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Tapestry

It never rains but it Pours!


kristina
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Ok having recently dealt with a child with a fractured wrist now another possible incident!

A member of staff taking circle time at just before lunch has tapped a child on the bottom to get their attention after they've kicked another child and not listened to adult asking them to sit down. The child in question has a very short attention span and often fidgets and moves about at circle time so we do keep it short. However today the child kicked another child and had their back to the adult not listening, so the adult tapped them on the bottom and asked them to turn around and sit down which they did.

Would you be concerned/act further with this? The child was fine and it really was a come on now you need to be sitting down and listening as you have hurt your friend. Just feel at the moment everything is overwhelming!!

 

Thanks

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It really depends on what 'tapped' is....well as I say that to be honest I am thinking there is no excuse for 'tapping' a child anyway....why did the staff member not put their hand on the child's shoulder instead?

 

I hate to say it but actually no matter how gentle it could still be misconstrued as a smack.......I'm not saying that is what has happened but the fact you are asking about it probably means you aren't sure it should have happened?

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I realise that it shouldn't have happened so does the member of staff. It wasn't a 'smack' but do I go down the disciplinary route as obviously that would be the next step and I am fully aware that this could result in the member of staff losing their job/teaching degree/ability to work with children. I'm certainly not saying I should just sweep it under the carpet as working with children we all want to safeguard and protect them! But I could potentially ruin this persons life and am sitting here at the moment feeling physically sick at what I should do!!

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oh bless you :( I feel for you, I had a similar thing but it was that the member of staff was shouting at a child, but yes I did go down the disciplinary route, I documented everything and made sure the member of staff knew why I was doing it (It went against our behaviour policy) although in the end the staff member left - definitely wasn't cut out for looking after children!

 

I would write it all down and get staff member to sign etc just so you are covered?

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Good advice already.

Could you have a supervision meeting with this member of staff, go through the incident and your behaviour management policy and safeguarding policy, discuss together strategies/ how this should have been handled and should be in the future and why this was not appropriate including concerns you have mentioned?

Write it all down and sign?

So recorded but more from a mentoring point of view - link it perhaps to peer on peer obs?

Difficult not knowing setting,child or staff member to know if this is good advice for you.

Are you asking too much from this child to expect to sit still?Are there other areas to address?

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Well I have spent the last hour with the member of staff and have recorded and signed everything. I am convinced it was completely innocent as staff member said the child wasn't listening and she tapped the child on the bottom and said you need to sit down on your bottom so that you don't hurt another of your friends. We often use a visual board/body language to help this child to understand what is being asked of them and I think she tapped their bottom to explain this is what she meant about sitting on their bottom!! We always keep circle time short when this child is in due to their lack of concentration and i believe she used tapping their bottom as an example of what she was asking.

Obviously the member of staff realises how this could have been construed which is why she approached me straight away, think it was just an innocent misjudgement. The thing is I always feel I have to question and cross question anything and everything and after a while it wears me down! Sorry don't mean to have a pity party xx

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At least you have acted quickly and proactively.

 

Was it witnessed? - Did she just 'get in quick' to tell you before someone else did, or did she have a genuinely understanding that what she did was wrong?

 

 

I think I would get her booked onto some positive behaviour training ASAP- and link this directly to the meeting/ mentoring.

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What is the world coming too?! In your Positive Behaviour Policy i am sure it will explain how staff should deal with this scenario. I don't think tapping a child on the bottom or anywhere else, to get their attention, is the best method. It's hard for us to judge when we did not see how hard the "tapping" was and the child's behaviour in question.

 

Is the main issue here due to the area of tapping, or the physical contact itself? Many would feel it is inappropriate to "tap" a child's bottom i presume? I go back to my original statement if so.. what is the world coming too?

 

I can see the headlines now! "Staff member taps child's bottom to get attention"! Another nursery dragged through the media for bad practice! - what happened to the world :unsure:

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