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Not respected in the Early Years!


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Hi,

Sorry this one is a bit of a moan and a bit of a cry for moral support!

Does anyone else who works in Nursery or Reception find themselves completely disrespected as a teacher within their school? I keep getting little 'digs' as if I'd be completely incapable of teaching anywhere else but the Foundation Stage!

For example, I've recently been asked to cover a teacher in KS1 on a couple of mornings (while my student is teaching). Last week she 'instructed' me that she doesn't let them talk over her and they must put their hands up! and this week her TA told me she "would hold my hand!" It was also supposed to be her yard duty which she promptly asked the deputy head to swap stating that "they'll eat you alive".

Now, I've never said that I would like to teach KS2 - I'm very much an FS and KS1 person but I am CAPABLE of doing so and indeed trained for 4 years in all key stages and have taught in all Key stages thank you very much!

Green Hippo x

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I cant help either but I always presume people are jealous of my exceedingly wonderful talents when I get told how to suck eggs. xD

 

Of course, they could also be genuinely worried you'll find it hard to make the children co-operate, afterall, Ms Truss has just told the world we're creating a generation of unruly toddlers, or something like that. :rolleyes:

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Sending you a virtual hug too. I don't get much of that at the moment thankfully although I have been there!

 

My current colleagues tend to be of the 'Oh my goodness I could never do what you do!' variety but if they ever visit I often get comments like "I don't know how you cope with the noise" (trust me what they're hearing is a busy hum - not noise, if it's noise I tell them to be quiet).

 

I do get fed up though that some people seem to feel it's ok to interrupt my inputs with a question. I get wound up by people 'borrowing' my resources because I have the fun stuff (you know, paint, chalk etc! ;) ) because they can't be bothered to be organised enough and plan their lessons before hand. I get immensely frustrated by people assuming my children can do nothing and have no independence at all and then start from the beginning ignoring all the good work they (and I) have done - I've seen Y1s go backwards in terms of maturity just because expectations are so much lower. I frequently find myself hissing under my breath 'they're little, not stupid!'

 

I find myself torn by the degree of autonomy I have - I have a very supportive and Early Years friendly head who 'gets' what I'm aiming for so I don't have the problems with observations that I've heard others talk about. However, sometimes I could really do with someone to bat ideas back and forth with. I also have to do lots more work for myself - for example when the new National Curriculum comes in I know we'll have a series of staff meetings about it, training etc. and the Head will summarise and give out information about it but the revised EYFS? I read, digested and summarised and have learned as I went along! Yes - I know the NC covers a much greater proportion of school staff but still... I have to sit through staff meetings which are of very little relevance to me (book scrutinies/writing moderation), sorting whole school resources out but no one ever helps me to sort my resources out!

 

Phew! Glad to have got all that off my chest! ;) Green Hippo, as I say I'm not where you are at the moment but being the only EY person in a school is hard and I have every sympathy. You go in there and have the whole of KS1 eating out the palm of your hand!

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Making an assumption here - but aren't these children you will be 'facing' the same ones you had a few years back? They'll be delighted to see you no doubt and I have every confidence you'll be completely fine!

 

A few years ago I took charge of year 6 for an afternoon when the headteacher/classteacher was suddenly unavailable - she was still on site. We all had a brilliant time and they did some fantastic pieces of writing about their time in preschool. They read me their favourite preschool stories (I brought the book trolley through) and we just had a fantastic time - and they still talk about it now!

 

Now I'm not saying it's something I'd like to do a lot, but for a one-off it was great!

 

I'm annoyed for you that they are treating you as if you are unable to cope with these older children, very denigrating, but you just show them what you're made of - I thinks it's a fair bet that they'd need some 'hand holding' if they did your job!

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Thanks for all your support!

Most of the teachers in the school "wouldn't touch Nursery with a barge-pole!" and a few do say "I don't know how you do it!" so it's not all negative but it's just those other patronising comments that get to me!

Yes, Cait - they are the children I taught a few years ago and every time I visit the classroom I get a warm welcome!

Surprisingly enough, I did manage to carry out my lesson last week without losing control! AND I took that lesson all by myself with no TA!

Green Hippo x

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We have recently had a school restructure running alongside a nursery consultation (to close the morning maintained sessions)

 

As part of all this the nursery teacher was going to lose her job in nursery but could move through into school.

 

I noted that when the staff were going through the job roles that would be available not oe of them gave a thought to the nursery teacher because she was only NURSERY!!!

They never even thought about her moving into reception which would have been an ideal solution I think.

 

I dont believe the rest of the school appreciate the work that goes on in nursery they just hear the noise and see the mess!!!!

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Guest LornaW

While I do sympathise with those of yu who feel under valued I think we need to speak up for ourselves at every opportunity!

 

So in staff meetings I would also say "ah! Yes algebra we do that in nursery/reception and it is working with patterning" or if we are discussing writing and improving outcomes "ah yes we do that in nursery / reception as we work hard all the time to develop talk and talk be ones writing"

 

Share successes regularly and ask colleagues to come and work with you at least on each year so they have had a real experience of what it is like to spend a session in your classroom!

 

LornaW

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Green Hippo you've made me feel so much better!! Both I and the teacher I work with feel totally undervalued by the 'proper' teachers in Ks1 and 2! They have no understanding that we do an hour a day longer in nursery than they do in school, have no morning break and half the lunchtime in order to fit in 2 sessions!! They make comments like 'release your TA ' if something needs doing, or 'get your TA to pop across' - no concept that legally with 2 staff neither of us can 'pop out' at will!!

We do 3 intakes a year and again there is no understanding that this is having a new class as the dynamics change, 3 times as often as the rest of the school! The school office will also book prospective parents to visit at any time with no thought for the fact that we can't abandon the class to chat!!! You wouldn't just stick a set of parents in the middle of a Y6 literacy lesson would you?!

 

Fortunately we 're a great team and love the job and that compensates!! We do now make comments like 'break? No, not familiar with that' if anyone mentions it and feign confusion when we see staff we've not seen all term due to our 'odd' hours ( sounds sad but it keeps us sane!!)

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Thanks again for all your replies!

I agree with you LornaW but it can feel like we're always having to fight our corner! I often take my children with their 'work' to other classes especially if it was done during child-initiated play! The other teachers in the school don't have a clue about what we actually do or want to know (which is the battle really!) and I can actually cope with this and often emphasise how different the curriculum is and how we know it inside out etc. (not in a big-headed way!) but it's the fact that they don't see me as a 'proper' teacher that really gets to me!

Anyway, today, after the lesson the TA said "you'd make a really good year 2 teacher!" ....(cue...shocked face everyone!) and when the year 2 teacher came back she was also shocked that they didn't "try it on"! She explained that because I'm quite quietly spoken she assumed I wouldn't be firm! I think she was also shocked that I managed to control them without having to shout!

Green Hippo x

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Good for you! I'm really pleased it went well for you. Put your feet up now. Yes, sometimes a quieter voice is better than shouting - sounds as if she shouts a lot!

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Green Hippo - glad it went well. Reminded me of when I was training - on my second PGCE placement the class teacher I was with kept telling me I needed to be louder, that I needed to learn how to shout. It really began to get to me and then a very kind person said "You don't need to be louder you do need to work on being more expressive with your voice" She was right, I have and I did also learn to shout for those rare times when I need it. I often had repeated at me that quiet is best - the louder you are the louder the classroom! And quietly spoken does not equal lack of firmness - I have been known to get a child to stop misbehaving and do what they should just by raising an eyebrow and waiting!

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