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I'm a nursery nurse and I work in a school nursery I have over 10 years experience most of my experience was gained in a school environment, I have worked with a variety of fantastic, highly experience teachers who have taught me a lot and made me better at my job.


But all that changed at the begining of this term when a new teacher came in to the nursery, fantastic I thought new ideas and enthusiasum but sadly it's not like that and I don't know what to do, this teacher seems to have a very limited understanding of young children and how they learn (she isn't an NQT but is working towards QTS)


It seems to me she came to the nursery because she thinks it's a easy ride!

She is so disorganised, I know some people find it hard to get organised but it's to the point where there is no planning to follow because she hasn't got round to doing it we don't have planning meetings so half the time I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, She has changed the environment not to improve it for the children but because she dosen't like mess!


This has included taking away the construction area (now we have a group of boys who spend their time running around rather than focused on a task) She dosn't allow the children to have dressing up clothes she wants to get rid of the home corner all together!!


She does no or very little assessment leaves that all to us but gives us no guidence on which focus and which children to assess she dosen't plan for assesment or plan targets for children to work on she dosen't plan!!


But the worse thing is she spends her time when the children are in school putting up displays, ordering resources, tidying cupboards, taking photos her interaction with the children is very limited. This is wrong surely I know there are always things to do but when the children are in school they deserve our attention and teaching. She shouts at the children on a regular basis her approach in dealing with difficult children is to keep them close to her and then give them a sticker for being good when they haven't been good theyv'e just been restrained by being made to follow a teacher around all day!!

I'm finding it really difficult, I have made suggestions to try and improve things and givien her ideas on many occasions but they are just dismissed.


Then she complains about the childrens behavior and immaturaity but she is not helping this by not interacting with them and they are nursery age what did she expect! The other nursery nurse and I go home exhausted every evening as we are doing her job as well.

She has no respect for childrens work and throws away their completed junk models cos it looks untidy!

We arrive before her in the morning and set up, If she does stay late at school she dosen't actually do anything. It's hard enough to focus on an activity as it is, but it's even harder when you have to keep dealing with things because the teacher's in the kitchen or photocopying things!


What do I do? nursery nurses have to do what the teacher wants at the end of the day they decide the routine, the layout etc but to me it's just all wrong now she is talking about not having a storytime!!

I'm doing things I don't agree with and things I know could and should be done better..

Sorry to go on I just feel we are failing the children and that makes me very sad I keep on doing more and more of the teachers role because no ones doing it but why should I? I don't get paid a teachers wage or get paid to do things outside the hours I work. I think I just wanted to sound off as no one seems to understand so I turned to this web site but I would apprciate any advice from anyone. :o

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Hi Jojo


Well, I'm sorry you feel so demoralised, but if your Teacher is working towards QTS, is there no check on what she's doing?

I'm not a teacher, don't really understand the different routes into teaching, but I thought all persons training for this were monitored and/or mentored? Do you not have any avenues you can follow to voice your concerns? As an experienced NN I would think your comments/feelings would be taken at least at face value.

Stay in touch, and try not to be too downhearted. Think about what I've said?


Anyone got anything else to add?



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Poor you what an awful position to be in :o


I read your post a few times trying to 'get a picture' and tried to think why the teacher is acting the way she is and wonder if it is her first time in a nursery class and though she is working towards QTS has little understanding of nursery children in general. I wonder if she spends her time putting up displays etc because actually she is 'lost' and is finding it difficult to ask for help/advice and copes by trying to keep busy if you know what I mean!


Maybe she feels 'threatened' by you and please don't take that personally!that's not how I mean it - just that she has come into a nursery as the person in charge but you have been there for awhile and come across as confident, capable and 'knowing your stuff'


Is it possible to arrange to have a chat with her to express your concerns, the removal of the construction site saddens me and the thought of getting rid of story time is awful! It's difficult to think of constructive advice but rather than coming across as critical of her practice would it be an idea to ask her for specific advice - maybe which children she would like you to assess .


I really think you need to voice your concerns and if it were me then the teacher herself would be my first port of call but if that fails I really feel you have little choice but to voice your concerns elsewhere - as Sue says, I thought those working towards QTS were monitored?


Sorry I doubt this is much help but I really do have my fingers crossed that things will work out for you all. Hang on in there and do keep in touch

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Hi Jo Jo, I feel exhausted for you reading your post. I agree with Geraldine.

