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Would this raise any interest? Pre-school tuition

(43 Posts)
Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 13:10:30

Hi there

I posted this in the career section but thought many of you mums would also have some valued thoughts to share.

I am currently training as a headteacher but thinking of changing direction as I have four small children and feel I would not be able to devote myself to both jobs as much as I would want to.

I am thinking of offering teaching to pre-school children. It would involve early maths and English, steered by the school and scheme they would be later joining. I know some people are anti such formal teaching at such a young age. I also believe play is key at that age. But I do feel strongly that laying the foundations at an early age in a fun way is so beneficial.

I have also wondered whether there might be a gap for workshops helping parents to understand how they can integrate learning and play at home, exploring various resources, schemes, games etc.

I was also thinking of holding fun sessions for young children and focusing on the whole self. This would involve some focused learning, both formal and fun, and then followed by some yoga and meditative activity, which I am passionate about, healthy snack given, energising smoothie etc etc - you get the picture....

I wondered if others felt any of these might tap into a potential market. Or should I give myself a shake and carry on aiming for headship. I am passionate about teaching children and helping them develop a love of learning. I have always dreamt of being a headteacher but the flexibility and scope of having my own enterprise to steer in any direction I believe in is also hugely enticing.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

BellBottomBlues Mon 17-Feb-14 13:20:25

Would I do it? No chance.

Do I think some parents would do it? Definitely.

Do I think there will be enough parents in your area that would do it to make it worthwhile? It depends where you live. If you live in Consett, probably not. If you live in Notting Hill, maybe.

manchestermummy Mon 17-Feb-14 13:25:34

Agreed - I certainly wouldn't, but I can think of many, many people who would. However, is what you're suggestion not in some ways mirroring what a childminder might do? Just the healthy snack/activities part.

Personally, and I say this as someone who is incredibly ambitious rather than a teacher myself, go for headship.

allyfe Mon 17-Feb-14 13:30:10

I was interested in the potential of learning through play for my pre-school children, but that is why I sent them to a Montessori pre-school. To be honest, Montessori already provide a reasonably holistic way of addressing learning through play, in a child care environment. I wouldn't sign my pre-school children up for additional maths or reading sessions. And, to be honest, I'm a bit concerned about my level of pushy parentness when it comes to my children's education. There might be some parents who would, but I would think it would be a bit of a niche market.

LoopyDoopyDoo Mon 17-Feb-14 13:35:02

Would I? Never?

Would others in UK? Maybe

In Asia? Huge market.

NewBlueShoesToo Mon 17-Feb-14 13:44:56

No I would never do this.
However, if you are looking for a gap in the market how about Forest School? I think it would be very popular and wouldprovide a much more worthwhile activity for preschoolers.
Or if you haven't the outside space how about messy play sessions? Parents and children could interact and learn through play, you could cover a wealth of concepts and it would be fun.

To be good at maths and English at school children need to be armed with a huge range of skills and experiences. I don't think that pre teaching school schemes helps a child's development.

TheGreatHunt Mon 17-Feb-14 15:08:50

Why not run your own early years establishment? My ds goes to a Montessori preschool which is run by people who are passionate about it -,they get the freedom to teach as they wish etc?

itsahen Mon 17-Feb-14 15:29:59

Wouldn't do it - already covered by pre school and a zillion other things where I live: we have every pre school activity you can think of nearby. Obviously in some areas there may be a market ?!?

Reincarnatedpig Mon 17-Feb-14 16:29:49

Well I live in the area Bellbottom mentioned and I find the OP a bit odd!

Why on earth can't you leave children to play for the first few years?

The learning through play is done by good nurseries and most parents are not as moronic as you seem to suggest. Btw my daughter had no formal learning until nearly 5 when she started school. She went to a nursery that wouldn't teach formal stuff - just play. She is now at a super selective and about to go to a top uni, the kids who were carefully taught to read and do maths before that age were soon left in her wake. IMO early formal education confers no great benefit.

The Yoga and holistic approach tends to be covered quite a few private nurseries. I would suggest that is the way to go if you can find premises in an affluent area. Perhaps eventually become a feeder for one of the independents.

AmberTheCat Mon 17-Feb-14 16:42:29

I share the concerns of many of the other posters. The phrase 'pre-school tuition' itself seems to run counter to what we know about good early years education and experiences. I'd also be concerned about this widening the already substantial gaps between children from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds when they start school, and I'd have thought local schools would be wary of working with you (in order to share their approaches, etc.) for that reason.

I do appreciate that being a head with four small children would be challenging, but personally I'd keep heading in that direction.

mrz Mon 17-Feb-14 16:51:56

OP do you have much experience of working in EYFS?

BikeRunSki Mon 17-Feb-14 16:56:52

Can you train specifically to be a head teacher? Rather than a teacher and then onto headship though professional practise and experience?

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 17:27:48

Just wrote a long message and it's disappeared. How frustrating. I was just saying thank you for all your thoughts and input. Greatly appreciated and I did expect the rather dubious response about formal learning before reception.

Yes, I've been teaching for what seems like forever : ). Spent several years teaching abroad and did an MBA in Headship. No, not a requirement by any means, but definitely a huge help.

Not sure where I will end up. Perhaps I will try and get back to school and also some things outside and see where I end up.

mrz Mon 17-Feb-14 17:42:18

sorry OP but I was asking if your teaching experience was working in EYFS.

