What is it like to be a Foundation stage teacher?

(7 Posts)
BigRedBall Wed 09-Apr-14 22:52:25

Is it stressful? How much planning do you need to do? Is a typical day fulfilling and fun? What do you do in a typical day?

Lara2 Thu 10-Apr-14 20:12:06

It's bizarre, entertaining, brilliant fun, stressful, huge workload, frustrating Government interference, rewarding. However after almost 30 years I'm moving on to non-class based teaching and very glad I am too. I'm very worried about what the Government intends to do with Early Years and just can't bring myself to do what goes so deeply against the grain. I'd love a nursery job but they're very rare round my way. Tons of Reception jobs going though........I wonder why?

Pie8er Thu 10-Apr-14 20:15:21

Hi - I'm in Reception and I find it as stressful as any other year group I've been in. At the moment I seem to be as stressed as any of my other colleagues.

There is a fair amount of planning (MTP's, continuous provision, phonics x3, guided reading, guided writing, maths, handwriting, shared read/write, key worker). There are also learning journeys to complete - I tend to spend one full Sunday each month filing and linking all the observations to Development Matters. Although there is no marking I find that the learning journeys replace this and the majority of my time is spent preparing resources. I also find that an awful lot of time is spent cutting and laminating resources for the environment as themes are constantly changing.

A day in EYFS is often a blur... it usually consists of:
Key worker/snack time
Guided reading groups
Phonics
Guided writing groups
Carpet input - shared read/write/handwriting
Maths input
Maths groups
Story
Home time

Everyday is fun and I wouldn't change it for the world! When I say I work in YR people tend to think I don't do much and spent my time finger painting - I can honestly say that I genuinely never stop!

I also seem to spend a fortune on bloody resources!!

Wow...that was an essay - hope it helps!

Lara2 Thu 10-Apr-14 20:22:50

Typical day is very hard to describe, because no day really is typical. We self register, 20 minutes of phonics, everyone does free flow (own choice), while I work with 2 groups for 15/20 minutes each. I go outside for second part of the morning. Afternoon is register, 20 minutes learning together, some group work, and more free flow. I go outside 2 afternoons a week. We have assemblies/singing last thing 3 days a week. Stories everyday.
Planning is massive - as is doing learning journals. It's incredibly different from KS1, you have to live, eat, sleep, breathe Year R - it's a way of life, not a way of teaching. This time of year we're about to start all the transition meetings, visits, events etc. It will take up the majority of next term. I will have to do the transition for my own class to year 1 and the transition for the newbies. Plus we have to do the end of year assessments and get them to county by the end of May/ beginning of June.

NCFTTB Fri 11-Apr-14 00:16:20

Completely agree with all of the above comments! The age of the children and play based learning is great but it is so different from any other year group and the paperwork and setting up and packing away areas/resources is extensive. I prefer teaching in key stage 1.

rollonthesummer Tue 15-Apr-14 19:49:33

I taught reception a few years ago. I'm not sure if things are still the same but it was very much frowned upon to actually teach them anything! It seemed to be that we had to let the children accidentally discover something and then leap out from behind a chair with a clipboard, observing what they've done in secret!

That might just have been my old school though! I love teaching year one smile

NCFTTB Tue 15-Apr-14 20:39:21

I know what you mean! I love teaching year one too.

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