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Job Share - Reception Teacher


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I have been asked to consider appointing two teachers to job share the position of Reception Class teacher. I do not personally have any experience of working as a part-time teacher or know of anyone who has successfully worked in this way. Is there anyone out there who has expereince and could possibly identify some of the pros and cons. I would love to give the person who has requested the role the opportunity but I am concerned about the continuity of care for the children.

Any views positive or negative would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :o

Edited by JanR
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Oh I would so love to do that! Unfortunately, I've not found anyone willing to take me on either, in that capacity.

 

I have worked in job share situations where the other teacher needed time out of the classroom. I think communiaction is the key and sharing. It will not work well if one teacher is resntful as was the case in the first job I did, the teacher even hid her planning from me--under a pile of cushions on the floor under her desk. That job was hard as I had nothing to work with and was returning to work after a career break. In the same school, but with a different teacher, things were very different and we had a book in which we wrote to each other! If both teachers are committed to the work and the job share, and it is rather different to having your own class as you need to work together closely, then it is good for the school and for the children ---the school gets 2 commited teachers with lots of energy(hopefully), which also benfits the children.

 

I would implore you not to dismiss this out of hand.

 

I know there are other job share teachers about who will be able to give you a working perspective.

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Sorry can't advise professionally, but can personally as my son has just finished his reception year with this situation, one teacher in for three dyas and the other for two days, I was sceptical about continuity and about how my son would cope with this type of situation as were other parents, and I have to say it worked brilliantly, my son had no problems with it -I think the key for these two teachers was that they worked so closely together and everything was always presented and dealt with together, they had a lovely "meet the teachers"evening session to reassure parents of how it would all work, other parents also were impressed - don't know if that would help but it is nice to now how it is received from parental point of view, I would say it was Great!! :D

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I have job-shared Y1. reception and currently R/Y1 with the same partner for the last 9 years. We both work in different ways, but plan and discuss assessments together. We handover on a Wednesday lunchtime (but both tend to do a bit of extra time before and after). We have PPA on alternative weeks on the handover day, and both give up some extra time to plan/discuss assessments together rather than doing it on our own. There are good advantages for assessment of children as there are 2 of us to discuss our observations of the children (plus 2 job-share TAs). We also have a phone call on a Sunday evening to discuss any issues that have arisen. With planning being less tight and more child-initiated in Reception, I think it is good for the children to have 2 different inputs, with both of us having different experience and ways of teaching. The children have always been fine about changing between teachers (though we do answer to each other's names at times!). They have the benefit of a fresh teacher on a Wednesday afternoon when all-weekers are beginning to flag! The school gets extra curriculum areas covered from 2 memebers of staff. I would have no hesitation in recommending a job-share for a reception class.

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Hi! I first worked in a job share in 1994 after the birth of my first child and over the years have worked in a variety of "splits". At the moment I do 4 days (I have Wednesdays off.)

 

As mentioned previously the key to a successful job share (I think) is communication, sharing and respect for each other. I have never had any negative comments from parents and I do think there are real benefits - playing to each other's strengths, sharing opinions about children (children who react differently with different adults etc) Asking for each other's opinion etc, not feeling utterly worn out by the end of the week etc!

 

I have always been very lucky and worked in very supportive schools and have had lovely job-share partners who become wonderful friends.

 

I would also add that consideration must be given to any support staff who work with job-sharing teachers, some find working with two teachers more challenging than others etc

 

Another benefit with job-sharig is that if both partners are flexible and adpatable, the children never need supply teachers as the job sharers can swap days and cover between them. This has worked very successfully for me in the past, and I think it is much better for the children than some unknown supply teacher. (Obviously you Head/school would have to agree all this)

 

Hope this helps!

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I agree with what Marie and Susan have said. In my school there are two YR classes - I teach one and the other is taken by two job-share teachers. The main problem is that it is really hard for all three of us to meet for PPA unless we meet in a lunch hour or unless the HT pays one of the job share teachers to come in specially. I find it quite frustrating as I am EY coordinator and want to make sure things are done properly. The children and parents have no problem with the situation and there are definite benefits from having two enthusiastic teachers instead of one!

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I haven't got much more to add, but would agree that communication and to be able to get along with your job sharer is the key. I have just started job sharing y1 after a year on maternity leave. Everything seems to be going ok so far. I am very lucky in that my head is paying for 2 hours ppa one afternoon a week for me, so i am 2 days and 2 hours! and my job sharer is 3 days. If you can pay for the ppa it would be helpful as we can hand over and discuss anything after our team meeting. We also have a handover book that we 'communicate' with.

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I worked as a part of a job-share and it was the best three years of my teaching career! We got on really well, and were friends before we shared a class, though. I'd agree with other comments here about how well the two people communicate with each other; it's crucial.

We were very flexible in terms of which days we could work; we shard the same childminder which was just perfect, because if Julie's children were ill and she couldn't teach our class, I would go in (if I had nothing else planned), knowing that our childminder would be free to take my child instead. It was a great set-up, and it meant that our class very rarely had any other supply teachers in, and knew pretty much that they would either have Julie or me. That, for the continuity aspect, was obviously very good for the children. You wouldn't of course be able to force your two teachers to agree to this, but you might want to run it past them! :o

 

It also worked in terms of curriculum strengths; I was music coordinator for the school and felt very comfortable doing music and movement, and Julie was science coordinator, so she taught that. (This was a Year 2 class, so not really relevant to reception, but I still think two people with different strengths benefit the children whatever class they are teaching)

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Susan

 

I not sure why, although I have found a job today who would consider doing a job share, it just a shame it is down the valley in Huddersfield very tricky for me to get to.

 

I would love to do a job share but for 4 days a week, most are around 3 days per week.

 

 

Beth

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Sadly Susan I think its teh decision of management generally that it isnt a good idea that stops more from being available. Its good Jan that yu have asked the question though and i wish more people in appointing positions would look into the possibilites first before dismissing it.

 

I have some great experinces of job sharing but I will add that contractually I have been in real trouble twice now when my partner has left and my contract has switched from job share to part time. In both cases my partner was replaced by a full tim teacher leaving me with a part time role to be filled. If that role is no longer required in the school, I will be made redundant.

For this reason I would alwasy ask at any interview now, what will happen if my partner leaves?

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Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It's interesting to note that most of the comments appear positive and focus very much on the strengths of having two dedicated teachers. Also I have to agree that comunication between the two teachers seems to be the crux of the matter to a successful partnership.

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