if the whole staff team were to swing through the room holding placards.

You might find a one to one chat is best, hints and general newsletters never apply to some people, its not direct enough.

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I would agree with Rea here. Making oblique references to a problem is not actually going to tackle it at all. You need to be direct with this person and talk though the issues. However, I would say that the suggestion of Starburst to do some peer on peer observations is also a good starting point and will give you somewhere to begin your discussion. :o

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