Monday, 25 August 2014

What? No break!

There is a core team of 3 of us in the nursery class, myself the teacher & 2 nursery assistants who job share. However almost every year we end up with extra staff members ranging from assistants for specific children or students training to be assistants or teachers. Throughout the year I also may need to call upon support staff from the primary to cover for sickness. 
I know nursery is not for everyone but aside from the differences between how a primary class is run as compared to nursery the biggest difference, dare I say shock, for most is that there is no break or lunchtime for staff. 
Anyone who has ever spent any time in a school learns pretty quickly how important the morning breaktime & lunchtime become to all staff. I would say breaktime more so even than lunch as many staff will use their lunchtime to run errands but if that 10-15 minute morning break is interfered with there will usually be a mass revolt!

I always love to witness the reactions when new staff members ask about breaks, their faces when told there are none range from horror to despair! If I am out for the day & a substitute teacher, new to nursery, is covering, I can always guarantee a footnote on their feedback of the day commenting on how they don't know how I cope with no tea/coffee break!

Those who know me, will testify that I love coffee & yet I can cope very well without my copious cups of it when back at school. We have purchased lots of travel mugs in case anyone really, really has to have a cuppa through the day. However, I generally prefer to savour my coffee & would rather wait until after 2 o'clock to really enjoy my coffee than try to drink it during the session.  Also, let's be honest here, the nursery day is so busy that drinking coffee during the session would only lead to having to make time to go to the toilet!!!

On the flip side after 14 years of operating this way I know can't imagine having to work to set times interrupted with 2 breaks, I love that the nursery day can be more fluid & flexible. The only clock watching revolves around when the dinners will be arriving from the primary or the parents will be coming to collect children! 

I guess everyone gets used to their way of working & I wouldn't want to change mine but I wish primary colleagues would bear in mind that I have been working non-stop since 8.50 until around 2.00 & that if they come down & I'm eating my lunch I'm not slacking! Nor can I make meetings at 2 unless they are prepared for me to be munching away on my lunch through the meeting! 

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