Crocky Mon 17-Feb-14 17:48:19

Mine are older now but no I wouldn't have been interested.

TheGruffalo2 Mon 17-Feb-14 18:08:18

When you say you are training to be a headteacher does that mean you are doing your NPQH? If so, I would say complete the training, then decide about your future as the training adds to your burdens and stress levels. Are you a deputy at the moment? I found the role of teaching deputy far heavier workload than headship, so that may be clouding your judgement. I have settled as a classteacher until I am ready (if ever) to climb the ladder again and that is plenty with family commitments. Not saying it can't be done as I do know several mothers of very young children who are headteachers, but I couldn't do it.

As to your tuition proposal I would say it was a bit of a non-starter. I wouldn't want it and surely pre-school and nursery already have all you mention covered?

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 18:08:46

Yes. Primarily worked in reception through to year two.

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 18:18:36

Hi Gruffalo. Thanks for posting. No, I am not that far yet - you are further than me. If I was further down that path, it would probably seem clearer and too late to turn back.

Having just got my MBA and with my school background my next step would hopefully be a deputy position. I'm not sure if I would do the NPQH or not as I have just spent five years doing the MBA and it's supposed to be comparable.

I think I'm just trying to be realistic. Would it be possible to do a good job and would my children lose out terribly. I don't have the time to wait really - cracking on a bit : ))

Perhaps it is a bit of a non-starter. I'll give it a bit more thought and also look at getting back to school.

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 18:24:24

My husband hasn't really helped. ; )) he is very anti me going back as he knows how hard I have to work and says it is like voluntary work. The amount of money teachers and Heads get is criminal and he would prefer me to do something I have more control over, more flexibility and more income : )). Good job not everyone thinks like that - but I do wonder about the amount of work involved and the wage I would earn to support our family. But that's a whole new thread.

TheGruffalo2 Mon 17-Feb-14 18:30:11

Many on my NPQH were in their 50s so there is still time (I'm making an assumption younger than that if you have young children, hope I'm not putting my foot in it blush). As an ex-HT your initial post does come across as a little naïve - sorry. Your quotes about whole child and importance of play, but also talk of formal teaching and schemes seem contradictory and superficial, like the sort of things I'm seeing on NQT application forms at the moment. I feel rather mean and harsh for saying this, but I think you need to broaden your experience of what high quality EY education is, the principles and pedagogy behind it and the variety of settings that exist.
If you are not yet a deputy I think your current priority should be middle management skills and becoming the best class teacher you can be across all phases (good leaders need credibility in the classroom and this often comes unstuck if they have limited experience or understanding of a particular phase). Sorry if I've offended but I want to say it how it is, as headship can be s##t if you go into it too quickly or naively expecting qualifications really mean you can do the job.

Gunznroses Mon 17-Feb-14 18:35:53

Could you not offer a service that ctually prepares pre school children for the next stage? Concentration skills perhaps? I know this gets better with age but some children just do not live in an environment where this is developed, familiarisation with art, listening to classical music, these are things many children never have the opportunity to experience, those that do are ahead before formal school has even started.

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 18:43:32

Thanks for your post. No offence taken and I take your points on board. I agree. I think my time abroad and the ttime I have just taken off whilst having children has thrown me. I now need to get back to focussing on 'me' and am unsure of my next steps.

Thank you for telling me that I am not running out of time. That has been part of my wondering whether to give up.

May I ask why you are an ex-head?

TheGruffalo2 Mon 17-Feb-14 19:04:38

I had children and only wanted to work part time when I returned from my last maternity leave. I had been a deputy and then head before DC1, then had another in quick succession and decided I couldn't cope with children, elderly parents and headship. So after a couple of years as a SAHM I applied for a part-time teaching post, which eventually became full time when my job share retired.

Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 19:11:22

Thanks for your quick reply. That's really interesting! With four small children I do wonder how unrealistic I am being about entertaining ideas of becoming a Head. That's why the thought of starting up on my own appeals. But education is all I know and as others seem to suggest, there isn't much scope for key stage one teachers. More opportunities for older children. Time to have a serious think. Thanks for posting.

pyrrah Mon 17-Feb-14 19:11:50

Before I had a child I would have probably been in the hooray, sign me up now camp.

Now that I have one, I feel the opposite.

DH and I were both of the horribly precocious fluent readers at 3.5 variety of kids - and rather assumed our offspring would follow suit.

On the contrary, she has absolutely no interest in anything academic - princesses are the only important thing in life...

She's a bright kid and no doubt will do well once she decides there might be something useful about all this letter malarkey but I don't think she'll be a completely fluent reader till some point in Y1.

What she does have though is great social skills and enjoys being with other children - unlike her geeky parents who rather struggled with such things and were more interested in books and numbers than other kids.

In my opinion, these EI skills will be hugely more important in life than doing long division and reading Harry Potter by the end of Reception.

I've been incredibly impressed with how Early Years teaching works and I can't really see how there could really be a need to have children academically pre-prepared for school. The gentle introduction of letters, numbers etc is after all the whole point of Reception.

Most nurseries prepare children very well for starting school in terms of social skills, listening skills, doing buttons up etc and frankly that is all you need.

I suppose there might be people amongst those sitting the 4+ assessments for indies who would be interested in a pre-school crammer, but I'm not sure it would be a huge draw for the vast majority of parents.

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