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How to help others develop their practice


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This thought was inspired by another thread and experiences I have had working in group settings.

 

I've come across practitioners some, but not all, with long term experience of working in settings, who have their way of doing things and their views of children's behaviour, and they firmly believe that theirs are the only valid views.

 

Some of these opinions are quite worrying, such as;

 

We know the children better than the parents.

 

Children should behave well at their default setting and if they don't we use sanctions.

 

Children only need comfort objects to sleep.

 

Any child who is not crying real tears is attention seeking and is actually fine.

 

 

I'm sure lots of others have come across practitioners like this who are either senior to them or very well established in a setting which makes it very hard to move practice forward. From personal experience I know it can make you feel powerless and like you are colluding with other practitioner.

 

I have succeeded in prompting change on some occasions but, in the most difficult and concerning situation I came across, any suggestion of change was stamped on immediately and I am sad to say that the eventual outcome was that the setting closed down.

 

So, for others on the forum who find themselves in this position, what tips and suggestions are there for helping the less reflective of our colleagues to accept new ideas and develop their practice?

 

Personally, the times I have succeeded have been when I have modelled the practice I wanted to see repeatedly.

 

I have also explained things quite loudly to the children in the hope that certain practitioners would hear it and absorb the information without having to lose face.

 

Any other ideas or experiences people would like to share?

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We are currently trying to train our assistants up and get them involved with all the planning, assesment and observations that go on and to greatly improve their knowledge of the EYFS. One assistant has been working in the group for 15 years!! (no qualification and no interest in getting one) We do not want to lose her as she is a valued member of staff, BUT times have changed and so have the expectations of working in our sector. We are taking it one step at a time, reinforcing and praising when we see progress, and just trying to stretch them that little bit further each day. (Bit like working with the children) Everyone thinks we are mad to have two staff members with no qualifications BUT they are good at being with the children, but we do need them to really start taking EVERYTHING on board.

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I'm currently working temporarily as 'agency staff' and regularly experience practitioners such as you mention, and indeed all of the examples you've given. I've also tried to share details of this forum with some, but have discovered that sadly, for some early years practitioners 'it is only a job' and they appear to have no intention or desire of reflecting on their practice or striving to improve their practice. Like you, I just try to do the best I can in the circumstances often amongst groups of staff who talk/interact with eachother far more than they do with the children in their care.

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I did have a one to one helper on a years contract last year, and she would always talk at story/group time and it drove me insane, So in the end I made a huge point of praising the children for being QUIET and LISTENING so well, I also went as far as saying I am not starting the story until EVERYONE is QUIET!! She got the message eventually but I am sure the kids thought I was a fruitcake!!!

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Upsy - I am so pleased that you have started this thread - I firmly believe that we can all learn from others no matter how experienced and/or well qualified we are........

 

I do not have the time right now to reply fully and I am slightly wary that if i go on too much my username will be changed from sunnyday to 'miss rantypants, know it all' and i really wouldn't like that :blink:

 

As Arnie whatsit said "I'll be back" ;) :1b

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Never stop posting Sunnyday, you are a source of knowledge and inspiration to me and lots of others. :1b

 

:wub: shucks thank you beehive........I really wasn't looking for compliments just poking fun at myself really and my never ending opinions!

 

Too late for this now really (and the jungle is calling me) so just one thing (for now! xD )..........

 

Re 'We know the children better than the parents'.......I am not a massive fan of the PSLA but I really like one of their oft used phrases which goes something like this.......'We acknowledge that parents are the first and most enduring educators of their children'

 

Miss rantypants, know it all :rolleyes:

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:wub: shucks thank you beehive........I really wasn't looking for compliments just poking fun at myself really and my never ending opinions!

 

Too late for this now really (and the jungle is calling me) so just one thing (for now! xD )..........

 

'We acknowledge that parents are the first and most enduring educators of their children'

 

Miss rantypants, know it all :rolleyes:

 

Who is this quoting? I want to say Vygotsky but not sure. Someone please put me out of my misery.

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The irritating things is I can see (in my head) my EYFD tutor standing saying it because it made such sense yet contradicted so much practice I had seen in EY settings and schools.

 

Who is the guy who did the circles of people around the child? Was it him? I can't believe I don't remember his name!!! Where has all my knowledge gone? :o

Edited by Upsy Daisy
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Sunnydays, you could never be accused of being Miss Rantypants...Miss well informed and reflective more like.

 

Bronfennbrenner was the 'circles guy' AKA Bronfennbrenner's ecological model. The quote about parents being children's first and most enduring educators is often quoted in the EYFS, but as suggested could be Bowlby or another theorist beginning with B - this is what 1 month of not studying does to my brain! Just remembered - could be Bruner?

 

Will watch this thread with interest. Early Years is undergoing change and many of us probably experience the practice you have mentioned. If we are open to constantly learning and reflecting we can keep up with current thinking, current discourses or 'truths' on the best early years practice, though we should also critically question it too. Who is to say which discourse is the right one? Is the latest government policy best for children and families, what other motives might there be behind the policy? We are the product of current thinking perhaps just as much as colleagues are the product of the thinking of the past but hopefully those of us are willing to keep learning and questioning will not fall into that trap - I have instructed colleagues to shoot me if I become closed to learning! Sorry I digress...

