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Had A Really Bad Day


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Well, each time I go to work, I hate it a little bit more. I thought I would love working there, as the children were so well behaved, generally just lovely children which is something I'm not overly used to and the adults appeared supportive and as if they worked as a team.


Clearly not. I am so mad, I could quite cheerfully walk out of there, not bother with the FD and go and sit in Tescos for better money and less grief!


The area SENCo came in today, so my supervisor was busy meeting with her. I didn't have a problem with that because I know it needs to be done. We have quite a few children in the setting with SEN. So she was busy there, whilst the rest of us (3 other staff) were left to sort out 21 children. I know it isn't a great amount and I'm really not complaining, just trying to set the scene!


The children were really good, and played nicely. One of our under 3's decided to explore all the creative equipment so pulled it all out and was examining it on the creative table. It was really nice to see the child pulling things out, tunring objects around in her hands. So, I sat down with a group of children and observed her do this, and then I watched what areas she went to, the equipment she played with etc for the BTT planning, which no-one else knows how to do.


Then my friendly colleague says to me "What exactly are you doing?" as I'm watching and recording things. I explained to her that I was following the under 3's interests so as I could do the BTT planning for next week. She asked me why, and I tried to nicely explain that BTT isn't about themes etc, but more about what the children are interested in doing. She asked me where any of the children in my key group and I said I wasn't sure because I didn't know who my key group were (I've been there 3 weeks now). "Why are you observing children that aren't yours" came the snotty reply. So again, I tired to explain to her about BTT and the planning side of thing, finishing up with "the planning should be based on the observations of the children" which I thought was a fair comment. How do you expect the children to develop and move on if you have no record of their achievement and abilities??


She then turned her back on me, in front of the children, cupped her hand around her mouth and was clearly talking about me to the supervisor sitting with the SENCo in front of her. I knew they were discussing me, because the next thing, the supervisor sits there and basically tells me, in front of everyone, that I am wrong and observations are not important when doing the planning, as the planning comes first and the observations come later. "We observe what the children do according to the planning." Whilst I agree with this to a certain extent, the children are observed taking part in activities on the plan, I was always under the impression that the observations were made first and then the planning was done around them. I am convinced I am right and I told her so in front of the SENCo just as she had tried to do to me.


Things were so hostile that in the end the SENCo said to both of us that one went hand in hand with the other and it was more like a circle. One follows on from the other. I tried explaining that I wasn't looking at FS children, but at the Under 3's and seeing as I'm the only one with any experience or formal training, I would do it the way I considered to be correct until told otherwise.


I was so angry that I phoned my manager and I fully intend to speak to her about what happened today, but also about the following:


* I still don't know who my key children are

* I still don't know which specific children have SEN and the measures being taken for them

* I don't know who I am allowed to observe and how or where the children's records are kept

* I am not allowed to get involved in the planning

* I am always made to sweep up and make snack, including tea and coffee for all the adults

* I think I am now the designated toilet cleaner because nobody else wants to do it

* The sly digs being made about my daughter wearing nappies when they are unable to take children who still wear nappies (this I know they cannot do, by law).


As well as all this, I was horrified to see that the children were constantly being told to put things away "We haven't got that out today" and the "punishments" being used for some children. My daughter, at 2.6 years was shouted at for attempting to pour herself a cup of water, which consequently went all over the floor and her. Then she was stuck on what I can only describe as a naughty chair for at least 15 minutes and then refused garden time.


I'm not having it. I am sooooo mad, I could quite cheerfully tell them where to stick their job and that really isnt like me.


On a more positive note, however, I have been given 100% funding for the FD, so it's not all bad!


Thanks for listening.

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oh dear clare xD stick with it YOU are right.sort it out with your manager.it sounds like really bad leadership to me.and as for your daughter on a naughty chair!!and for 15 minutes!!! :o have they not heard the latestnews about the nursery in trouble for using a naughty chair? you need to believe in yourself and stay with the fd places like this need people like you :)

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It sounds as if the preschool is not being run properley. Oh poor you doing the toilet duties. I think all the staff should go on a trainning course on how to plan for the children correctly. I wonder what sort of past learning expereicenes they have had obviously bad ones.


I have been working at a school, The new Teacher (NQT) shouts at the children, constanly tells me what to do like i dont know what my job role is. another teaching assistant contantlay disapeared without me knowing, as I thought she was keeping an eye on the children aswell as me. :o The only problem is am working again next week, and not looking forward to it. The NQT must have had lots of problems when trainning, as it shows quiet well.


Oh I do hope I find a job soon.




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Be confident that you know your stuff Clare, you are specialised in BTTM. As for the nappy rule, we are told that it is part of a child's special needs and we can not turn children away just because of this. The naughty chair is awful, where's the positive?

Like Susan says, don't make any hasty decisions - you have given them food for thought with your replies and they may come back to you now with clearer guidance on who/what they would like you to observe. Hope things get better for you

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Best wishes. Just remember to stand firm in what you believe in. I always use my observations to inform my planning how else do we encompass the childs interests. We are all constently evolving and current thinking is meet the childs interests not pre determined plans. Stickwith it.

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Oh Clare, your experience shows, first impressions are not always what they seem :(


You have obviously not been offered a proper induction, clearly showing your designated role within the team, their planning, assessment, evaluation methods, and key group children. The supervisor and the staffs behaviour was totally unprofessional, What must the SENCO have thought.


I wonder if the children the SENCO came to see actually do have development problems or is their behaviour just a result of poor adults around them ( especially as you say you don't know which children have SEN)


I just despair sometimes, these people must have had some training / qualifications, plus additional workshops etc, millions and millions of pounds are spent on training yet still we have draconian attitudes such as 'no nappys' and even if poeple do take children with nappies , many only do it because 'they have been told to do so', not because they want to be with children irrelevant of whether they have nappies or not. I hope these people don't get incontinent when they are old and refused entry to any care they may need. :o makes my blood boil, as does 'naughty chairs'. We are meant to be the professional adults providing good role models, yet adult bullying is condoned, accepted, practiced etc in the name of what??? discipline???? xD


Keep diary notes ( inbetween your observatons on children), talk to your manager about the induction process and ethos of the setting.


I must say though that as I read your introduction my first thoughts were that there were 21 children and 4 staff ( including supervisor) by doing an observation you did leave only 2 staff with 21 children, maybe this is why you got the reaction you did. Even if all the children were playing purposefully etc, when doing an observation that is taking a member of staff off the shop floor so to speak. Post-it notes on the childs access to the art area may have sufficed at this time, and plan more formal observations when there is enough staff to cover, inform other staff just before you plan to do an obs, then they can distract children from you etc so your obs is not interupted. Obviously I don't know the true context of how other children were playing at that time etc.


This does not excuse the other staffs behaviour, just something to consider. :(


I do hope you can sort things out and you begin to enjoy work instead of being made to feel so isolated, angry and excluded from the team.



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Just to agree with other wise words already posted on here.

You are definitely in the right in that the observations should be the catalyst for the planning. Whilst the SENCo is correct in saying that it is based on a cycle, you have to start somewhere and the only way you know where to start is to identify what the children know, can do and are interested in to start with.

Stick with it and have confidence in your own ability.

RB x

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Thanks evryone. I think I really needed someone to tell me I wasn't going mad and had got the wrong end of the stick entirely.


Peggy I agree with what you have said about the observation thing. I neglected to mention that my manager knew I was going to do some obs today as the planning has to be emailed to her tonight for checking, but obviously, she didn't realise about the SENCo visit or she simply neglected to mention it to my supervisor. Will bear that in mind though for next time!

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Clare, dont think you've made a bad choice in taking this job, what you describe is more common than you would think even in nurseries which have good Ofsted's, team awards, recognitions and accreditations for everything. :o

I have yet to find the answer as to why these things go on in the full glare of anyone who enters the setting, I tend to question everything, 'Oh arent the children allowed to pur their own drinks? Oops my fault, I thought that might be one of the independent skills you'd develop.' xD


Peggy, in my experience most see training as a day out of the nursery rather than a chance to learn new things.



