Saturday, July 4, 2009

through the threshhold

week one of summer teacher education

I came into the program with an openness of spirit, no expectations, some preconceived notions. The word anthroposophy was largely foreign to me. Rudolf Steiner I knew only as the originator of Waldorf schools. And although I whole-heartedly supported the Waldorf pedagogy of an integrated arts, music, and science curriculum, I did not know the reasoning behind it.

In this first week of foundation studies, which included theosophy, wet-method painting, the biography of Steiner, the education of the child and adolescents, inner work, eurythmy, much was presented, and while scholars of Steiner spend years studying just one sentence of one paragraph of one book, we delved into such titles as Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Theosophy. We produced four paintings and a sketch of our early childhood memory. We performed eurythmic movements for early grades, to poems, to the Zodiac, the planets, and vowel and consonant sounds.

Clearly, one week of studying the philosophy of Steiner will give only a glimpse of the world of anthroposophy, of spiritual science, and of Waldorf education. But stepping in through the threshhold offered something immense, larger than may be fathomable, but certainly putting into motion the workings of my brain and my soul.

Entering the world of anthroposophy through doors opened by our passionate instructors made me feel welcome. I was invited in to sit and chat and listen to stories. And through their knowledege of Steiner and his philosophy, through their passion for teaching children, I was becoming attuned to the vibe of Waldorf education.

There is so much yet to learn. But I will have to say that the discussions on the soul has been exhilarating, fun, and actually, fairly clear if one were to allow the concepts to linger and just hang there in mid-air for you to observe from all sides. Then one can begin to take it in, the parts that resonate with your initial impressions first, then gradually allowing these ideas and thoughts to sit inside you, evenutally making them your own.

And while the ideas are absorbed gradually, truly I believe the touching of the consciousness, which resides in the sentient soul, is immediate. A soul spark turns something on, and even if you do not yet know where it will lead you, the engines of your thinking, feeling, and willing life is activated.

What will happen in Week Two? Well, it is the weekend, and I will use this time to give my spiritual muscles some time for rest, allowing it to rebuild. Like exercising, you strain and fatigue the muscles, and growth does not happen during exercise, it happens at rest.

So I will try not to think too much of Week Two, except for some homework. I took my kids this morning to the bike trails near the river to ride their bikes, and I kept watch over them. I want to spend time in the garden this weekend. I want to play some guitar with my daughter. Visit with my mom and dad. Spend a quiet evening with my wife.

The doors remain open and I freely move from one space of my being to another.

1 comment:

onegoldensun said...

I am really enjoying your posts on your experiences of Waldorf teaching training! It is a path that I would love to take some day. Your eloquence and heart-felt posts are so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing!