did i mention trevor dodd in that other thread? ( as a male teacher who was marvellous with little ones.) i think i did....<P>anyway, today as i was coming home, it occured to me that perhaps i should come in here and add, that the woman who i have just employed to teach the 3 to 7 year old classes at my school, has no qualifications at all, on paper!<P>she is in her fifties, and has been teaching this age group as an assistant to a good RAD teacher - for 14 years!<P>she is a parent and a grandparent - in fact her 2 granchildren will be joining the class. and i came across her by accident, when she enrolled in my adult ballet class. i noticed her neat presentation, her clear demonstration of basic steps, and her enjoyment of dancing. later on, in conversation, i learned a little of her background, and she jumped at the chance to teach these students, assuming that she would assist ME!<P>haha!<P>no way!<P>so i plied her with textbooks and videotapes and sample class tapes and syllabi, which she duly took home to refer to. a sleepless night or two later, she phoned me, and politely said "i'm a bit stressed by this task you've set me. can i come and talk...."<P>she arrived with the reference materials to return - having already paid them good attention, and her sample class already planned, with appropriate music selected. <P>i looked at a class plan every bit as good as any 'professional' or certified teacher could come up with, and laughed. she knows exactly what to do, but has little confidence in her abilities. she says the planning experience made her aware that for 14 years she did all these things, without thinking 'why' - and now, she is stimulated by realising what the children are getting out of each experience - even though she has already seen the evidence, for many years, she has never seen it written in a book.<P>it also developed, in conversation, that her own daughter went to 'baby ballet' with the very same trevor dodd, who i described in the other thread (and above) as the first fabulous teacher for this age-group who i ever came across (that was about 25 years ago).<P>this week she and i will sit down with her assistant, and talk our way through each exercise with the music - what we are doing and why...on saturday the two of them will give this class, with me in the background. i don't have any doubt that she will be marvellous, and can teach her assistant (an 18-year-old trainee teacher) a great deal.<P>so, as much as i began this post by talking about the value of qualifications, i agree completely that the 'right' individual matters just as much. i guess i got off on that bent, becuse i was seeking to establish that the output of professional dancers from a school was in no way an indication of whether 3 to 5 year olds would be well-served by that particular school. that 'professional' criteria is appropriate to apply to older students with vocational aims, but not to apply to finding a school for 3 to 5 year olds, IMO.