 

The power one has to effect change has a bearing but I think sharing knowledge is important, helping others to open up to learning. Modelling current thinking, ideas, sharing articles or U tube clips so that colleagues can read for themselves why we might do something, set up staff Facebook group. We all learn differently, reading something for themselves might help visual learners. There will be opposition of course, some people may remain closed but inspiration can be infectious and may encourage some practitioners to take responsibility for their learning.

 

Just some initial thoughts, look forward to hearing other points of view and ideas.

Edited by Deb
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My initial reaction was that the PLA coined this phrase when they were first set up - back in the day when they were the PPA (Pre-school Playgroups Association?). I did a quick google books search and the only references I could find were from Government publications.

 

Maybe I'll set it as a task for my second year degree students to find out for sure? :ph34r:

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Are you ready for another 'pearl of wisdom' from the rantypants/sunnyday store? :blink: xD

 

Always be ready to say that you 'don't know'...........followed closely by 'but I will try to find out'.........

 

This to staff, parents and most importantly to children........ :1b

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I'm currently working temporarily as 'agency staff' and regularly experience practitioners such as you mention, and indeed all of the examples you've given. I've also tried to share details of this forum with some, but have discovered that sadly, for some early years practitioners 'it is only a job' and they appear to have no intention or desire of reflecting on their practice or striving to improve their practice. Like you, I just try to do the best I can in the circumstances often amongst groups of staff who talk/interact with eachother far more than they do with the children in their care.

I've been in your position so I really have every sympathy for you. I recall one of the posts on my blog a few years ago went something like 'Damn and blast to bug**ry hell if some people dont get your goat now and then' (I've paraphrased but you get the idea :rolleyes: )

 

Upsy Daisy, I have been wondering about the same niggle for a while.

 

I see things at playgroup that bug me, I drop hints and model how I would like to see things being done, but my main problem is knowing the playleader is level 5 and I'm still a 3 with far less CPD under my belt over the last few years (except the FSF!) So I feel a bit reticent about putting my views across.

 

Today, I moved loads of stuff in the cupboard to reach the jigsaws, which havent had much use lately because they've been shoved to the back of the cupboard. I know how difficult the cupboard is, I worked there for 8 years, but really! Jigsaws are a must! Its just laziness.

I print off ideas, quotes, activities etc but noting seems to stick and I know the playleader is good, she used to be my deputy so I dont know what happened!

I need some sure fire ways of getting my opinions across without sounding like Miss Rantypants or even Miss Naggydrawers who I assure you is just as up to the job! xD

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So now we have Miss Rantypants, Miss Naggydrawers anyone up for becoming Miss Stroppyknickers?

 

Actually Upsy - think I have the answer........becoming an active member of the FSF Community should be made compulsory :1b what better place to share views and ideas and accept that these views and ideas may be challenged but in the 'nicest' possible way........ :1b

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So now we have Miss Rantypants, Miss Naggydrawers anyone up for becoming Miss Stroppyknickers?

 

Actually Upsy - think I have the answer........becoming an active member of the FSF Community should be made compulsory :1b what better place to share views and ideas and accept that these views and ideas may be challenged but in the 'nicest' possible way........ :1b

 

Well I, for one, have learned an enormous amount from the practitioners on this forum. The debates can get quite heated at times but it really helps me to see that there can be many valid points of view when considering any issue and lots of the discussions have helped me to reflect on my views and often changed them for the better.

 

I try to promote the Forum but last time I mentioned it to an EY advisor in our area she had no idea it existed!

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So now we have Miss Rantypants, Miss Naggydrawers anyone up for becoming Miss Stroppyknickers?

 

Actually Upsy - think I have the answer........becoming an active member of the FSF Community should be made compulsory :1b what better place to share views and ideas and accept that these views and ideas may be challenged but in the 'nicest' possible way........ :1b

 

Me, me, me - I can do Miss Stroppyknickers!

 

FSF should be compulsory. It's an excellent safe place to learn, to share good practice, and to discuss and to debate without personalities and emotions getting in the way.

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Me, me, me - I can do Miss Stroppyknickers!

 

FSF should be compulsory. It's an excellent safe place to learn, to share good practice, and to discuss and to debate without personalities and emotions getting in the way.

 

That's great news Deb - what a team we will make! :rolleyes:

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Oh yes! Who wants to be Miss bolshybloomers?

 

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name=zigzag' timestamp='1352921052' post='340575]

I still cannot believe that people do not know about this fab forum, especially when our LA pay for it!!! I do find myself at training now promoting it all the time.

Ha ha ha ha.........dont tell me local authority money is not put to good use!!!

 

I'll be Miss Bolshybloomers if no one else claims it.....if only to get my own back for spending half my funding on...

PRINTING. : )

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Ranty, Naggy, Stroppy, Bossy and Bolshy.

 

Do we need 3 Miss positives just for some balance? I'm Libran I need balance or my head feels like scribble! :wacko:

 

 

Edited to say, the position is open to those of any and all genders :rolleyes:

Edited by Rea
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Ranty, Naggy, Stroppy, Bossy and Bolshy.

 

Do we need 3 Miss positives just for some balance? I'm Libran I need balance or my head feels like scribble! :wacko:

 

 

Edited to say, the position is open to those of any and all genders :rolleyes:

 

Sounds more like the audition sheet for Snow White to me

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