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Have you met The One?

I was finishing up an article for today, and one of the points in it was about the importance of the right practitioner for a given project - an intersection of personality, skills, experience and expertise. 

It`s a funny thing. A group just clicks with a particular person sometimes and while you can tick all the boxes for professional practice, is it fair to say that some of it is an unknown quantity? You just know it`s going to work, or rather, you feel it`s just going to work.  We all have people we loved working with, that the kids loved working with...what`s the anatomy of that?

So. If we were making a list of the characteristics you remember from previous experiences of working with `The One` what are they?

Here`s my first thoughts:

Artistic Integrity and beauty to their work

A passion and belief about working with children and young people that is deep in their bones.

A quiet confidence about the work that they do: they believe in it, they have steadfast values around it, but they`re humble.

If (when!) a project or a session goes wrong, or thing don`t go to plan  (the workspace earmarked for the project is infact a kitchen/ the materials haven`t arrived/ the group haven`t come back from the swimming pool - feel free to add your own horror story here!) they understand that shouting at anyone will not fix the kitchen, liberate the materials from a Finglas warehouse, or magic the children back into the classroom and they pull with you at every turn.

They don`t really care if the group or anyone else likes them. I know this is a controversial way of putting it. What I mean is they make decisions based on what`s best for the group and for the project, and they don`t worry about being popular. This is a very different thing from being antagonistic and not what I mean.  I mean that their self esteem is very separate from what happens with the group.

They treat the young people like artists, in that, they respect and take seriously the work that each child is trying to bring into being and want to help.

They don`t need to be the expert - `they are the guide on the side not the sage on the stage` as a teacher colleague once put it.

They treat the young people like anyone else they encounter during the day - they don`t have a `hello-boys-and-girls-voice`.

Even the breaks and the travel to and from are fun.

Your disagreements are always about the work, you`re not sifting for other agendas or problems.

...I`m writing this and it`s like trying to nail down butterflies. I`m still missing the essence of it, which is my original point about how hard it is to describe.  What would you add to this list?...




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