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Keeping Staff motivated?


RedDragon
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I am hoping the answer will appear as I am also struggling with this problem. We had big wake up call recently with an unexpected visit from Mrs O - it was a real kick up the butt for all of us, I held a staff meeting and basically told them that if they were not completely on board with the changes I will be making, they know where the door is and there is no shortage of people wanting their job. Nobody has gone and things are a bit more positive but still feel I am sometimes banging my head against a brick wall. On the other hand it is so hard to moan when I pay them such a pittance because we simply cannot afford anymore!!

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What do they dislike about the learning journeys? If they see them as not very useful, maybe they are writing the same old thing in them? How involved are the parents? Do your staff see the LJs as very much a one-way process? If it were my staff, I'd ask them what it is about the LJs they dislike/would like to change? Maybe encouraging them to contribute to changes within the provision might get them more motivated? I'm only thinking aloud here, really :1b

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Guest youngrisers

The same old adage but staff in their Job descriptions state that all practitioners complete fully learning journeys/profiles using a range of information from photographs, to detailed observations and post it notes for WOW moments. They are paid an extra 1hours overtime if they do this at home and are given time in the daily rota to observe and record.

I suggest that each practitioner concentrates on one child a week so by then end of the month they have covered four good observations and recorded this. We have a buddy key person on hand too if the staff member is not in to record and note WOW moments for them even recording details of the child in play. The staff take pride in the portfolios and the parents love them responding with comments every half term. :rolleyes:

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I take a lot of pride in my LJs and I get an hour a week to cover 9 kids.

 

The biggest thing I can suggest is finding out why they're so unmotivated and go from there. Obviously there's an issue that needs addressing and going "just do it" won't help them at all. Get to the root of he problem and work up.

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3 hours week paid to do them is quite a lot of time... unless they have 15 plus children each to do... we had 1 hour paid for 8 children max per person.. more children got an extra payment per child for time.. equivalent to about 10 mins pay per child per week..

 

Perhaps ask them for suggestions on how to improve the LJs so they are less tedious to do.. it can be very boring when lots of cutting and sticking of pictures etc... we used to get the children involved in helping us to do that bit.. they loved it.. and it helped with motivation to do it.

Try a different format? any chance of changing to something like Tapestry? sometimes using technology can spur things on.. and get people interested again..

I did feel when doing them myself.. year after year, same thing, it tended to become a chore and not much fun.. which is when we slimmed them down, went with only important or necessary input, no long obs unless we felt there was a specific need for a focus observation from an identified issue, or doubling up on things..

same with most things I asked staff to help with how to improve so they became part of the 'ownership' of it.. if it is partly thier ideas they are doing it often helps with wanting things to work.. and more pride in own work as it is theirs as well.. the more they became involved in the way things worked the easier it was to motivate..

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Whether they are paid pittance or a fortune. They take the job on knowing that they need to be passionate, inspiring practitioners or they are failing the children they are caring for.

 

 

 

You need to be an inspiring leader, move your team onwards and upwards, reward is not always monetary, we all do need a wage but job satisfaction comes higher up my list

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I am very fortunate that I live and teach in Hong Kong and am therefore not required to adhere to all the requirements of the UK education system. However observations and assessments are necessary in any creditable educational setting.

As well as continuous observations our Nursery and Reception teachers carry out a minimum of 4 specific activities throughout the year all which link to the appropriate EYFS (see attachment). These are put together as a Learning Journal (focus/links can be cut/pasted to save time). Each class is bi sessional, 26 chdn in the morning and 26 different chdn in the afternnon. The same 2 teachers have both classes so each teacher has 26 chdn to observe, assess and record. No time out of class and no extra pay to do this! A compilation of art work, literacy and numeracy activities, which are also based around art, are sent home at the end of each topic so parents can regularly see the progress their chdn are making. We also have a very detailed report twice a year covering the Stepping Stones and ELG's. Like teachers everywhere, our staff work very hard, we have no morning or afternoon break and lunch if we're lucky is usully about 30mins - as there is always something that needs doing for the afternoon session.

The morale and motivation of the staff is a credit to the school. I think mainly because we are all good colleagues. We support each other, help each other. As Headteacher I make a point of going to each classroom and greeting everyone every morning with a hello and smile, I remember and celebrate everyone's birthday with a home made cake and we enjoy the occasional evening meal together. If a teacher needs help with a display I will help, if lunch cover is required l help, if a teacher can't find a book I will help find it. I don't do all this because I want to be liked or eveyone's friend (I'm too old to bother with that at almost retirement age), I do this because we are a team and because everyone needs to know their hard work and they themselves are appreciated and valued. We have a great respect for each other so when at times I am required to correct something it is understood and accepted.

Taking time to show people they are appreciated and valued makes for a happy and content working environment where everyone wants to produce their best - including learning journals!!

 

learning journal.doc

Edited by janeW
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Hello Jane,

Welcome to the forum, and many thanks for making your first post. :1b

It's very interesting to hear how your school organises its day, and how teacher are deployed. I totally agree with you about nurturing respect and team work- your staff are your best asset, after all!

Your learning journal entry is very thorough- I'm sure it is much appreciated by the parents, and so useful for future planning. So you complete these 4 times per year for each child?

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Thank you.

We have 2 long terms here and the teachers will do a minimum of 2 assessment activities each term. Some staff will prefer to do more activities with fewer links to EYFS for each but making sure all 7 learning areas are covered between them.

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We do one long ob on our key child each half term and daily post it note obs on all our children. These obs are collected at the end of every week and given to the correct key person for them to organise onto a collected observations form. Each week we have a different focus child where the key person does lots of observations and links it to that weeks planning

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