Friday, 14 October 2011

Story-telling


"Spacial awareness" by Susie Mallett, August 2011

Writing about my practice…

I realised a long time ago that I have been writing fewer postings lately about my work. I was recently in England for a month, not working with clients for all of that time, but that has nothing to do with the lack of postings about my practice.

My work is still multi-faceted, still very enjoyable and still full of really interesting clients and lovely colleagues, so it is not that I have nothing to write about. I do in fact write about it, a lot, but in notes that mount up in story-telling departments in my head. I hope that I will slowly get around to writing them down before I forget them. Often I just write down a single word in a Word document to remind me of a moment for later.

I have really missed the process of writing the stories down and thereby visualising the practice once again.  As I write down the descriptions of my practice, I am able to observe once more, in minute detail, what each client has achieved.

…is part of my practice

It really is time to do it more often.

It was when I realised today how much I had enjoyed writing about the dinosaurs that I decided that I shall turn over a new leaf by writing down stories about my practice more frequently again. I need to do this story-telling, it has become a very important aspect of my practice. It is something that I wrote about in the preface to my Book Number One:

“Through writing I gain better understanding of my own work. This is by far the most important reason why I write. Since I began to write about my practice I am more conscious of how I am continuously thinking about what I am doing and why. There are many instances when I notice this, for example I am more conscious of how I consider how I touch someone and of how I speak to someone, and also of how I do not touch someone and do not speak to someone. I am more aware of why I am doing what I am doing and more importantly how I would describe it to others.

Doing this for public consumption certainly sharpens how I think about it. Over years of experience my work has become ever more interesting, and ever more enjoyable. By writing about it I begin to realize just how much I have learnt and just how much I still do not know. It has always been great to work as a conductor. Now that I write about it as well, it is different. It has taken on a new dimension.”

I remembered this piece of writing because of an activity that I spontaneously did today with four school-age children. I have also written previously about how, when I start a new project or activity with the children, often only then do I realise what huge steps forward they have made. This is what happened today, on a day when I could have said that I was too run off my feet to see anything!

Calmly rushing

We had been somewhat short-staffed all week, both in the conductive groups and in the Kindergarten, but today six staff from eleven were missing, due to various illnesses. Interestingly enough, and also luckily enough, all four conductors and one social pedagogue were there, we all know just a little bit about adaption.

On Tuesday I had worked in four different groups, two of them on my own. Today it was Évi’s turn to be coming and going and by the time we got together to tidy up at the end of the day she did no longer knew where she was.

Èvi adapted to working in the integrated Kindergarten while I adapted to having a group of schoolchildren, with a wide range of abilities, to keep happy over lunch and for the rest of the afternoon. We ended up having a whale of a time and while doing so I had lots of time to observe how these children have developed since the beginning of the new school term.

I was alone, but it was good to be alone for once. I had to see the group as a whole because I had to keep my eye on it as a whole all the time. While doing this I saw in detail the individuals and what they had learnt and how they were putting their learnt skills into action.

We proved this afternoon that assembling Swedish, flat-pack chairs is child’s play. They all managed to conjure up a sitable-on chair before going home for a relaxing weekend!

More about that project later, when it gets further under way.

Notes

Let me tell you a story”, Book I –

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