The More You Look, The More You SeeOct 06, 2022
It has been a wonderful experience connecting with families after the summer break and meeting new ones. The familiar routine of creating the week's work is challenging yet comforting. The curriculum quickly begins to work its magic and draws you in like a magnet and you feel inspired by all the opportunities it holds for the children.
And what a lot of opportunities there are. I would like to share two that I have been reminded of this week as I have had conversations with parents and prepared class 7 Physics. These two “opportunities” are not unique to class 7 but are intrinsic to Waldorf education as a whole.
As I was preparing for Class 7 Physics I was thinking about the phenomena behind the simple machines we are exploring. In all the phenomena that we present to the children, we are asking them to look deeper by allowing them to experience the plant, animal, stone, or physical force and to enter into a relationship with it. A kind of open relationship without judgment or opinion at first. We encourage the children to be open to what the phenomena is telling them or teaching them. In this way, the children’s faculties of observation and interest in the world are strengthened and they can feel within themselves growing confidence in their ability to know the world they live in. Not just from a factual point of view but from an intuitive and imaginative one too. The children are able to learn so much more than what appears on the surface.
In a conversation with some parents, we were talking about the learning opportunities that present themselves through the demands of the work but not through the work itself, which reminded me of one of my favorite aspects of Waldorf Education. We use the content of the Main Lessons to teach the children the “real things” of life. In our conversation some of these real aspects of life included, responding to tasks that are given in spite of your own opinion about them, cultivating the inner authority that helps to develop true independence and ability to work independently, learning what it means to be accountable for your work, developing the art of finding balance in how you approach work and growing appreciation for both the artistic as well and the intellectual side of tasks. Again, so much more is available to the children and they are learning on so many different levels.
I leave the above picture with you to enjoy as I feel it captures some of what I was hoping to share - that every day there is so much more to what we are doing with our children if we only take a moment to look a little more closely.
~By Ms. Bridgette
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