Workshop Leader – Andrea Peters

Andrea employee stories photoHi, I’m Andrea, and I came to Camphill Blair Drummond in 2003 for an interview for a Workshop Leader and instantly fell in love with the place. I didn’t get the job.

Instead I was offered something really exciting – namely to set up my own workshop for people who couldn’t access the other more specialist workshops here.

I started doing two days a week. Initially I was like a bag lady wandering around from house to house with a few home-made musical instruments and sensory things like socks filled with polystyrene nuggets or plum stones spending an hour with this person and an hour with that person. I now have an assistant, work 5 days a week and we have a brand new state-of-the-art workshop to ourselves! We have a sensory room, a quiet area for individual work, a big room for groups, and access to the garden outside.

We spend a lot of time trying to motivate people to interact with us, so the emphasis is on discovering what they enjoy, what inspires them and then we piggy-back learning onto these activities. Crafts, for example, have a very strong sensory element and are an ideal stepping stone from sensory exploration to more active participation and skill learning. Music, too, provides an ideal medium for communication and creativity, especially for non-verbal students, and is wonderful for encouraging people to join in, from using a simple percussion instrument to creating their own songs. We break down difficult tasks into bite-sized steps so that people can take work at their own pace.

In over thirty years in teaching, this is the most rewarding job I have ever had. It draws on all my skills and talents. It is challenging and great fun.
Andrea Peters, Workshop Leader

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