The joy of report writing!

Only half a term left!! The time has come to begin writing end of year reports for my little monkeys, and it really isn’t as simple as I’d thought it would be.

Writing the reports is fine; I love my kids and know their abilities, but it’s all the politics around the data and statistics that I just hate. I have been told that we¬†have to have at least 60% of all children across all Reception Classes to make an expected level of development otherwise it reflects badly on us as teachers and the school.But its ridiculous!

Children progress at their own rates, you cant rush them. The whole ethos of Early Years is supposed to reflect a holistic approach, allowing children to learn though organic exploration and discovery. But this all gets thrown out of the window it seems by the time May comes and data is due. So what? – Am I expected to force every child to sit down all day completing meaningless worksheet after worksheet in order to gain a higher grade, or lie and enter their data at higher levels than they really are – which causes countless problems for their next teacher? All this to prove I’m a good teacher (!) Neither of the above practices are those of a good teacher, but it seems that if I stuck to the best and most effective teaching methods, I would be told that not only the children are failing, so am I and the school. No pressure then! There needs to be a reality check here, these children are thriving, they are communicating, writing, counting, reading, climbing, drawing, painting, building, laughing, and playing to the best of their ability – who is anyone to look at these amazing 4/5 year olds and tell me their failing? And there I was believing that levels were disappearing.

“The dream job”

One more term as an NQT!

It’s been so long since I last blogged, I cant even remember what new has happened. Hmmm…

Behaviour went a bit haywire, Nursery Nurse left, more responsibility, more control, behaviour got better, tired, stressed, emotional, tense observation/pupil progress/ IEP week…. and the Easter holidays eventually arrived! Phew!

its hard to describe that feeling when you are so stressed, tired and completely drained that you need a break or else you feel like you’ll just fall down, your body just giving up under the workload. Teachers and childcare professionals are often thrown insulting comments such as, “Ah it’s an easy job, it’s just playing!” or “You get so many holidays” but I just think there is a very good reason why the people saying these things are not in the jobs they are slating. It’s easy to say these things, but do you really think they believe what they’re saying? Of course not! Otherwise they would be in these “Fantastically easy jobs with great holidays”! Next time someone says something along those lines don’t be insulted, you’re in a job that you had to work bloody hard for. You make all the difference in the world to 30 children, their families and shape their future. Can the people who belittle working in education say they make such a huge impact? Nah, I didn’t think so. Boom!

mind

Credit: someecards

2015

What a hectic December!

I had such a wonderful Christmas! But sometimes I feel the better the time you have at home, be it a half term holiday or weekend, the more difficult it is to acclimatise to the world of work again. I find myself just wishing I could go back to being with my beautiful family and friends, sleeping in, partying and eating cake…a lot of cake! The night before I started back at school last week, I was so nervous! It was like it was my first day again! I realised that I had spent the last two weeks being a 22 year old doing 22 year old things selfishly with little responsibility, I thought I might forget how to be a teacher! :p

Alas, my first week went fine and the children didn’t seem half as different as I thought they would be!

I survived my first term as an NQT! Whaaahoooo! ūüėÄ And I can say I still love the kids… definitely a success if you ask me!

With a little magic…

So it’s been a while since I last posted, i’ve just been so busy! I am constantly exhausted, I’ve found a whole new meaning of the word tired! My daily routine now consists of applying half a tube of concealer on those bags under my eyes and slurping a Berocca – my new saving grace! It’s way better than a coffee!

I actually feel like a teacher now! And it makes me so proud, the children make me so proud!

Early Years can be many things; a magical place filled with glitter, fairy tales and endless opportunities to explore, somewhere comforting with smiles and teddy bears, and a non judgemental platform for children to cope with their emotions and social situations. As much as I agree that Early Years is a very unique place, and at times, feels like a completely different world to the rest of primary education, I feel that some important values are being lost in translation. Of course I’m not suggesting that children in year 6 should spend all day drawing dragons and playing with stickle-bricks, but I can’t help but think there’s something missing. They still need to be treated like the children they are, they’re still struggling with they’re emotions and finding it difficult to understand the world – I mean, who isn’t? They need to be supported and not expected to have it all together. we should let them be little,¬†which can be challenging in a society which blurts out crude lyrics from every radio station and splashes anger and insecurities over the front page of every magazine and newspaper.

