Typical experience? Am I being silly?

Forum for all questions, issues and concerns when completing work placement within an early childhood setting.
Forum rules
Please read: Forum Rules and Regulations and Where to Post What
Post Reply
ObsidianFalcon
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:29 am

Typical experience? Am I being silly?

Post by ObsidianFalcon » Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:52 am

Hi, new to the forms! :wave:

I just wanted to share my experiences in placement, I've already shared with one of my TAFE teachers but it's affecting me so much that a second opinion would be great as I'm feeling really silly.

So, I started my first placement this week. In regards to the children it's amazing, I've already managed to really connect with them!

But other than that... it hasn't been the best, and I don't know if it's my fault. For context I do struggle quite a lot with mental health, particularly anxiety + ADHD.

I was just kind of dumped in a room by the centre manager and then forgotten about. Every day I enter the room and the educators give a quick 'hello' and that's it, once I got a quick 'how are you' and it made my day. Everyone treats me like I'm completely invisible, they don't even speak to me and sometimes they speak about me like I'm not there. The days are very long because all I'm doing is playing with the kids. I'd absolutely be happy to clean up, or help put kids to sleep (haven't been invited into the sleep room), or change nappies (have been told by the centre manager I can and it's part of placement, but haven't been shown that area)... ANYTHING to break up my day a bit (I'm with the under 1s so there's not much playtime structure).

I have no idea who my supervisor is meant to be, or the roles of anyone in the room. I was never introduced to anyone. I'm sure no one even knows my name. I barely know when my breaks are meant to be. The first day the room had all relief staff, so I jotted down my experience to that, but since then they've been regular and nothing's changed. Sometimes I do try to speak up but I get ignored, plus everyone talks amongst themselves all day and with my ADHD I'm very anxious about not knowing when it's my turn to speak.

The second day one person asked how I was in the breakroom (to my shock) and I raised my concerns, only to be dismissed with 'you need to learn how to ask questions' and a shake of a head when I said I was studying a Cert III and not a diploma. I would be happy to ask questions, but interaction is a two way street especially in a new workplace, and I presently don't feel comfortable at all to ask questions.

Am I being silly? I'm sure this is all my fault, and I should just speak up... but I would've thought I would've been introduced to people, and given a tour of where everything is. I don't feel welcomed or comfortable there at all, which breaks my heart because I love the feel of the centre and of course the kids. :|


User avatar
Lorina
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 14292
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:36 am

Re: Typical experience? Am I being silly?

Post by Lorina » Sat Apr 02, 2022 1:01 pm

Hi!

First off welcome to the forum! :wave:

To answer your question no you're not being silly - unfrotuanetly you are going through quite a common experience that studnets on placement and casual educators face. Like you have experienced so far, you're kind of dumped into a room, ignored and expect to just learn. Educators are so foucsed in their daily routine and getting through the day they just tend to forget about the world that is happening around them so to speak. It's not intentional at all it's just how they operate. There is so much to complete throughout the day and so much to think about everything else kind of becomes a blur. Educators feel that it's easier to complete tasks themselves or by Educators who know the routine because it saves time from having to explain what needs to be done. Please don't take it personally.

First thing I would recommned is to get in and help where you can - don't wait to be told what to do - for cleaning up for example just jump on in and say "I got it" and start cleaning up. Before going outside you need to get hats for example just say "Ill get hats and sunscreen on the children". Show initiative. You've been there a week so you should be a little familiar with what happens on a daily basis. If you ahve a question please ask! No one is goinng to think any less of you!

As for communicating talk about work the routine to get the conversations going. Such as "Oh the children seemed to like that activity" or "I like the song you sang" anything really.

Also, it's only been a week! Everyone needs time to settle in. You're learning, you're a student! Don't worry too much about it! :)

I'm sure your second week will be a lot better!

Let me know how it goes on Monday!

:geek:,
Lorina

Post Reply