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How Do The Children Know You As Within Your Pre-school


PhaseFive
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Please Help,

 

We are a Pre-School where the children refer to us as Mrs/Miss and would like to change this to being refered to by our first names, as we know so many Pre-School's and Nursery's do.

 

We have a mixature of new and older staff and the older staff are reluntant to alter there ways as this has always been done this way and it is what they are used! - and wont be talked around.

 

Do any of you know, if it is suggested within the EYFS that by calling Pre-School staff by there first name is the prefered way? or has Ofsted made any comments on the way the children refer to you when inspecting? It is hoped that we can then talk the older staff around by using these avenues!

 

Needless to say out of 7 staff only 2 don't want this to happen and our chairperson and committee are very supportive of the change, we are just trying to stop yet another agrument over change within our staff meeting.

 

Thanks you for any help you can me.

 

From a Tired and Frustrated Pre-School.

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Hi Phasefive - how tricky it is with old and new staff, so many issues raise their heads!

 

Is it possible that, there could be no uniform way in which the children address the staff, for example, those who wish to be known as Mrs. can still be, whilst others can be referred to by their first names - I don't see why this should be confusing for a child, afterall they come across so many different people in their young lives, just don't make a big deal of it!!

 

For historic reasons in my nursery the staff are called Aunty ............ but I don't correct any child if they just use my first name

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we used first names, but dont think it was ever mentioned in any formal way as being better..

 

 

when I took over everyone was known as Auntie xxx and I disliked that.. so asked it it could be changed.. I know many were happy with it but I was not... As you committee were happy but some staff were not.. so we changed it for those who were and gradually it became the norm for all to be called by first name.

 

it did not cause any issues for some to be called by first name and others Auntie xx In fact the children began to drop the 'title' bit themselves as did the parents..

 

it took over a year for us to completely change...and even then the 2 staff were not happy... but then they were not happy with me being put in over them anyway so lots I did was disliked even if I didn't change it and they had been doing it for years!

 

would it be possible to change for those who want to and let the 2 remain the same.. see how the children react to the staff.. is it different ? use it as an experimental or trial stage to see if it is any better..

 

Must admit a lot of my changes were done sort of back door if I could, slowly and without being noticed until someone commented, if they ever did.. quite an art to be able to do that but needs a lot of time to implement..

 

Inge

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we used first names, but dont think it was ever mentioned in any formal way as being better..

 

 

when I took over everyone was known as Auntie xxx and I disliked that.. so asked it it could be changed.. I know many were happy with it but I was not... As you committee were happy but some staff were not.. so we changed it for those who were and gradually it became the norm for all to be called by first name.

 

it did not cause any issues for some to be called by first name and others Auntie xx In fact the children began to drop the 'title' bit themselves as did the parents..

 

it took over a year for us to completely change...and even then the 2 staff were not happy... but then they were not happy with me being put in over them anyway so lots I did was disliked even if I didn't change it and they had been doing it for years!

 

would it be possible to change for those who want to and let the 2 remain the same.. see how the children react to the staff.. is it different ? use it as an experimental or trial stage to see if it is any better..

 

Must admit a lot of my changes were done sort of back door if I could, slowly and without being noticed until someone commented, if they ever did.. quite an art to be able to do that but needs a lot of time to implement..

 

Inge

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Inge

 

Thanks for your responses, your own circumstances sound very simular to ours!! We members of staff who are newer and higher (in management terms) and one of the older leaders doesn't like that or the changes we have made!

 

I really like your idea of trying it and see how it goes and what the children use. Hopefully the two who dont want to change can slowly be talked around with the idea, if they see the children using their first names.

 

My only concern would be how I and my colleagues would address them? Do we use first names to try to include them or stick with the Miss/Mrs. Also we want to bring in name badges on our uniform, ideally I would like to show just the first name, but I can see that we would have to use both first name and surnames!

 

Thanks again for your help, and glad to see it isn't just us who have problems and battles bringing in new changes.

