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Never Felt So Low About Teaching


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This is my 8th year of teaching - most of which year 1 and year 2. The last two years have been reception. I have been feeling like this for a while. For me all the obsession with observations collecting evidence has taken the joy out of teaching that I once had. I have constantly doubted my way of doing things in reception, which I didn't have in year one and two. I never had to do all this observation and collecting evidence in the past. You might say why not go back to year 1 or year 2, but my school is a one form entry. I love my class and the things we do, but the assessment procedures have really taken its toll on me. I really don't think I have done my assessments right, and because I am conscientious I worry myself sick. I just want to enjoy teaching again!! Anyone else felt like this

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You're not alone Laura. I have spells when I feel the same way and I am sure there are many of us.

 

The profile is very demanding and I am sure that you are doing a better job than you give yourself credit for. It is particularly hard at this time of year as we try to finalise all those scales and write reports and in your one form entry situation it can be lonely.

Do you have any opportunities to meet with others as this would give you a better broader picture?

 

Try not to beat yourself up too much about this, at the end of the day we can only do the best job that we can and I am sure you are too conscientious not to be doing a good job.

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sorry you're feeling so down. I'm sure most of us have self-doubt at times, (I know I do - frequently :o ), and as Susan says, this time of year is difficult, especially if senior management are pushing for our profile scores to 'predict' SATs results at end of KS1 and KS2 (even though we've spoken on here about this being inappropriate). Hang in there, I'm sure from reading your posts you're doing a great job.

 

Harricroft

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Hi laura,Just to say I do understand how you are feeling.I quite agree with you that all the expectations of observations and assessment demands feel,at times overwhelming and unnecessary.

We are getting to the end of the year and batteries are running low particularly when we don't usually count this holiday as a break at all.

Just a bit more of slog to go and we'll soon be there! Keep going.The world needs dedicated teachers like you.

luluj

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Guest tinkerbell

Please don't beat yourself up Laura

I think everyone is feeling the same way and especially at this time of year!

I work ina 4 class school and the SATS week was really tense for everyone, the whole school were doing tests 3,4,5,do QCAs which are sent away to be marked and the NQT had KS1 sats to mark.I am in R/half year1 so the e-profiles are waiting form to tackle summer1 and I have told the administrator there is no way I have the summer2 results ready before the date as she has to send them off to the LEA.I also have the job of deciding which 6 reception children to 'keep' the parents are already muttering at the gates...it is going to be really hard this year as we have 4 girls and one is not as confident as the rest???

However you have been teaching for 8 years and the experience you have is a huge plus.Have some confidence and tell management to trust what you are doing.I don't do lots of individual obsevations and was moderated this year,they asked me where they were I told them I didn't do individual ones unless I felt a need.I do lots of photographs which we make into big books to show parents and my TA does heaps of scribing when we have carpet /talk time,we also do post its when we do group work,allcolour coded and bunged into the e-profile folder until at the end of each half term my TA and I sit down and do it together.(only ran out of time this half term!)I think because I was confident the moderators backed off ,also an outstanding school and ass head so I do know what I am talking about. :o

Don't feel swamped but hey summer is here enjoy the children and get outdoors!

Tinkerbellx

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Just want to offer my support too.

I have to admit I don't do the mountains of formal observations or the files of evidence for each child for the FSP or I could well be feeling the same. I'm lucky that both my school and my LA don't expect teachers to be spending every minute producing huge piles of paperwork. We have had 2 OFSTEDs in the last year and both times the FS was graded good and our tracking system and planning were commended yet we do very little compared to what I read here and on other forums. I think it's important to think why we are producing the paperwork, if it's to improve our teaching/provision great but that isn't often the case.

Listen to the good advice already offered and try to find time to enjoy your class and teaching.

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Thank you, I knew that I could come here and just know people understand. It was late last night too and thoughts were racing round my head. It was funny that night my husband said I was getting up doing all sorts of things and even telling him off and saying that he didn't understand (that I don't know about). My poor husband, he gets all! But so wonderful and I am very lucky.

 

I went into school today, to feed my tadpoles and feed a few plants. I set up my interest table (weather) for next term and I so enjoyed. I thought doing creative things and making learning enjoyable is what my job as a teacher is all about. My children have the right to have their teacher enjoy learning with them and see what a wonderful world in terms of nature we have. They do not need a teacher who is obsessed all the time in catching a profile point, and thats how I feel it has got to. I think all the assessment has come natural to me and I hope one day it will be second nature to me.

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hi just wanted to offer my support too i know it it feels and its even worse when the school do not support a thing you say or do x

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Guest tinkerbell

Laura

You sound happier now.I like going in to school in the holidays and sorting my room so there are surprises when the children come back in after a break eg a new picture up on the wall etc or a move around of furniture.It can also be a reflective time when you calm down and work out where your going etc.

Tinkerbellx

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Tinkerbell,

 

I still don't feel happier. I am happiest when I am being creative in the classroom, even that I find really hard to do at the moment.

The constant analysing of young children gets me so down.

