An integral component of the teacher training program at Steiner College is inner work. To be an excellent teacher, one must cultivate the sense-ability to really know the student. As is true of all aspects of one's life, developing the heightened awareness of another individual's true self creates immensely positive results.
Our course on inner work, lead by the Academic Dean of Steiner College, Patrick Wakeford-Evans, is valuable in the process of becoming Waldorf educators. The required text for the class is called "How to Know Higher Worlds," by Rudolf Steiner. It contains insights and practical exercises in developing heightened sensitivity.
Today, a fine way to end the week, Patrick gave us a juicy morsel of wisdom. (While the book is a good resource, it does not compare to the vitality of the spoken word, especially through Patrick, who is good at clarifying many of Steiner's concepts.) In my own words:
How can you really know another individual?
See the physical being. Now peel away that layer.
See the person's abilities and talents. Peel away that layer.
See the person's desires and motivations. Peel away that layer.
What is left do you see?
The striving of the individual. The striving...
Deeper than your genetic material, the skills you may possess, or the desires that move you, the authentic you is on a lifelong path of transformation. To recognize it in oneself is part of inner work. To be able to see it in others, to be attuned to the vibe of another individual's soul, then you have raised your conscious awareness to make a difference in the lives of others.