Sunday, 18 September 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Now I know that nappy changing is part of my job at the moment, but I have to admit I am not keen on it at all.  Not because of the wee/poo side of it, although that plays a part, but I really don't feel comfortable being so intimate with someone else's child.  Also, as we are in an infant school, we don't have the proper facilities really and kneeling of the floor of the boys' toilets is not fun! 

So in an effort to speed the training process along a little, I came up with the idea of a very visual aid.  Last year I used a teddy with a small bottle of water held behind him in order to simulate the toy having a wee in the loo, but I felt this might not be the way to go with my current charge.  So I whizzed up a little 'mini-me' out of felt.
It has a piece of plastic tubing which comes out of the back of the neck into a small squeezy container that can be filled with water. (OK, I admit it, I pinched this off a free squirty bow-tie toy!).  The other end of the tube is sewn into the body of the doll and comes out....well, you can guess where!  Warning, the next picture contains a felt winkie......
So, the trousers can be pulled down, then when the doll sits on the potty, his appendage points directly downwards into the bowl. 
You then squeeze the plastic bulb, thus making the doll pee.
Then the idea is to praise the doll and hopefully the child will then get the idea and learn the process in real life....that's the idea.  I realise there is great potential for this to go horribly, horribly wrong and the doll to end up down the loo covered in urine, but it's worth a try.  I'll let you know how I get on!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Back to Basics

This September I am back working in Reception class for the first time in 4 years, with a new little boy to get to know.  This year it has been possible to prepare very thoroughly as the school has had a major change in the number of classrooms and their layout, which has meant starting completely from scratch.  So the teacher and I have had many discussions on how to arrange a little learning area for the new child, where to put it and how to stock it.  It's been fantastic for the first time to be so completely organised rather than jammed into the nearest available corner.  There is a work table, a noticeboard, my own set of drawers for various equipment and resources, even storage for my reference material.

However, I fear this learning area is going to remain unused for a while - I had forgotten the mayhem of those first weeks with a bunch of four year olds who have to have time to adjust to being in school and for us staff to get to know them and their foibles!  It's been a good start to the school year, with what seems to be a calm and well adjusted class of children but to be honest, this week each day is just a matter of them charging around exploring their new environment and playing with just about everything they see.   Combine that with teaching my new child all about the toilet and trying to get a routine established to avoid any further dampness(!), the hours fly by and any achievements are quite small and unremarkable.

But I know things will slowly calm down and then I can get on with my job properly.  These early days are quite crucial even though they don't feel like it - if you don't establish a rapport with your target child in the beginning, there isn't much hope of you achieving an awful lot in the years ahead.