Sometimes I could almost pull my hair out!
I like my long hair so I resist, perhaps I could scream instead.
We conductors spend time with our clients, hours, weeks, months that add up to years, in this case already six, encouraging, motivating so that life can be lived to the full. Working together so that clients can take part in life with energy and gusto, with body and soul, as well as they possibly can.
Then what happens?
Sometimes along comes this professional and that professional who look in astonishment and disbelieve. Who with open mouths actually pronounce that they do not believe it, they can not believe their own eyes that this child is walking, that another child is in a mainstream school, that this adult is making phone calls again and that the other one driving a car. And what is more this often comes from people I thought know conductive pedagogy very well.
Yes, on the one side their surprise can be encouraging, indicating the success of our long years of intensive work together with the clients. I often think what luck that the clients and their families were working with us, all of us believing in, and working towards, a bright future, and that they were not working with those who did not.
But what does this open mouthed astonishment from professionals do for the clients?
Sometimes it can put the dampers on things
As I work with my clients we work on the assumption that the sky is our limit, we can have a go at anything and find a way to do most things the clients wish to learn.
If some other professional comes along and is astonished by the fact that the clients achieve their aims does this encourage or discourage? What influence does this have on their motivation?
In some cases it could motivate clients to achieve more, but in others it could have the opposite effect. Clients could say: “Well if this is not expected of me from everyone I will sit back and save myself the hard work, I need not expect it from myself either”.
What triggered this posting?
What has happened regularly but not too often throughout my career happened again a couple of times last week, once in a positive encouraging way and once in a discouraging way. It made me sit back and think and to decide that I must spread myself even further a field in an attempt to reach even more people who come in to contact with my clients. Raising the awareness and expectations of more people.
There have been several cases in the past twenty years, all over the world, when people, who I thought knew conductive pedagogy inside out and even one or two conductors, have verbally announced their doubts and astonishment, often in front of the clients. In such cases it is I who am open mouthed and incredulous, left there thinking. “What on earth do people think a conductive upbringing is about when not full of high expectations and achievements, and why do therapists and pedagogues not all encourage such high aims and expectations in their clients?
Leaving my hair still intact and forgetting about the screams, I will instead be giving up the odd free Friday morning that I allow myself now and then, to visit our local schools and therapy centres!