Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Confession Time - Please Don't Judge Me!


 Share

Recommended Posts

Confession : I have fallen a very, very long way behind in sorting out my children's profiles for a number of reasons and have been working hard every evening and weekend to try and get them up to date. I spent 10 hours yesterday cutting out photographs and sticking them in the children's books with the post-its and longer observations and trying not to notice that I hadn't done this since Christmas.

 

Now I have to try and write the profile points that these observations represent so I can fill in the eye-profile before Monday and I am struggling!!! I seem to have lots of observations that seemed quite interesting but don't seem to represent any profile points at all or only represent points that the children have already achieved.

 

I feel so useless - especially as I have had a mixed YR/Y1/Y2 class for 2 years and struggled to provide the right learning experience for the youngest children and I was so excited about having just YR for once. I can really see them making progress but now I feel like I have no evidence of it because I didn't write it down at the time. Typical example - 'communicates freely about home and community' has me desperately wishing I'd written down every single time a child told me they were going to someone's house for tea or having a birthday party!

 

Am I really the most useless Reception class teacher in the world? Is there anything at all I can do? Thanks for 'listening'!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cant help I'm afraid, but just wanted to tell you you're not the most useless teacher. Its a lot of work to carry out observations, record everything, remember things and do all the day to day things, and then anylise what you've seen.

You know your children, you've said 'I can really see them making progress', you know the ones who go to tea, have lots of friends, are helpful and who can follow simple instructions, who shows interest, all the things you need to record, does it have to based fully on set observations?

Hope you find time to relax this weekend :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cant help I'm afraid, but just wanted to tell you you're not the most useless teacher. Its a lot of work to carry out observations, record everything, remember things and do all the day to day things, and then anylise what you've seen.

You know your children, you've said 'I can really see them making progress', you know the ones who go to tea, have lots of friends, are helpful and who can follow simple instructions, who shows interest, all the things you need to record, does it have to based fully on set observations?

Hope you find time to relax this weekend :o

 

 

I agree - it is a nightmare collecting every piece of evidence and dont forget that sometimes one photo or observation can cover lots of different scale points in one go too. I always think that i know my children and what they can do and if i am really sure they can do it but I havent got a bit of evidence to back it up i will give it to them based on my judgements. Also I also make notes to refer to reading records, work books etc where they might have also have the evidence. And dont panic I bet there isnt one reception teacher out there who hasnt had a major panic like that over the childrens profiles - I know I do lots! x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there testwinkles.

 

First of all, don't beat yourself up too much about this, you're human, and all of us at times get really behind with things we have to get done.

You're probably completely shattered if you've been up late working on your profiles, and at the end of the day what isnt done, isnt done.

 

I am wondering why you 'have to' update your profile by tomorrow? The profile is an end of reception profile and there shouldn't be any requirement to complete a bit by a certain time (yes I know Heads often expect you to, but I would be tempted to say you just haven't done it yet).

 

So onto the more practical side of things..where do you go from here?

 

First please remember this thing called 'professional judgment'. You dont need to have written evidence for every scale point, if you know your children well (and Im sure you do). If you know your children talk about family and home, then mark it off, dont fret about why you havent got it evidenced in writing.

 

Second, if your observations are not informing your planning, then I would look at what you are recording..eg are you writing down too much? Likewise if your observations are not telling you anything you didnt already know, do you need to write it down? This may take time to adjust/tweak, it wont happen overnight.

 

Then I think it would be good to sit down with your TA if you have one, and work out an effective way of keeping your learning journeys up to date, look at your other workload, is there something getting in the way? Is there a way your TA can help you, does s/he have key children? can you simplify the whole process for yourself so that you can keep on top of it?

 

Finally, can you rest this afternoon, go for a walk, spend some time doing what you like doing, and leave this for now, ask to see your Head tomorrow and explain, saying you can get it done by te end of the week/end of term/whatever?

 

Please don't ever feel like a failure, work gets the better of all of us at times, but we usually pick ourselves up and carry one..

