Adapting to online sessions as a conductor
Posted: Sun, 31 Jan 2021 16:28
I was scheduled to return to work in April 2020. That was when I was supposed to finish maternity leave. I remember in March I was still preparing myself to go back to work in April because I thought I would be informed of what was going to happen. It seemed unbelievable that our lives could change in so many ways. Soon we all found ourselves in lockdown, which meant that, in agreement with Steps, I was furloughed indefinitely. Of course, I was very grateful for this but, like anybody else, I did not know what to expect in the long run. Eventually, I was able to go back to work in September 2020. However, by this point, Steps was not delivering Conductive Education the way I remembered, but in a new digital format. Before the summer holiday, I had the opportunity to observe our existing Zoom sessions, but these were completely different to all my previous experiences of Conductive Education. At the beginning, I had my doubts but fortunately, time would soon prove me wrong.
Initially, my role was just to observe. This was not too difficult for me, but it showed me that running the sessions would be far more demanding. In September, I faced the fact that I would have to start to lead online sessions. I must admit, I found it very difficult at first however I coped by building up to leading, step by step. I am extremely grateful for the constant support of my colleagues. They helped me to be prepared; have a better understanding of the digital world; and become involved in the work gradually. At first, it took considerable time and energy to get my computer ready and prepare my home (and myself) in order to deliver the best possible quality of Conductive Education to the camera. It may sound amusing, but the primary challenge for me was singing and providing rhythmical intention on my own when - in normal circumstances – my colleagues, the children, and their families would be in the same room, singing along with me.
Observation is also different in online sessions; watching the children in a small square on the computer screen is highly challenging. Additionally, I miss being able to give physical feedback but, when faced with such challenges, I remind myself that the parents are in the same situation on the other side of the camera.
Despite all the challenges, I would like to highlight how fantastic it is that Steps has been able to run sessions in the current circumstances. Equally, we are extremely grateful for the continuous involvement, support, and patience demonstrated by our families in this difficult situation. Now, after nearly a year of working in this new digital world, we can say that our system works quite well; the proof is in the improvement of all our incredible children. Of course, we hope that, soon, we will return to a way of working that closer resembles normality, but I believe we have learnt a lot from the last year.