Hope the chat with the manager goes well Clare :D

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Sorry to hear things are difficult at the moment Clare. I hope your manager listens to what you say and doesn't sit on the fence with the staff. I know what its like to work with people who are stuck in the past with their ideas - very frustrating!

The staff are probably feeling threatened by your knowledge at the moment but hopefully in time will take on board what you say and put some of it into practice. I know where I work that quite a few people have left over the years because their ideas were thrown out of the window by the supervisor and they were fed up with battling to change things. Now I am the supervisor its a wonderful feeling to be able to change things and try new ideas without any opposition. We have changed the layout of the room and the daily routine and its working really well. All of the staff are very supportive and keen to try new ways. Its funny how the 'nappy' question comes up all the time. We didn't take children in the past who weren't fully toilet trained, which I totally disagreed with and voiced my opinion on - its against equal opportunities and the human rights act! Now we take children in pull-ups but request that parents actively encourage toilet training at home. One of my members of staff questioned how we clean the children if they soil themselves because the ex-supervisor said we were not allowed under any circumstances to clean their bottoms because of child protection (she used this as an excuse to not take children in nappies). I thought this was hilarious and said what do you think they do in day nurseries with babies - they can't leave them in dirty nappies all day. We use wet wipes to clean their bottoms and obviously all staff are crb checked but I am now questioning my logic - is there a rule saying we shouldn't be doing this? Sorry to hijack your post Clare.

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Thanks Nicki. I have calmed down a lot since yesterday and have emailed my manager all my Birth to Three information so as she can have a look and decide whether or not to go ahead with it. I am going to keep smiling nicely, be professional at all times and then speak to my manager at the next available opportunity. I feel like I am being bullied because of my qualifications and experience and I am simply not standing for it. If people choose to stay as they are with their qualifications then that is their choice, who am I to pass judgement, but at the same time, I don't feel it is right that I have been singled out because of my abilities and the fact that I want to go further in my career. That sounds a bit pompous but isn't meant to be!


Anyway, in response to your question, there was a thread a while ago that might be of use to you. You can find it here.


I had the same questions a little while ago :o

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Clare if it makes you feel any better I am not having a great time at the moment also, I feel demoralised we are running our new key worker-3-managers-system for the first time and I feel lost and I am sure some of the parents do to, I feel we lack a LEADER, just one, we all work well together but the other two are really good friends and things are being done I know nothing about - I am feeling out on a limb and if I try to mention it they go into major panic that things are going wrong and it justs upsets the apple cart so to speak.

I think honestly I don't feel ready to LEAD, I am qualified but not confident enough if I am honest with myself I have told my manager this but she shrugs it off and says it will come, it is actually having the reverse effect at the moment I dread going in to work - for instance one member of staff is a lot older than me and doesn't seem to hear anything I say and one is about the same age and is such a strong character that I am insignificant it feels like she is the leader!?

I want to concentrate on my FD and progress with my professional development not have to worry about the responsiblity of the running of the nursery, of course I want to be part of it, but it all feels so disjointed and mixed up, 3 managers, 5 other staff all in on different days I feel we lack continuity and effective organisation, no-one else seems to, maybe its me??


Had a rant to - thanks, see I should be researching for the FD but here I am!! (oops)

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Clare, poor you. Only just seen this post. Quite incredible but I bet we could all fill a book about our colleagues from time to time, it's the most difficult part of the job.


Agree with all previous comments.


A naughty chair for 15 minutes - unbelievable!

Not accepting children in nappies - it's against the law!


As for observing children's interests to inform planning - can you find this written down somewhere to show staff (think this month's Under 5's as an article 'Finding your own way' - planning matters for babies to back you up).


Perhaps as Peggy says, post it note observations might have been more appropriate on this occasion. By the way, all of our staff are required to make post it note observations of all children when they catch them doing something noteworthy, regardless of key worker. Keyworkers do more detailed observations.


Could you show your Manager the replies you've had to this if you need extra support?


Sorry for very bad reply, dinner on table, family being very rude to me!!



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