 

Take care

mundia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here! Here! Mundia

 

Tes Twinkiles you are certainly not a useless teacher. I agree with Mundia about professional judgement. Sit down with your TA and the profile and decide can you are can you not award that profile point to a child as you know, as a professional, that they certainly have achieved that point. If you both say yes then award it and if you feel you need evidence then you are bound to have it in the plethora of info you are sorting through so find it and cross reference it.

 

Observations should be done to inform planning saving them seems like a good idea but as you are finding it is now a huge task. At my school TAs and TR teachers sit down at the beginning of lunch and at the end of each day before they do anything else and use the observations to inform tomorrow but also put into each child's file after agreeing what it would provide evidene for.

 

We also throughout the school keep Learning Stories and we conference with the children once a fortnight in our calss time as a small group. So each child has their story and in small group time I will discuss with each child how they are doing and what they want to do next. I really think this is valuable time and it means I very rarely have to do what you are doing today!

 

Don't beat yourself up, draw a line and start again!

 

Emilia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I moderated last week and one of the teachers I met didn't need to get her file out ONCE! (She did just to reiterate some points and because she had some photos she wanted me to see but the file was not driving the discussion).

She could describe in real detail what the child had done and said and HOW she knew he had attained those points we discussed. She wasn't saying "I'm sure he could do it, he's that type of child" it was much more specific than that but she had all the evidence I needed to be able to say her judgments were secure.

 

YOur file is what you need to keep so it informs your work - if you already have evidence for attainment then don't worry about filing the same info....but use the analysis time to identify what you are missing and then you can tune your Look listen notes into those areas you don't have much info on. Far better use of time!!!

 

Cx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dont be too hard on yourself - you are not a bad teacher - just an overworked one. i in the past have also left my profiles and then spent hours and hours updating them (my lesson learned - was to try to do them more regulary :o ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much! You reminded me of why I come here so often - you are all so lovely and supportive. I still feel disappointed that I haven't learned from past years and still have to have a deadline to motivate me to do what I know I must but I think that's just part of who I am.

 

I know my children well but find profile points very difficult because I'm KS1/2 trained and have just picked up what I know about EYFS along the way (although I have gone to as many training sessions as a tiny village school can possibly support) so I always think I'm doing it wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Completely agree with what everyone else has said...

 

I went to my EYFS moderation meeting last week, and as always was really worried that I wouldn't hae enough 'hard evidence' to compare with what other practitioners had. But as the Advisor said - 80% of your evidence shoudl be of independent or child initiated activity, but that 80% can be made up of photos, observations, post its, annecodes, or simply what you can say about what you've seen the child do. So if you don't have the 'hard evidence' - I'd say it doesn't matter right now. To repeat what everyone else has said - you know you're children best and you will be able to talk about them till someone tells you to stop talking!

 

Try not to panic over it :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I wish I'd read all your posts 2 weeks ago! I have been in major panic mode as moderators are coming into our school as soon as we are back after Easter. I too have spent hours and hours sorting out and filing observations , photos etc. I have got boxes of work at home with me now to do over the holidays. I am exhausted and want to have a break !! Why is it we all beat ourselves up about having to prove everything?

After reading all your comments I might just rebel and use Professionla Judgement ! ---- can I be that brave?!

Happy Easter everyone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LornaW
After reading all your comments I might just rebel and use Professionla Judgement ! ---- can I be that brave?!

Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

You never know until you try BelindaJ - so go on be brave

 

In the words of the old advert " You know it makes sense!"

 

Lorna

Edited by LornaW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When moderated last year- we were told just to record 'wow' moments... and use professional judgement for the majority of points- there is no way you can record evidence for every scale point. You are not useless.... please take the day off tomorrow and relax.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Spiral

I totally agree with Lorna

 

you MUST relax and take time for yourself - in reality

 


how many of your evidence books would be scrutinised?

 


Would they have time to look at each one?

 


Won't there be other areas that they have to cover too?

