Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Too much pressure.

So i have had my first week in my new job. You know what? I love it! It's relaxed, it's not run with a military precision with all the expectations of children achieving because the paper work says they have to. It's FUN. We don't expect, we don't push to achieve..we PLAY, a lot!
So i got to thinking (seriously dangerous for me!) about all the pressure put on child care workers and preschool teachers to make sure these little children achieve set goals before or at a certain age. It infuriates me so much.
Example -

1. A Mother keeps her child at home for the first 5 years of life. No expectations from Ofsted or anyone else. They child is loved, happy and confident and can DO lots of things.

2. A child goes to nursery at 3 years of age, they are assigned a "key worker" who is their primary carer in the setting and who watches said child like a hawk, logging all the things the child can do and encouraging the things that the child is not ready to do, so that they are eventually all done before the child starts school. All ticks in boxes. Ofsted happy.

3. Full day care children are like the nursery children but they are watched from approx 4 months until 5 years. With expectations to achieve everything in the the boxes before they leave. It's the same within the setting of a child minder. All ticks in boxes again Ofsted happy.

Now i have NO problem with any of the settings above, be the children at nursery, full day care or with a child minder but why oh why are we putting so much on these little people to be able to do so much before they begin school.
Surely the joys of being a child are just that? Being a child.

Did it not occur to anyone that each child IS an INDIVIDUAL and WILL progress at an individual pace? They wont all walk at the same time, or talk in sentences or write their names so why are they all being "assessed" from the same criteria?

I really feel that children who stay home, who play with Mummy, bake with and watch Mummy do chores and play with their toys as and how they like probably learn more, are probably happier and from my experience get on better when they begin school.
Sure as parents we like to see how the children are progressing but I'd rather hear the words polite, happy, helpful, fun than be told..has learned to..can now....should now be...

Maybe i am just really old fashioned? What do you guys think?
For the record mine all went to nursery...all 3 of them....but not till they were 31/2 years and I never expected of them. I sent them there to be social and to give them a break from me!!
Is this the same in your country? I think the UK are doing paper work for paper works sake!

(ofsted is our child setting / schools governing body in the UK)


BaronessBlack said...

With you on this one!
My two go to nursery two mornings a week (and Phoebs does two mornings of pre-school as well). I understand that some children are neglected and abused and fall through the net somehow, but the endless reams of paperwork don't really seem to make much of a difference, except to take the caring nursery and pre-school workers away from the children to fill in more forms!

miruspeg said...

So pleased to read you are OLD FASHIONED....there is a lot to be learnt from our predecessors.

Children are a blessing, I wish more mothers and fathers understood that and not just 'tick the box' and say I have bought the house, had the children, gone overseas etc etc etc.

When I first read the title of this post Gill I thought your new job was too much pressure, so I am pleased to read its FUN.

Great thought provoking post.


Related Posts with Thumbnails