Early Years Teacher Status Diary – exploring what it means to be a professional
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Students are being encouraged to develop a sense of their own unique professional identity, says Chichester University’s Nikki Fairchild
The Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP)
Trainees are now spending greater amounts of time on placements in their settings. This allows them to link theory and practice and to develop their leadership skills. While on placement they have all been visited by a link tutor who has observed their practice. The link tutor then met with each trainee to discuss the observation and experiences to help them make links to the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
There has been one session at university entitled ‘professionalism’. Now trainees are in the second phase of their pathways they are more able to reflect on what it means to be a professional working in an early years context. These reflections and explorations help them to develop their own unique professional identity. All trainees have submitted their third written assignment for assessment and feedback.
The Undergraduate Practitioner Pathway (UPP)
UPPs have attended university to discuss maths provision in their settings and have been encouraged to complete a maths audit to allow them to reflect on enhancements to their provision. Trainees who have submitted an academic assignment for the ‘Professional Practice’ BA module have had these assessed against the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and are now able to consider how they can evidence meeting any remaining standards and age ranges in additional assignments.
The UPPs are due to submit their final module on the BA and will hand in their essays for the ‘Working with Families’ module by the middle of May. They then need to consider whether to continue with their BA studies next year to gain a full BA (Hons).
The Undergraduate Entry Pathway (UEP)
This has been a busy time for the UEPs. They have been working on their BA (Hons) and have submitted their 10,000 word final dissertation. They will be sitting an exam for the ‘Special Educational Needs’ module and are due to submit for ‘Working with Families’.
In addition they have been at placement extending their practice skills and have attended EYTS session on professionalism and curricula frameworks. There has been a guest lecture on phonics in the Early Years and they have had a session to prepare them for their final setting visit.
We have had a second meeting with our steering group of local employers to consider the recruitment of potential trainees. We discussed the proposals for the interview days and agreed a framework. There have been five interview days to date and there was a representative from the employers steering group at all of the interviews. Following the interviews we discussed potential trainees and will be making our first offers for the September intake.
The recruitment phase continues and we have a second set of dates scheduled in June for the next round of interviews. We are still accepting applications for these places and would encourage anyone who wants to be considered for a place to make contact on firstname.lastname@example.org.