I do not think I have ever mentioned "Petö Angels" on my blog before, except for those that were to do with András Petö himself. I have never written about them because I did not know about them.
That is not raltogether the truth, because my colleagues at the moment are all Petö Angels, and many have been in the past. But we are all getting old and the angels that I write about here are young!
My recent angels, the ones whom I have mentioned on my blog over the last two years, are young conductors, newly graduated conductors, most in their early twenties, all of whom I have worked with in different places or communicated with around the world. These angels have all been NICE Angels. They have been of many different nationalities and all have been brilliant.
Now I have met a young Petö Angel! She is Hungarian and she is brilliant too.
I have not only met a Petö Angel but, since she descended into our midst a few weeks ago, we have been working together every day.
I love it. I love not working alone. I love to learn from her, I love to be inspired by the amount of energy and ideas that she has, and I love to teach her and guide her. Most of all I love it that we are no longer isolated conductors working in groups but groups of conductors working with groups of clients.
Now we are four!
Three of us have been working here in Nürnberg for between twelve and seventeen years.
Between us we have more than forty-six years' experience working in Germany. Oue new colleague will hopefully stay for just as long!
The team consists of me, working here there and everywhere, my colleague in the integrated Kindergarten, plus another colleague who has been working here as long as me, who works with our babies and organises all sorts of interesting projects for us. And now there is our new angel, who has been here for three weeks, although it already feels like she has always been there at my side!
A team of old and new
The three of us oldies have been working alone a lot of the time. We get to work together now and then, but not enough. I always love it when I get the chance to work with my colleague from the Kindergarten in our three-week “Petö” blocks for the littlies, but it always ends to soon and we go back to working alone.
Now our conductor “group” is bound together by our new young colleague who this week has worked with all three of us in all our different groups. We are no longer isolated as conductors, we have a second member in each of our separate groups who links us all together as she moves between us.
She is going to become a Jack-of-all-trades and an expert in working with clients from two years to sixty-two years of age. She has experienced all of this already in her first few weeks. Yesterday she told me that she did not think that she was going to like working with adults, but she has loved it. And they loved her! The children love her too. They love all her new ideas, her new games and climbing adventures, and they love her big smile too!
On the way home last week I felt that I had been working as a pedagogue for the first time in ages. More precisely I realised that I had been a pedagogue all day. I had been teaching the children, the adults and the new angel all day.
Working side by side, two conductors can make tidying up and moving-furniture tasks disappear with a blink of an eye. When I work on my own those chores always take me away for too much of the time from the children and adults, and their activities and learning.
Understanding, with and without language
Yesterday, I enjoyed sitting down with my young colleague to discuss our work together. We talked about how we could best help each other. There is not much need for words, we understood each other from the first moment we met, we do not talk to each other very much while we work, we just do it and the children sense the ease with which we work together, and they just do it too. The adults, who are normally “Oh so critical” when someone new touches them or helps them in some other way to achieve their aims, are loving the extra attention that they are getting from us both.
Both children and adults have realised that, if my new colleague does not understand something in German, then I try to help her out in another language. If I can not manage it in Hungarian then I usually succeed with English. If not I use my hands and feet! I try my best, as I know the situation personally only too well, as I have twice been conducting in a language that I had yet to conquer.
The stroke group in particular has picked up on this and has started not only to speak much more clearly and precisely in German but also to speak English.
What more motivation can I ask for when I am doing the speech programme for the aphasia group, than to have our new colleague nearby!
From what I hear there are a lot of really good young Petö Angels going out to work in the conductive world. A new generation of conductors, perhaps to influence a new generation of conductive upbringing. Let us hope so.