 

In the worst case, if they aren't happy what is the punishment? Nothing much, just a new target to reach and it could be highlighted that you need support from your team to help get this done...and that's not a bad thing at all..it reflects at a higher level!

 

Don't you need to feel relaxed and less stressed?

 

Walk away for a day, go out, shop til you drop, have lunch with a friend, but make sure you look after yourself!

 

Take care,

 

Spiral.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add my reassurance too. I was moderated a couple of weeks ago and was really worried that I wouldn't have enough evidence as this was an issue for our school during moderation last year (I wasn't teaching reception then). I have long observations for the children (and a record of who has/hasn't been 'done', I have a few post-its, a few photos and a few notes on adult-led activities. The amount varies from child to child.

 

The comment I got from my moderator was that all was fine and that I clearly knew my children well from my comments about them and I should trust my professional judgement more and not worry so much about hard evidence especially for areas such as Emotional Development where it's really hard to see any.

 

I am also from a small school and consequently have fingers in all sorts of different leadership pies, I have very limited TA time and a third of the class are Y1s. I simply don't have time to collect reams and reams of evidence and I don't have the heart to collect it when I know that no one other than me will ever look at it again!

 

The break is really important, it's a long summer term ahead and you will (with all due respect :o ) be useless if you don't take some time for yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here! Here! Mundia

 

Tes Twinkiles you are certainly not a useless teacher. I agree with Mundia about professional judgement. Sit down with your TA and the profile and decide can you are can you not award that profile point to a child as you know, as a professional, that they certainly have achieved that point. If you both say yes then award it and if you feel you need evidence then you are bound to have it in the plethora of info you are sorting through so find it and cross reference it.

 

Observations should be done to inform planning saving them seems like a good idea but as you are finding it is now a huge task. At my school TAs and TR teachers sit down at the beginning of lunch and at the end of each day before they do anything else and use the observations to inform tomorrow but also put into each child's file after agreeing what it would provide evidene for.

 

We also throughout the school keep Learning Stories and we conference with the children once a fortnight in our calss time as a small group. So each child has their story and in small group time I will discuss with each child how they are doing and what they want to do next. I really think this is valuable time and it means I very rarely have to do what you are doing today!

 

Don't beat yourself up, draw a line and start again!

 

Emilia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wondered if I could ask a bit more about the learning stories and child conferencing. Could you tell me a bit more about how it works, do you use the same questions each time? Also do you have a proforma to record what the children say.

 

I think this sounds like a brilliant way of involving the children in their learning and next steps.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wondered if I could ask a bit more about the learning stories and child conferencing. Could you tell me a bit more about how it works, do you use the same questions each time? Also do you have a proforma to record what the children say.

 

I think this sounds like a brilliant way of involving the children in their learning and next steps.

 

Thanks

 

Hi tambie

 

Ok when the children start in nursery they all get a file we call their Learning Story and from the first home visit we encourage home to put info in, we put info such as observations etc in and the children also put in anything they feel is important enough to be remembered! We keep all the learning stories on an open front facing shelf so the children know where they are and which story is theirs so do parents and any other visitors to the class. Parents can browse through their own child's learning Story any time they like but visitors must ask the children if they wish to look through!

 

In reception one small group time session per fortnight - roughly - is a speaking and listening session and each child will get their Learning Story out to look through and will talk about something in there of which they are particulalry proud. Their key person will also talk about the adult observations in there and discuss the learning they can see in the journal. Sometimes the children want to add something and sometimes the key person will but we don't have any specific questions it is more a case of reflection for both adults and children otherwise the documents are only for accountablity rather than a working document for each child.

 

Often children will finish something or take a photo and want to put it in their story - the hardest part has been to get parents to feel fully involved in this and so this is now the whole agenda at parent meetings. It is by no means perfect but we do feel we are getting their and the children are really good at talking about their learning!

 

Emilia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply - it is really interesting to hear how other people do things and I love the fact that you take time to share the children's learning stories with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)