Try and have a chat with her, find her strong points, she must have some, ask her about her course, find a topic of conversation not about every day work to try and build a non threatening relationship with her.


If ( which I do think you might) need to take things further, try and do a descreet time and motion record of what she does, you and your other colleague does, say throughout a week. ( a type of event sample observation on the adults within the class). This will give a clear, factual, non biased representation of what is really happening.


Good luck, let us know how you get on.


On the positive side of things, can it really get any worse???, This is a great forum for sounding off, I've done it myself and received great support. What I also found was that being able to sound off actually halved the problem and it didn't seem so bad soon after and overall things just got better.




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Poor you. I would agree with everything Geraldine and Peggy have said. We had a vaguely similar problem in the past but it was a TA who had previously worked in the upper end of the school, and was asked to cover the Foundation Class. She couldn't get to grips with how the class was so different from what she was used to, and she used to find lots of jobs to do away from the class, (displays, cutting fruit, filing etc) and days off sick. After a while, through discussions and observing the teacher and myself, she started to relax more and was much more confident about working with the children. Also various courses probably helped.

This doesn't really help you I know but this might be a similar sort of situation. I wonder whether visiting another school nursery or similar and being able to see what happens would help - but no idea how you would go about this!

Keep smiling


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I felt so sad reading your posting (but I had to laugh out loutd at Shuttle's post!): she is obviously making your life hell, when, like most of us, you probably really enjoy your job otherwise. I was slightly concerned when I read the first paragraph that you are actually my nursery nurse as we have had problems, but I know, for all my faults, I'm not making terrible changes to the nursery etc.


From a teacher's point of view (although I've not been doing it long) I have looked through your posting again to see which aspects are potentially acceptable and which are not: I only have myself to compare it to. Personally, I knew that nursery was not going to be an easy ride; it strikes me as this teacher has had little to do with 'learning through play'. If she is still training I would think more courses would be available to her - is there any way of finding out whether there are suitable courses running, maybe from your FSC. Like Jo1 says, visiting other nurseries is a great idea; something which I love to do as a way of seeing how other people work, what their resources and routines are like etc. You could approach this in one of 2 ways (probably more in fact): approach your FSC or Head or whoever and voice your concerns, OR, suggest that as a nursery staff you should all have opportunities to visit other settings as part of your professional development, which would then give you something to talk about - comparing notes etc. Obviously cover would be needed then, so it may not be practical, but certainly worth considering, as most teachers tend to observe other teaching practice, even once qualified. Once again, as part of her training she should be doing this anyway.

Have you any idea what her background is? I suspect any dealings with children she has had will have been with KS1 and up - I think Geraldine is right and she just doesn't understand early years.

Like Peggy suggested, keep a diary so it's all on the record should you need it; I'm sure her seniors would be none too pleased to hear what's going on in the nursery.

As for taking away the construction site, the home corner and story times, well I'm sorry, but that just isn't on, and even if her experience is with older children she should at least realise the importance of reading children stories as it's something all KS1 teachers strive to build in to their already busy days - it's proven to improve children's literacy skills. If you haven't done so already, and you feel brave enough, perhaps you could suggest that these changes aren't wise - you've enough experience to give her the reasons. And with regards to assessment, how on earth does she plan to know the children in order to write their reports and meet with parents formally?


Personally (again!) I'm not brilliantly organised, but my planning is done in time. I'm interested to know what she is taking photos of, as I take photos of the children in action, partly for displays (this is what we've been doing), partly for my own records (to go in my portfolio if they're doing something particularly fantastic) but also for their Learning Story books as observations. Is it possible she is taking them for any of these reasons? In which case I would have to say she is perfectly justified. The rest of what she's doing during your sessions I would have to say are unnecessary, and any good practitioner knows that she is not giving anything to the children through this, nor is she seeing any of the wonderful things small children get up to during their play. Teachers are timetabled to be at school for long enough to do ordering, tidying etc. out of the children's time. Back to my original concern that you were my NN... she is similar to your teacher in that she tidies up after the children and (she's just started a foundation degree) has taken to doing parts of her homework during nursery time - which not only means she's not working with the children, but also, that they are unable to use the computer!!!


Lets put the 2 of them in Room 101!!!!