I went out with a friend for lunch today and I just felt I couldn't enjoy that. I am really looking forward to the summer when I can invest time in things that are really important to me, such as my lovely husband, friends and creative projects.

Its been really helpful just writing this down and other people understanding.

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Tinkerbell, I also changed changed furniture around and adding new bit to the classroom. I think it makes the children feel excited and stimulated to continue learning.

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Sorry I have missed this thread, so sorry Laura about how you are feeling, try to look after yourself, keep talking about how you feel I am sure that helps, the written word with albeit virtual friends helps to get things straight in your mind. :oxD

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Laura, listen to your self. Be yourself.

I have an assessment wall where parents T. A. and myself jot down quickly what the child did. It's a way of acknowledging with child what they are learning and trying to do and informs next steps. It is done as part of the day to day stuff. I do a few observations if a child is not getting many points written down. Other than that I highlight profile statements half termly in a P.P.A session, having glanced at my wall. I usually just highlight them off. and know if child is really doing things independently. I do not make fancy books, or learning journeys, as I think my energies are best spent making sure the environment is right and that I have enough energy to inspire learning and thinking about the children .Also when you are relaxed and have energy you actually are quite good at making incidental observations. I too see people on courses with annotated this and that. I will not allow myself to feel undermined as I know from experiences its the doing that counts.

These people may have the most wonderfully turned out observations, but the day to day stuff may be lacking so look after yourself, think of the good things you do and take heart from it.Its what you do with the children that will make the most impact. The only statutary thing is that the profile is completed at the end of the Foundation Stage and I will not beat myself up about it. The government says its primary purpose is to help Year 1 staff. How many year 1 staff out there DO find it useful? We are told that there are no correlations between National curriculum and Foundation Stage so what actual use is it.?

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Laura, listen to your self. Be yourself.

I have an assessment wall where parents T. A. and myself jot down quickly what the child did. It's a way of acknowledging with child what they are learning and trying to do and informs next steps. It is done as part of the day to day stuff. I do a few observations if a child is not getting many points written down. Other than that I highlight profile statements half termly in a P.P.A session, having glanced at my wall. I usually just highlight them off. and know if child is really doing things independently. I do not make fancy books, or learning journeys, as I think my energies are best spent making sure the environment is right and that I have enough energy to inspire learning and thinking about the children .Also when you are relaxed and have energy you actually are quite good at making incidental observations. I too see people on courses with annotated this and that. I will not allow myself to feel undermined as I know from experiences its the doing that counts.

These people may have the most wonderfully turned out observations, but the day to day stuff may be lacking so look after yourself, think of the good things you do and take heart from it.Its what you do with the children that will make the most impact. The only statutary thing is that the profile is completed at the end of the Foundation Stage and I will not beat myself up about it. The government says its primary purpose is to help Year 1 staff. How many year 1 staff out there DO find it useful? We are told that there are no correlations between National curriculum and Foundation Stage so what actual use is it.?

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Today, just feeling rather sick with worry. I have this awful feeling that I can't children certain points because I don't have solid evidence and i really can't decide what to give them. Am I giving them what they deserve. I don't want to make up evidence for them. I feel it is my fault that they have not got a point i.e not giving them opportunities.

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Know that feeling well Laura, and it is always reassuring to know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do.

Professional judgment is the key to the profile and if you feel a child is there then mark them as so, regardless of how much evidence you have to prove it.

Be honest about where you think lack of opportunities have made you feel that you cannot assess certain points. If we are all honest, I'm sure all of us provide less well in some areas than in others, I know that in our case we struggle on with absolute minimum of staff and do the best we can.

Do you have a year group partner with whom you can discuss results and evidence together, its quite tricky if you are one form entry, but we look together at our results 3 times a year and talk through what we may or may not have evidence for, what we need to work on, and what we seem to be doing well with.

Hang on in there, and remind yourself what you are good at.

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As Mundia says please do not doubt your professional judgement. You know your children better than anyone and just because you do not have evidence in the file to prove it to someone else doesn't mean your judgement is wrong. You are a professional please do not let anyone take that away from you.

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Laura, It's merely a wall where each child has a paper where we date and write down observations that act as evidence for assessment. It means I only do a few focus observations as I said before. I had the moderator in who said it was very good evidence and regarded as good practice. Sorry, perhaps I shouldn't have called it assessment wall but it's basically what happens. When we notice a child doing something we wish to make a note of it is an assessment. I do not spend hours organising post its and papers. It would drive me mad. these papers are changed each hlf term and just go in children's folders.

Edited by Guest
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Hi again,

 

another question

 

I am looking at 'Understand what is right and wrong'

 

Now I know that all my children understand this, do I just tick it to say they can do it, or do I have to write it down for example such as your assessment wall

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The guidance from the NAA is-

FSP guidance on the process of assessment is thatevidence is collected as an ongoing process through:

the practitioner’s knowledge of the child

information from a range of contributors

observation of self-initiated activities

collection of anecdotal significant moments

focused assessments.

When making a judgement for the FSP, practitioners should draw on at least 80 per cent of evidence from knowledge of the child,

 

I think its significant that they put practitioner knowledge first after all who knows your children better than you.

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