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How Best To Use This "expert"?.......


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My pre-school is in a class room of a primary school, they have just appointed a new KS1 teacher who is something of a early years expert (written books/works with LEA/FD lecturer ect ect), after a conversation she said that if we ever wanted any help/advice she would be happy to help.

 

Now I really want to "use" her, i think she could maybe spot areas of weakness for us and I think her advice would be benefitical. my problem is how to use her (iykwim) She is usually in class whilst pre-school in session, however one day she works half day so she could come in for an hour before end of session. I wondered about asking her to do a fake ofsted inspection, but think she would need more than an hour, so maybe we could ask her to look over our planning ect, I just don't know. I would like a general view on the running of the session, so how do you think this would be best looked at??

 

Thank you.

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Hi

Interesting! I can appreciate you want her to look at how you run things, but do you really want her to 'dissect' your practice. At this stage I think I would certainly NOT be wanting a 'fake OFSTED', more some 'professional discussion' around your ethos and maybe a chat about your planning approach.

Once you have got to know each other, could she find a bit of time to simply be around at some point to observe your session? I would be wanting a softly softly approach - have there been any identified issues with your practice? Are parents expressing concerns/dissatisfactions? Think about it... I'm a big believer in " if it it ain't broke..... ". Tweaking is necessary from time to time, but if you go ahead and invite her in to 'fake O ' you, you may feel the need to change things that may not necessarily need it. I am put in mind of a gem of advice often shared here (granted, in relation to Early Years Advisors) 'advice may be given by experienced professionals, but only you and your team really know your children. This advice is just that, you don't have to follow it'.

So; get to know each other, share what you do but wait a bit to invite a big examination, would be my advice here....

 

Sue

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I would like her to just come in and get a feel for the provision, engage with the children maybe.

Perhaps also finding out what her skills are.

From this ask if there were any areas she could see that may need tweaking. I wouldn't want my staff getting twitchy, let her feel part of the team and then use her skills at another time.

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I would agree with what the others have said, get to know her a bit, maybe via a chat when she is able. Then if the opportunity arises, she can come in and see how your session works. I often find as I go about supporting settings, that I need to 'see' how things work rather than hear about them (others may differ), and the best way to do this is get in there and play!

 

If this is difficult because of hours etc, then maybe you could start with a chat about any burning issues you may have ((free flow, managing snack time, managing staff, observations...you know whatever is for you a key issue). Sometimes those conversations can be productive as they help you think through what you're doing.

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Don't take this the wrong way - but I would have thought she had enough to do with getting to grips with her new role in the school!!!

I don't know what the relationship between your setting and the school is and it's a nice offer but I would wonder what her HT would think about a member of staff taking (probably) PPA time to do consultancy in another setting! That would need to be cleared first I would think.....after all it's during the school day.

 

Cx

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Don't take this the wrong way - but I would have thought she had enough to do with getting to grips with her new role in the school!!!

I don't know what the relationship between your setting and the school is and it's a nice offer but I would wonder what her HT would think about a member of staff taking (probably) PPA time to do consultancy in another setting! That would need to be cleared first I would think.....after all it's during the school day.

 

Cx

 

Hi.

Although we are independently run in all other aspects we are very much part of the school, The HT is very supportive of us and in fact it was she who told me of the new teachers experience/qualifications ect. The HT is very keen for us to share knowledge when and where we can, but we would run things by her beforehand.

 

Thanks for your advice, and will take it all on board - think your ideas of chat/discussion sounds like a good starting point.

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hi, I agree with the others.

Just because she is an expert doesn't mean that her way of working would suit you and your children. We all work in different ways and something that works brilliant in one group would be disastrous in another. If she came in and observed you and suggested that you change everything, would you feel obliged to do it even if you disagreed? I think you should try and build a friendship with her first to see whether you have similar views on the way you like things to work etc. before you jump into anything that it might be awkward getting out of. If you've got any specific worries of course you could ask for her opinion but I'd wait a while before inviting her in to observe.

 

Also as catma said, she'll need some time to settle into her new job too so it wouldn't really be fair to expect her to put any time into your group yet. She'll probably really appreciate a good friendship at the moment because it's never easy starting out somewhere where you don't know anybody and once you are friends your working relationship will naturally develop. I ask my colleagues for advise all the time and they ask me too, it doesn't have to be a contrived thing, that's just how we all work together as a team.

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