I like to think that my children know that if they need a cuddle, for whatever reason, they can come to me, even if they’ve done something wrong. Children won’t learn anything if they’re made to feel ashamed or disliked, they’ll just remember the way the adult made them feel. Boundaries and consequences need to be securely placed¬†with “firm but fair” attitudes,¬†but kids need to know they are valued. Children should be loved not hated.

Childhood is precious, lets help preserve it.

“Just keep swimming little fish”

It’s Wednesday and so far, a delightful week!

After a weekend away with the team, I thought it’d start off disorganised and panicked but actually it’s been okay, maybe I’m adapting to the high adrenaline lifestyle, becoming, more flexible even? :p Haha let’s hope so.

I have chosen to give my kids carpet spaces seeing as they like a good wriggle, it’s working well so far and I cant wait to rip off all the horrible masking tape when they finally remember their places. I’ve had some wonderful “Wow” moments lately; some children were interested in spider webs so we spent all afternoon looking for all the spider webs we could find in the garden and talking about why spiders don’t eat sausages and mash! Today we discovered what a boy thought was a cocoon was actually a seed pod from a tree after breaking it in half – I dread to think what would have resulted if there happened to be a creature inside! When showing the kids how to use the camera on the ipad, they accidentally switched the camera around which resulted in the most awesome “selfie” I’ve ever taken! I’ve been called Queen Elsa all day by the children because I chose to wear my hair differently and I definitely cant take my glasses off without it being a new conversation topic at carpet time! ¬†I love my kids. Simples.

I still find it so weird to think of myself as a teacher though, i’m still such a kid myself!

I think I’m slowly falling in love with early years, I mean, sure there are days when I wish I didn’t have to set up 9 different areas and write a billion post-it note observations, but the values and principles are so in sync with my opinions. I realised today that things that used to make me anxious and my blood pressure rise (e.g. swarms of loud seemingly uncontrollable children with flailing limbs) no longer fazes me, it seems to have a bigger impact when a “just go with it” attitude is adopted and they are allowed the independence to make their own choices and decisions. Of course boundaries and rules must be respected, but you’re going to get a lot more out of them when their interests lead the way.

Monday 6th October.

So, it momentarily fell apart last Friday, I felt a bit like a fish drowning under a sea of baseline assessments! But I’ve been reassured by many that a few tears along the way are only to be expected and I’ve talked to lots of other people who admit to going home to a good cry each night. But, god! This is our job! shouldn’t it ignite our passions and interests? And when it really comes down to it, a way of making money?! Why have we worked so hard to achieve a way of life that makes so many within it cry!? I feel slightly obliged to answer that with a suitably cheesy comment about it all being worth it etc… But I think it lends¬†itself better to rhetorical devices.

It feels so wrong to come home to your loved ones tired and drained, offering little more than a few grunts over dinner just because the best of you has been spent trying to please impossible people and trying in vain. And I assure you, its not just the world of Education I’m referring to here.

We’re only human, we don’t live forever.

To counteract the gloomy tone of this post, I believe this cat is appropriate…

Eugghhh….

Gosh I feel exhausted!! Today has been a long stressful Monday! You know that feeling when you’re an hour into the day and can already tell that today’s going to be a write off?! I couldn’t even have my tea this morning because I was busy doing the jobs others had neglected! infuriating right?

I’m starting to realise that, for the first time in my life, being young is actually a hindrance. I suppose it’s that coupled with the fact that i’m an NQT which contributes to my colleagues¬†carefully analysing everything I do and how I choose to do it. The thing is, when it comes to teaching there’s often no right or wrong, which is proved by the¬†numerous learning theories and psychologies entwining the subject. Leaving teachers to find their own principles and ideals. It’s difficult to get a good balance of support and independence, and as much as I appreciate the help I have, sometimes I just want to do things my way even if that means¬†making my own mistakes. But more importantly, I wished the rules were the same for everybody, not a specially revised version just for the young newbies!

On the up side, the children are fab! I really enjoy teaching them and the conversations are brilliant! Who wouldn’t want to spend their time talking about who is the most powerful superhero or how you could send a garden snail into space? A child said to me today, “I really, just, love you!” – as long as the little things still make you smile!

dream big

Credit: Wellness