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Hi phase five, just another point of view at our setting we are called by Auntie.....Uncle......., and then our name and have never considered changing it. The children and parents especially like it as a friendly and homely environment. I think when you refer to staff as old staff, new staff, it immediately sets up a barrier. As suggested i would use both if deemed necessary and let the children take the lead. It may be quite interesting to see if the children actually pick up on this and action this change. Remember those old staff were once new staff themselves, possibly with years of experience that should be respected, change is sometimes frightening for all concerned.

We have name badges with Auntie..............Uncle...................and then some of us have another badge with our first name, surname and setting name and position depending on our job roles.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :o

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I guess it's a case of what works for one setting is not necessarily the case for another!

 

I am personally not keen on children using first names for adults but that's not a criticism of those that do!

 

Why does it have to be 'uniform'. We call children by their (and/or their parents) preferred names. This includes the 'shortening', we have a couple of children called Eleanor but one is definitely Ellie and the other equally definitely Eleanor!

 

Is it not possible for the two members unwilling to change to remain as Mrs/Miss and others to use their christian names? just a thought :o

 

Actually I have just thought that though we use Mr/Mrs/Miss in our setting our male member 'Fred smith' is known as Mr Fred

Edited by Geraldine
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We always used our first names.

 

Also our keyworker groups were given names, my children were Bears, so I was always know as 'Brenda Bear'

 

All of the staff were then known by there keyworker group name and there first name, e.g. Lizzie Lion, etc.

 

My name badge had my first name on it and a picture of a bear.

 

I personally dont like the idea of calling us Auntie or Uncle's buts thats only me.

 

What works for some wont always work for others.

Edited by BrendaS
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Inge

 

My only concern would be how I and my colleagues would address them? Do we use first names to try to include them or stick with the Miss/Mrs. Also we want to bring in name badges on our uniform, ideally I would like to show just the first name, but I can see that we would have to use both first name and surnames!

 

Thanks again for your help, and glad to see it isn't just us who have problems and battles bringing in new changes.

 

 

when we did it I used first names for all members of staff, unless I was talking to a child who knew them as auntie xx , when I would use the prefix... perhaps ask the ladies what they would prefer and use that...

 

we didn't have name badges... I had a large picture frame with all staff photos, full names, roles and qualifications under each individual picture.. turned out parents and children liked this, children often sat and chatted with parents while waiting to come in about what one of us had done or about a member of staff when they saw the pictures.. and allowed parents to put a name to a face when they weren't there.. we did have quite a few parents with no or little English or English as a second language and they found it particularly helpful to point to a picture to talk about someone or if they were there etc..

 

not sure what I would put on name badges, but thinking about it perhaps full names for all including Christian names..

 

Inge

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I think that culture and age can have a bearing on what you would prefer the children to address you as, so I would be wary of insisting on anything.

 

I like Aunty/ Uncle as it seems welcoming, also some communities use those names as a term of respect for adults.

 

I use my first name as a childminder.

 

Some people feel it is more appropriate to use surnames as this indicates respect/ professional boundaries - you don;t call your GP by first name normally ect.

 

I think you can accomodate difference. You just need to make sure that staff also use the preferred names.

 

I did a placement at a Primary school where everyone was known by their first name - there were no problmes with respect, becuase we were still adults!

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I think that culture and age can have a bearing on what you would prefer the children to address you as, so I would be wary of insisting on anything.

 

I like Aunty/ Uncle as it seems welcoming, also some communities use those names as a term of respect for adults.

 

I use my first name as a childminder.

 

Some people feel it is more appropriate to use surnames as this indicates respect/ professional boundaries - you don;t call your GP by first name normally ect.

 

I think you can accomodate difference. You just need to make sure that staff also use the preferred names.

 

I did a placement at a Primary school where everyone was known by their first name - there were no problmes with respect, becuase we were still adults!

 

 

sorry, just had to comment here... perhaps a sign of the times but on a recent stay in hospital the Drs did introduce themselves using first names, and enquiring how we would like to be addressed.. even the consultant was on first name terms ,as to GP.. ours also doesn't mind.. he uses first name with me as do the surgery.. think I must be there a bit too often!

