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What do teachers want....

(18 Posts)
SazZaVoom Mon 03-Oct-11 20:29:23

...from a parent helper in reception?

I have agreed to go in for a couple of hours every Tues morning. Can you tell me what qualities you like in helpers, and what right royally pisses you off? grin

DrSeuss Mon 03-Oct-11 20:37:26

Not a teacher but also a helper. Just do what they ask, don't try to tell them their job, make sure your child knows you are everyone's, not just theirs. Assume that if they say they want something done a certain way, there is a good reason for this so do it that way even if you think you know better. However, try to use a bit of common sense and don't just sit there if you can see something that needs doing.

SazZaVoom Mon 03-Oct-11 20:41:24

Thanks DrSeuss. What type of thing are you generally asked to do? I have no idea as the request for help was via a bookbag note so no chance to ask what it might involve. I am used to helping at the preschool so i imagine fairly similar.

mrz Mon 03-Oct-11 21:03:56

I've had a nightmare parent helper in the past who kept tearing down my display backing paper because she thought they would look better her way hmm

spanieleyes Mon 03-Oct-11 21:04:29

I started by going in and listening to the children read, this meant I needed an understanding of how phonics works, so if you are unsure, ASK! I then "graduated" to assisting with a group, the teacher would explain the activity and I basically ensured the children did it! Eventually i was "allowed" to work with a group on an activity outside the classroom, eg working on a mural, baking with a group, gardening. Much depends on the school and what they expect their parent helpers to do ( in one class I spent HOURS filing worksheets in children's folders!)

SazZaVoom Mon 03-Oct-11 21:07:38

mrz - shock. How rude! I, however am fully aware that my design and craft abilities are pretty well zero, so i shall keep out of any 'display' discussions grin

Spaniel - wow, that sounds pretty involved. I don't think i was cut out to be a teacher, so eek to running group activities <scared now>

spanieleyes Mon 03-Oct-11 21:12:25

Don't worry, neither did I when I started. I was in complete awe of the teachers at the time , I'm now one of them!

mrz Mon 03-Oct-11 21:19:45

I recall one day my Nursery Nurse had covered a board for a lovely sunset display went to lunch and returned to find this mum taking it down because she felt the colours would look better in vertical stripes rather than horizontal (well they were meant to be land and sky hmm ) it wasn't a good moments grin

spanieleyes Mon 03-Oct-11 21:29:46

Mind you, teachers can be as infuriating! I recall going into a year 4 class one day and the teacher said "Could you take a group out and build an Iron age fort please"
Oh yes, sure I'll just knock one up with them, shall I!
Or when i was asked to take a cookery group with year 5. Not a problem , except they wanted Indian cookery and I hadn't a clue. Have you ever made chappati's with 9 year olds!
Or embroidery with year 3's. Hot air ballons anyone ( I still have my son's version!) they couldn't thread a huge needle, let alone the tiny little one I couldn't even see!
And after days and days of "The House with Three Corners" I could have cheerfully strangled Bobbie Blue Hat!

SazZaVoom Mon 03-Oct-11 21:32:39

LOL Spaniel. I would have run away at those requests. Fast!

spanieleyes Mon 03-Oct-11 21:39:14

Reception was a doddle after that grin

Iamseeingstars Mon 03-Oct-11 23:37:51

Do what the teacher asks, if you are unclear, ask again, so that the teacher doesnt have to redo what you have done

When there is a quiet time, find out if there are any odd jobs that need doing - sticking workpages in books, tidying up book corners, toys, etc., Establish what time consuming jobs need doing on a regular basis that you can do ad-hoc whilst waiting to get on with your main task.

Dont just sit around.

If you notice anything with a child, make notes and talk to teacher at the end.

Never ever ever discuss what you see, hear, think, about any child in the class, no matter how friendly you might be with another person. What you see in class stays in class.

Never discuss comparisons or comment where your or someone elses child is in the pecking order

If reading books, ask the child probing questions about what they have read to ensure they have understood it, can they discuss it. Use the books for more than just reading words. Encourage enthusiasm, expression, flow, etc. If you feel a book is too hard/easy, dont say that to the child, talk to the teacher, but probably best after listening to several books at same level. Some books can be easy in a level and others hard.

Dont shout at kids. Dont discipline them unless you have been given the authority.

Make sure you follow teacher's rules if helping with writing, ie not correcting spelling mistakes etc

Iamseeingstars Mon 03-Oct-11 23:41:48

Some funny comments on here.

I remember many years ago being asked to do a display, make paper flowers and leaves and all sorts of different things. I didnt have a clue and I got stressed because I wasnt really sure what I was supposed to be creating.

It turned out ok in the end but I think they were just grateful the teachers didnt have to do it.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 03-Oct-11 23:45:15

>Could you take a group out and build an Iron age fort please

confusedgrin - where? Earthworks on the playing field?

KatharineClifton Mon 03-Oct-11 23:45:28

I expect you will be asked to listen to readers. I loved doing this years ago when I was a helper in reception. Enjoy smile

DownbytheRiverside Tue 04-Oct-11 06:37:30

You could pop in and have a chat with the teacher, I always do with my helpers because I like to know what they think their comfort zones are and start there. I love having help in class, so I want it to be enjoyable all round so that good help stays.
Mrz, you are more patient than I, your helpful parent would have been asked to stick to her brief and then asked to leave if she ignored my request. smile

Runoutofideas Tue 04-Oct-11 07:23:17

I helped in reception and year one. In reception I was mostly playing little board games with a group of about 4 children. They were maths type games mostly - versions of snakes and ladders, ladybirds etc and I was mainly helping the children who needed a bit of extra help with their counting and number recognition.

In year one they asked me to do more of a variety of things. I took a group of more able children to the school library so that they could do some independent research into their topic. One week I cut out 90 circles for an art display. Another week the teacher handed me a bucket of jugs/containers etc and some water and asked me to "Introduce the concept of capacity"!

I think they'll start you off with something straightforward, but if you are not sure, just ask. Have fun!

SazZaVoom Tue 04-Oct-11 07:49:35

Thanks all smile

Sounds very varied and i will be a good girl and do what i am told, but will take initiative and ask if they want me to do something which looks like it needs doing.

Run - numbers sound much more my cup of tea as an accountant!

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