Have a good rest over the half term break, which I guess you must have now. Perhaps with some time to think and some wise/kind words from this site, you'll be ready to go back in fighting - or hopefully not fighting, but confident enough to decide the next course of action.


Hope it all turns out ok for you! :) (Sorry I went on a bit!)

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I have nothing constructive to add jo jo, just wanted to say that I hope everything turns out well for you. It's awful working with people who dont know how (or want) to be involved. Wonder what some peoples expectations are really? xD


Shuttle - tut tut :o

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Hi it's Jo jo again,


Well after a good nights sleep (and a mountain of chocolate!) things are certainly looking better. All your support and kind words I read today have helped more than anything. Thankyou so much! even shuttle! LOL


It's difficult when your frustrated and tired to see things from another persons point of view but after taking on board your comments I can now put myself in her shoes maybe it is that she feels lost and needs our help to understand the needs of young children. I know she is taking photos for displays etc and that's not really a problem It just seemed that that was all she was doing when there was more important things deserving her attention.


She is monitored for QTS by the deputy head and has meetings with her I don't really know how this works and last time she spent the evening before preparing what ever it was the D.H wanted to see. I hope the D.H can help by offering her training and support as well.


I do have a week off now so plenty of time to think about what to do next and maybe now the first half of the term is out of the way she may settle into her role more.


I am definately going to ask if we can have a planning meeting once a week this would really help because then I can bring up things like assesment etc and we can all tackle planning together and suggest new ways of doing things at the moment there is just no time to talk as a team about anything! I will also suggest using inset days to visit other settings as the inset offered is never relavent to early years and this would be a better use of our time.


I'll let you know how I get on when I'm back at work.


I think it's partly my problem too, I'm used to working with very experienced early years teachers and I don't know how to support one that is still learning obviously she has her own ideas and she has every right to change things but if I really think it's wrong I will talk to her about it and hopefully she can understand where I'm coming from.


I believe she really does want to do a good job, when I first started out people helped me, maybe I just need to do the same in a non threatening way and hope she not offended by my imput.


Unfortunately we don't have a F.S coordinator at the moment the next stop would be the head but I will try and talk to the teacher first and hope we can come to some sort of understanding.


Thankyou once again for all your support this site is great!!

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In order to get her QTS she will have to show that she can meet the standards required for a qualified teacher - there's a link here

that should give you an idea of the skills etc she will have to demonstarte. This might give you an idea of where you can suggest working together? If there are real difficulties talk to the Dh, who should be supporting her. Good luck :)

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Dear Jojo,

How are things? It certainly seems to appear that you aired your grievances which helped you understand the issues at hand and as Peggy said halved them. I agree with much of what you have said, you have oodles of experience and you need to be able to put this across in a non-threatening manner. She is probably feeling uneasy with her new position and is still finding her way - and you are in an ideal position to help her through this. It won't be easy but you certainly seem to know what things should be done and why. I think you have answered some of your own questions already - you recognise that to do your job competently you need to know what is expected of you and that will include planning and assessment - you should express your concerns in the "I" way and ask for her help in helping you achieve this. It may just prompt her to think outside her way of thinking and discussion can then ensue in a non threatening manner and it may also give you an insight into what she is thinking and planning and also to express what you have been used to and why you are finding it difficult to change.

I wish you all the luck and I am sure that certain things will change and you need to be involved in that change but you also need to be able to offer guidance in that change too and explain why.

Keep your head up have some more chocolates and enjoy half term.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone,


It's jojo again I just wanted to let you know how I'm getting on as you were all so helpful when I needed the support.


Since returning from half term I've tried to be more understanding and also share my opinions and the reasons behind them within our team.

I'm glad to say I have held on to home corner and returned some of the constrution area not quite to it's former glory but it's a start.


We also had our first planning meeting this week where at last I aired my concerns about assesment and we are now planning for it .I think the meeting went well and I think the teacher now realises how important and how helpful it can be to get together and discuss things. I don't think she realised we have ideas too and maybe felt pressured that it was up to her alone to come up with all the ideas.


Things aren't perfect planning is still done during the session and displays erected and she has along way to go in understanding what pre school are capable of and how best to help them, but she is interacting with the children a bit more and we managed to have a whole week where we followed a plan instead of guessing.


I am hoping things will only get better as she gains experience and I now know after all of your advice that my concerns are justified and if I feel I need to I should approach the deputy head.


Thanks again everyone I really hope this is the start of things to come!



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