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Trainee Teacher In Nursery

Guest Nina

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:o Hi!

I have just started my final teaching placement in a Nursery class and am finding it hard to get my head around how to organise the day (was in a reception class before this) I would be gratedful for any tips. I have 4 other adults to 'manage' throughout the placement, something that I finiding a bit daunting.


If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it.





P.s Also if you have any brill ideas around the 'theme minibeasts' it would be a great help!

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hi there Nina, and if we havent already welcomed you, then welcome!!

Wiith 4 other adults, I am surprised that you dont have another teacher- unless you are really well staffed, you should have about 60 children. How much support are you getting from the teacher you are replacing during your practice? In would keep routnes the same as they are now, as the children will be used to this, so get copies of timetabels, rotas, planning proformas etc and get one of the members of staff to explain them if there is anything you dont understand.

It is quite daunting even for an experienced teacher to go into a nursery and have more adults, but the chances are, they will not need 'managing'as such as they will have their own routines that are well established within the whole nursery. I think in most schools you will find their role very different fromm the role of classroom asst. that you may have come across before. They are likely to be responsible for their own group, and a particular area of the nursery, which may change on a rota, either weekly, fortnightly or half termly. You will be expected to fit into that routine, and you will soon learn it so please dont worry. Concentrate on getting yourself sorted first, know what your responsibilities are expected to be and get to know the children.

We did have a discussion quite recently about minibeast. you will find it


good luck :o

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Hi Nina & welcome.

I can't really comment on current nursery expectatiions regarding TPs, or indeed in schools as in all my time in the classroom which is a long time now! I have never had a teaching student, plenty of student nursery nurses and adult helpers though.


I do remember the joys of being a teaching student in a nursery and of my first nursey job. It is daunting as a student but we do have far more adukt helpers in our classrooms now than was common when ai first qualified. The adults should suppport you not hinder you and if you feel this is not so then I would advise you to raise the issue with the teacher, you should also have her support. In my final placement I was expected to go in and make the nursery my own by changing routines etc, that was quite difficult as I couldn't see what to change and felt I was making changes for changes sake.


If as Mundia says you can leave things as they are, listen and watch carefully. You will undoubtedly have slightly different expectations than the regular teacher so make sure you set out clearly what you expect and stick to it.



I wish you luck, it can be a very daunting but should be an enjoyable experience. Make sure you are clear in your own mind about what is expected of you and I am sure all will be fine.

Have fun



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Hi Nina.

I can see how you might find it a daunting prospect to face your first TP in a Nursery class. It's an opportunity to develop your management skills as well as develop your skills with the children. I would certainly agree with previous comments about using the support of the teacher you will be replacing. As an experienced Nursery Teacher, she (?) should be a source of endless advice and ideas, so don't be afraid to ask for as much support as you feel you need. The Nursery Nurses should also be extremely supportive of you and will offer you lots of advice as long as you make sure that you respect the enormous experience and skill they bring to the workplace. I certainly wouldn't go into the nursery and change things because you feel you have to. Take time to get to know how things work and only make changes if you think they will really be of benefit to the children. The children - and the staff - need the security of routines and familiar ways of doing things, which you can certainly enhance with your own ideas, but beware of unsettling the children at this crucial time in the school year. If you do want to do things your own way, make sure you take time to explain to the staff what you hope to achieve and why - we all like to question our own practice, but it can be very uncomfortable to have someone with less experience coming in and making wholesale changes. There's plenty of time for that when you have your own class. I hope I'm not sounding too negative, but I've been guilty of some of these mistakes myself as a less experienced teacher, and I've had to cope with the fallout after a student's recent TP too!

So to sum up - go with the same kind of routine that has been in place since the beginning of the year. At least try it for a couple of weeks (think Wife Swap!) before you bring in anything new. Listen to what the other members of staff have to say - they will be aware of the anxieties you have and will be prepared to support you if you are prepeared to fit in with the team. Get to know the children - give yourself opportunities to become a familiar face by playing with them, spending time observing and not jumping head first in to 'teaching' situations. Make sure you are familiar with the Foundation stage curriculum, with the stages of development you are likely to encounter and with any particular problems you might encounter within the class of children you will have (special needs, medical problems etc.). Finally - enjoy it! Working in a Nursery is so rewarding that you may never want to be anywhere else. Good luck!

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Hi Nina, I think littlecityblue has covered most of it! I have just completed my final placement in nursery and loved it.


I will agree with you it is a daunting prospect and I also was most worried about the 'managing the team' speal given out from uni. I was really worried about how I could ask them to do things because I didn't want to cause bad feeling. I found that as mundia said they will be the most valuable resource you have. They know the children inside and out, know where everything is and have a wealth of ideas to support you. Planning in this placement was probably the easiest of all placements as you don't have to think of all the ideas yourself and you have a wealth of experienced people who know what does and doesn't work as they have probably done it before.

What I did was to adopted the settings planning format and we met up as a team on a thursday lunch time to discuss what the children had done, where we could go next and what sort of activities to offer. This made planning at the weekend a doddle as I had all the information there already.

Perhaps the hardest thing for me personally, in terms of managing a team, was deploying myself and other staff to activities. Having worked in other classes I had got used to doing most things i.e putting up displays, washing up, tidying up, and sorting out accidents in the toilets all myself :o and felt uncomfortable asking for help to do these mundane tasks.However once you have been there for a few weeks and you become part of the team this does become slightly easier and you don't run around like a headless chicken!!

I do agree with previous advice though that the best thing to do is to fit into the existing routine. You may find that this is not ideal and not what you feel in perhaps most effective but out of respect for the staff in the setting and for the benefit of having a rountine of the children I felt it was important. I know this year that there were some fantastic things that I will definately use and others that perhaps I might change. What you might find, as I did, is that your original opinions on something might change when you start running and planning the setting. Universtity speel is good but sometimes not the most practical and managable advice.


Hope this is of any use and if I can be of any help just shout.


Good luck with it , hope you have as much fun as I did!! :D:D:D


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Thank you to all the fantastic advice and tips! :) I have been in the nursery setting for two weeks-3 days a week so far. I have got hold of as much information as I can and tried to get a feel for the routine and the way things work. I have started to think about my planning but having to do it from scratch, so still at the gathering thoughts stage! (The nursery teacher hasn't shown me any of her planning) The numbers of children vary, which is a bit confusing- One morning their was 29 children and in the afternoon their was only 10!

I have had some negative experiences of other adults coming in and over-riding me in situations, which I am finding hard because at the same time of not wanted to tread on their toes, I need to establish myself as a teacher. I am finding that I approach things in a slightly different way to some of them. i.e when children are in conflict or doing something they shouldn't-I don't just tell them to leave the activity I get the children to talk to me and think of ways they can sort it etc...I don't know if this is the right way but I feel that the children are learning from the incident.


Thanks for the advice. I am really looking forward to the start of the teaching practice after Easter but stll working things out.


Nina :)

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Dear Nina, I totally understand how you feel. I spent my second teaching practice in a nursery class. I found the TA's very supportive. The teacher was long term supply who had never taught in nursery before. Suffice to say I didn't learn much from her. I kept the daily routines. I did my own planning mainly using uni proformas. The practice went really well. The school offered me the job of teacher in the nursery. I am in the middle of my second year at the school & still having fun.

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