 

Inge

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Thanks for all your advice guys.

 

I agree you should respect the views of all staff members, for us it does seem at times we do bang our heads against a brick wall with regard to change no matter how small.

 

I must admit the Pre-School's I have visted within our area they all do use first names and also our Development Worker also suggested this to us.

 

I just hope they can all accept to giving it a go, and whatever the children feel comfortable with and we will take it from there.

 

We have slowly over the last year, moved on with how the staff are known to the parents! I have always called myself by my first name with the parents and always ask them how they wish to be called (this is because I can't stand my married name), before this last year the staff were known as Miss/Mrs to all parents and the parents where also refered to as Mr/Mrs/Miss, now the staff have dropped their titles and include their first and surnames within letters etc.

 

I understand the concerns regarding the children loosing some of their respect for the Pre-School staff, but surely they can gain more by building up closer relationships by calling us by our first names, than the air of authority of retaining Mrs/Miss. We to have a friendly family feel within our Pre-School with a lot of returning siblings, and even children of previous children (we have been open for a number of years!) surely by making this change we will only be enhancing this feeling.

 

We do have a notice board showing the staff, roles, qualifications etc but this is not necessary shown in the best light and needs to be altered - so this will be my next task to break to them.

 

On a final note, I am mum and have for the last 10 years been on first name terms with my GP and my youngest has been in and out of hosiptal over the last 6 years, all the doctors on the childrens wards we have been on are addressed as Dr (their first name), with the nurses being called by their first name as well. My thoughts are if Doctors and Nurses can nove with the times why can't other people, as they are very stuck in their ways and stuffy.

 

Thanks again for all your help. :o

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I'm another one in the "first name camp" Both parents and children call us by our first names.

I used to work in a pre-school who used aunty... and hated it. Seemed so old fashioned. As someone else said even doctors now use first names. I think the idea of gaining respect through a name whether its parents or children seems over the top. I have respect from staff and parents and children by what

I do not what I'm called, and I'm old!!! as one of the children said to me one day because I have grey hair like his Nanny xD:o

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Hi in one nursery I worked in staff were known as Mrs and then your 1st name, so we had Mrs Jan, Mrs Julie, Mrs Donna etc

Children and parents liked it. Where I am now we are just known as our first name

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we're a 'first names' group too.....maybe ask your older staff why they don't call the children Miss sarah, or master james'? really, it boils down to respect......on both sides.If the oldies want to stay as mrs Smith or Miss Jones, let'em.If the younger ones are happy to be Sue or jane, so be it,Eventually, everyone will be on first names...................

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We use first names, although I know of at least one group who are called Mrs Jones or whatever. I've also worked at a group where I was called Teacher Marion - even by the grown ups! And seven years later if I meet a certain member of staff I will still call her Teacher Di. Old habits die hard!

 

Much prefer using first names - although it does strike me that whilst we ask parents what their child likes to be called we don't ask that on our job application forms. Must look at that before I recruit anyone else.

 

I can't help thinking of when Phoebe in Friends changed her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock. Imagine if she came to work in your group! :o

 

Seriously though, I think whatever you decide needs to fit with your group's ethos and not make anyone feel uncomfortable. It can be tricky to find a compromise that everyone is happy with.

 

Good luck.

 

Maz

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Hi all,

 

I'm DN - we are first names - even Manager and Directors - except me! As I am the 'Pre-school Teacher' it is a management decision that I am known as Mrs R, in preparation for school. I completely understand and although I am normally in the first names camp, it doesn't bother me...anyway the older ones usually call me Sue by the time they leave (too many at the moment xD ) as staff just call me Sue anyway!

 

Actually, it causes lots of amusement for staff, as my name is a bit of a mouthful for little ones - :o Although we don't show it in the room!

 

Sue

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Most places I worked were first name, but the one where they were called Mrs/Miss gave me a choice of how I prefered to be called after I failed twice in one morning to responde to 'Mrs Green'. I always prefered my first name, Mrs Green was my mother-in-law!

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