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Structure Of Day


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Am sure this topic has been batted about a bit but I am hoping that someone out there will take pity on me and share a detailed summary of their day - that includes individual reading/observations/lit/num/group work/individual time/breathing(!)/choosing/focused ku or creative activities etc. Or simply attaching a timetable and giving me a little idea how you manage your adults!!!

 

Am a second year teacher in Reception that walked into this position after completing my final year's teaching placement there. Have come to a point where I feel that my creative spark/individuality/freshness is slowly but surely being stamped out of me by the very capable and long standing FS Co-ordinator and two very capable and independent NNs. They've been there a long time, they have their own routines and practices and they have tried everything more than once and it usually failed both times round so why change their tried and tested practices? The problem being is that the school is diving towards special measures at a tremendous rate and I am so wanting to improve the good practice that is done in my year.

 

I'm in a double classroom with the FS co and that in itself is so hard at times. She was supposed to retire two years ago but I think she is hanging around to see in the new headteacher this Easter til about Christmas time. Don't know if I can hold out so long. The NNs have 'teaching status' in that they share carpet and group responsibilities i.e. the teachers will do a lit carpet and the NN will do the num and swap the following week. This means that I then have no flow in my planning or what I do on the carpet from one week to the next because it is a different approach, a different person delivering, and often a very different interpretation/simple ignorance of the planning that I have spent the weekend doing.

 

I have to argue the theoretical importance of MTPs, LTPs, phonic sessions, observations etc etc. Everything we are told we need to have - everything I have trained to do til I am blue in the face is being seen as devil's work. It's hard work to simply get myself to get enthused to go to work anymore.

 

The point of my email !!! I've seen a job advertised for another Reception position and I am intending to apply for it. I am very nervous about simply filling in the application form! Again - back to the point. I would very much like to hear how a foundation stage, play-centred Reception classroom is organised! The Rec team seems very much focused on carrying out a structured day i.e. lit/num carpet, then table time, then in the afternoon structured creative and Ku activities. Free choice is simply putting out toys that the children play with - there is never any purposeful play going on - they are put out to keep their attention while we work with a group - I can't work like this much longer.

 

Please help - I am very depressed at the minute. As much as I know I am in the right career for me, I don't know if I can continue feeling the way I do about work. My family are always stressed at me being stressed! They can't understand why I can't leave my work at work and forget about it when at home. Problem is it doesn't work like that - but recently I have spent most of my energy not wanting to go back to work that I'm not sleeping - and this doesn't help when I have to get into work bright and early and be as bubbly as can be when the doors open!!!!

 

Help would be muchly appreciated!!!!

 

Thanks

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Oh Gater i can't help, only offer words of support. I went through similar anxieties a couple of years ago but i stuck it out with the help and support of my family. I am sure many of your friends on this site can offer you constructive help and support. So Hang on in there. I'll be thinking of you and wish you lots of luck.

Stella

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Hello Gater,

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. I appreciate fully what you are saying. I have had a similar problem but with rest of staff. I am in a small school I am the FS coordinator, I coordinate myself and the Preschool. The KS2 staff think I should be doing lit/num games only not the structured play. Before Christmas I was pulling my hair out. But I have managed to ignor them. I have begun the hours because the children this year are ready and not because I was told too. I still have structured play - in the sand and other areas. It is a big problem though if you are on your own and battling against early years staff. Unfortunately as they have been in the job long time they think they know it all but have'nt taken on the FS stage any chance of sending them on FS training? I keep the lit/num hours short so not doing hours really bUt I make sure that there are plenty of activities linked to what I am doing - topic - wise.

I am rambling and don't feel I am helping much.

I hope you can stick at it we need more people who are understanding of the FS. I have been a R teacher for 10 years and was able to embrace fully the FS.

Good luck.

Let us know how you are getting on.

Abi.

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Don't let them wear you down Gator. xD Be sure in your mind that you're doing the right thing and it's them who have to change. :o Sorry, I'm not a teacher but I have two young chilren and know which approach I would want the teacher to be taking. But if you're not happy where you are then take the plunge elsewhere. You've got nothing to lose by filling out the forms. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

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Hi Gater,

Do you have a Foundation Stage advisor, maybe employed by your LEA/School improvement service? If so, I would get in touch, privately, stating the difficulties you are having, and asking if s/he would invite themselves into the school. S/he would be discreet if you asked them to be, and can incorporate it into the general observations of settings that they do on a regular (semi-random!) basis. That way, you have a third party taking the flak for any proposed changes.

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Hi Gater,

I too understand the stress and frustration that you are feeling. You probably need to talk to someone and you are making a good start coming here!

 

A move may also be what you need but I would advise you to go and look at the school in action, if you possibly can. its quite amazing the vibes tthat you can pick up doing this.

 

Meanwhile, we all work in different ways and have different constraints by our situations and resources. I would not be happy workning with a NN in the way you describe but I would expect a qualified and experienced NN to have some regard to planning, preparation and in supporting me in the delivery. I would also be encouraging her to have some responsiblity and perhaps developing her own expertise so that we were team teaching, so to speak. I guess that this is what has happened in the past too and why you find the situation you describe and perhaps you should talk to someone in school, the head or deputy perhaps about your feelings. You are the teacher and a good NN should have regard to the way you work and be adaptable. You are at a stage in your career when you want to try things for yourself, they may after all work for you, we all have different teaching styles, just as our children learn in different ways. I am sure if they thought that you felt your own teaching expertise was being stiffled they would try and support you to manage a change? If you were offered a job after a final teaching practise, your skills were obviously appreciated.

 

If you have already made these approaches and your requests have been ignored then you are probably right to move on.

Meanwhile get yourself on some courses etc if you can and visit some other settings/ schools to rekindle your enthusiasm.

 

Good luck and talk to us all you need.

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Thanks for all your support. It's hard to know who you can talk to at school so I feel that this is the only place where I can rely on the guidance. The school improvement officer is an old friend of the Chair of Governors, who happens to be the husband of my FS co-ordinator, making that a little on the unhelpful side.

 

Went in this morning with a view to try and be positive - see how things go so to speak and decide from there. Well, at 9:15 am precisely (I checked the clock!) I had decided that the first thing I was doing when I got home was filling in the application form!!!

 

Broke the news to the Deputy and Acting Head to ask for references - they know how things are but have done nothing productive over the last two years to make it any different for me. The Deputy is more in the know than the Acting, and she was upset that it has come to this, but she knows it's what I need to do. She keeps insisting that I wait for the FS co to retire, but she keeps finding reasons to stay - mainly due to nosiness me thinks.

 

Anyway, thank you all for your support and kind words. Am filling in the application form and printing out the CV stuff as I type (multi-tasking!!!)

 

Thanks again,

 

D xxx

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