Sunday, 11 November 2012

The roles that we all play in our conductive day!

'Two waggle eyes and a  jumbo pipecleaner'
That is that is needed at the end of a day to make everyone happy, including a conductor or three!
The conductors contributed a cat, a frog and a yellow bird to the selection of wiggly worms, a dino and a fish. 

 New groups, but we do not start from scratch

When the new term starts in September we always miss the children who have gone off into the big wide world, beyond the door of our integrative Kindergarten, the children who move on to their new schools after spending three, or even four, years with us.  

Some of these children will be visited by conductors in their schools. They will have conductive pedagogy by their sides for a few years yet as we accompany them on their new paths, while other children will return, up to three times a week, after school to join our conductive afternoon groups. 

There are also those very few children who, unfortunately, we will rarely see. Perhaps we will meet them only at yearly celebrations or during school holidays when they have the time to attend our groups. But our door is certainly always open at all times of the year. Sometimes the children return to us much later, as young adults, as I have written about recently here on my blog. 

Although we miss the children who have moved on we have little time to ponder on this when the new children arrive in the group. 

Coming together to form a 'new new' 

We miss the regularity of the old and the wonderful developments that we saw over the years but with the coming of the new we are also excited about the new problems that will need help in solving the new families that we will be called upon to help. We are interested in getting to know the new members of the group and observing how the new and the old join together to form a new new. 

Old-hands and new 

This term our conductive group for three seven-year-olds increased in size from four children to seven, three old-hands and four new ones. This meant a very busy room with rearrangements of furniture conductors but the atmosphere and routine was changed little, just enough to make it interesting, but not too much to cause anxiety. 

Small steps forwards into a wider world 

One of the old hands in the Kindergarten group is almost seven years old, that is older than the youngest member of our afternoon group in which the children range in age from six to thirteen. This littlie sometimes joins these school children because their group seems to suit him better than the group with the littlies, not only because of their age but also because of their size. He is a very tall boy and often finds it difficult to join in with fun and tumble with the new very-littlies in Kindergarten. 

An emerging mother-hen 

In the Kindergarten group it was one of the four-year-olds, who has been in the group since she was two-and-a-half years old who has taken on the role of leader for the new children.

Observing this child's encouragement and guidance of the new children is such a pleasure, especially as it was not so long ago when we, the conductors, were wondering what to do to encourage her to attend more and to be more interested in the group as a whole. 

I cannot say that we did not do anything, (of course we do have a role to play in the development of this child so that she learns how to  take  on  new roles herself) but it seems to us that all we need is an ever-changing, ever growing, ever-developing, stabile and secure atmosphere, and then we can sit back and watch it all happen. 

At the end of the last school year we introduced one of the other Kindergarten children to the group. He is not one of the children on the conductive-group list but he benefits enormously from joining us. Last year he was often reluctant to join us but now he enjoys his role as a four-year-old beside his four-year-old friend, as the self appointed leading and welcoming hands in the group.  

Together for ever! 

I believe that it is because of their ability to do this that our new group has felt like it has been together forever, as in a way it has been. The wheel now turns just as it always has done with a few new cogs in it. These changes have all been for the good and conductors and children alike have learnt so much from each other. 

New roles for us all 

Oldies, conductors and children, have been taking on new roles. Newcomers have been finding their places, with different conductors joining the group, and children too, new relationships are formed and working methods developed. This all brings a breath of fresh air and new energy with it. 

After this first 'Petö' block of the term both children and conductors, all exhausted, felt that something good had been created, and huge developments could be seen in the lives of all our littlies and their families.

Looking forwards, stepping forwards, moving house 

I believe that I am not the only one who is looking forward to the next three-week block with these same children, when we will be relieved to have the teething problems behind us and can begin from day one with what is already feeling like a well established group, thanks to our littlies who took the newcomers by the hand and showed them how to do it! 

We welcome this feeling of togetherness because it will set us up for the move. The next block will be the last ‘Petö’ group before the big move into the new building. The new building for the Kindergarten and crèche is finished, soon the children will move in and they will have their own room for 'Petö', they will no longer use the room that we have been using for the past eighteen years for everything conductive! I will not have everything on hand as before but we will have some brand new experiences coming up and the opportunity to change and wash away any cobwebs. 

Notes

It the Kindergarten group fifteen children attend an integrative Kindergarten daily. For three weeks they spend all their time together as one group within the Kindergarten. During the following three weeks, and each alternative three-week block, those children who will be attending the ‘Petö’ room, as they call it, arrive at the Kindergarten as usual, then spend the next three hours as a small group, at the moment seven children, with the conductors. They spend the rest of their day with the whole Kindergarten.

This routine of alternating three-week blocks continues throughout the school year.

 

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