The best possible start

Every child knows how important are the first steps. Old and experienced hikers say that we always have to start slowly and carefully on a long way. That is also the right way to start a new school year.

And exactly that is what is happening in my school at the moment. We started with a teacher conference which was very useful. It has shown that the head of the school is on the right way and all teachers seem to be inspired by those three days together.

The aim of this post is to describe how the head of the school created an impulse for the new school year that should be alive in all the teachers and should also be forwarded to the students and parents. Beneath are abstracts from the most important moments of the conference.

– Our most important task as educators and teachers is to make possible the encounter of the kids with their own higher I. Nowaday the society steals exactly this opportunity from the young people. Die impulses and the dreams of the young generation is being killed. Exactly those impulses and dreams we have to experience innerly together with the kids and help them accent from the depths of the soul into the world. Through meeting other people (other students, teachers) we meet ourselves. This is the goal of the waldorf pedagogics in Glonntal. This is especially important for the mathematics lessons, where we would like to innerly experience the material and its connections.

– Very interesting is to mention also something about the process in the conference. I had the will to be at this school and at this conference. I want to achieve something. So I was attending it totally consciously. But only when the head of the school spoken out of his heart, I felt connected with him. And that was the moment when I experience innerly the feeling of Love and connectivity. Only at that moment, when we were more or less one, I gathered to a higher level of consciousness, understanding, feeling and experience. This is very important, because as a teacher I have to save this impulse and give it further to the students. I managed to do so two days later. And this was the first very important step of my teaching at this school. Now the task is to keep the flame of this impulse through the whole school year.

– And again about the process – I, as a teacher have to be active, to be audacious to start first new things. And at the same time I have to be the most patient one, to wait for all the others to come with me. Exactly as a agriculturist have first to plant and then to wait. It was great to see how Johnasson, our gardener and agriculture teacher connects farming with teaching, the two “royal” professions, according to Slavic people.

– Everything we teach should we make conscious. First pick up a subject, then delve into it and at the end make it conscious. The head of the school said, that not he is making his lecture, but we make it. He only starts a subject and the teachers work on it, delve into it and so on.

– Learn to unlearn.

– Never forget that we are a school community in which 1 + 1 should be >> 2. We are together the school.

– Leaning by doing and doing by learning is our main concept.

– The school was not to be planed, not to be even thought, but it was doable and it happened.

– We are travelling in the endless world around us, but also in the world inside us. On the way we have our own exams to cope with.

– We always give the opportunity to act and to make mistakes, but also to participate in the process and help the others.

– What is higher than light? The conversation! We have to remember again who important is every single encounter, that every single encounter and conversation is made for us. At the beginning was the word … Encounter and conversations – that’s the real pedagogics.

– Take the positive feelings of the first school day with me and carry them through the whole year!

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Total chaos and lack of flexibility in waldorf schools

Well, after experiencing for more that 9 months different waldorf schools I have to say that they are really much better and are the germ of future education. On the other side there are some problems to be fixed. Two of them are very important – the total chaos and the lack of flexibility. Those two are which really annoy the further development of the waldorf schools.

Chaos is very important and even needed if there is a minimal order. For me the best formula is as less order as possible and as much chaos as needed. But there should be also at least a little bit of order. That is definitely not the case! Why? Because there is a lot of freedom, but not enough responsibility in school. I already written many times about the importance of freedom and responsibility, as well as order and chaos, so I’m not going to write again how to achieve the harmony between those contradictions. But waldorf schools have to cope with the extremities and to achieve a total harmony. After almost 100 years they are still on the way with no harmony at sight.

Waldorf schools are created to be lively, dynamic, ever changing, always suiting the needs and impulses of young people. But they became too unflexible, they seem not to be able to make the next step. They are staying at the same place. Most of them seem to be dead inside. There is a lack of flexibility, but it comes from the lack of audacity. Teachers, parents and students have to have the courage to go for their dreams, to move forward. I’ve chosen my school in Glonntal because it is far more flexible than all the others. It is THE SCHOOL in Germany that makes the next steps! We have still to go a long way, but we are on the way. We need a little bit more responsibility and order and we will metamorphose to the next step.

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Tidiness of our classroom

I already said that our classroom was totally dirty. I had to clean it for hours, but it is still not quite tidy. We still have to paint it. The parents and the head of the school gave their opinion, that the class should organize and do this. The mother of Siri said, that I can delegate her daughter the task to organize the boys and to paint the room. So, Siri, would you like to take this responsibility? It will be nice if we can do this job as soon as possible.

About the tidiness I have to say also some other words – the 12th class left also some rubbish on Thursday, but they learned very fast and on Friday the room was looking perfect. They have left the room very clean and tidy. But yesterday I’ve seen that there were some senior class group working on their projects and the room was again totally trashed. I’ve heard also the girls from the 8th class complaining about the same. All this says me that most of the students from the senior classes are not yet tidy enough and will continue to trash our room if we don’t teach them to be clean and ordered. As our class learned so fast it’s now our turn to teach the others to be clean and tidy, especially when they use the rooms of the other class. This will be a notion that I’m going to discuss with all teachers and parents. But the most important thing is that our class continues to be tidy and to give a positive example.

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Some good poems for class 3

Parabel

Nicht dein Jubeln und Erleben
ist der Sinn von diesem Leben.
Erst der Weltgeist, wenn er drangeht,
mag aus tausenden Versuchen
schließlich ein Ergebnis buchen.

Erwin Schrödinger

Die Halskette

Ein Halsband riss beim Liebesspiel
und Perlen glitten von der Kette;
ein Drittel auf dem Boden fiel,
ein Fünftel lag verstreut im Bette.
Ein Sechstel fand die junge Frau,
ihr Liebster weitere zehn Prozent,
am Faden blieben sechs Perlen genau.

Sag, wer von euch Gescheiten kennt
den Rechenweg zum glücklichen End’?

Lilavati

Seufzer der Weisheit

Ach, wie schwer hats
mancher Lehrsatz
mit den Leuten,
die ihn deuten!

Waldemar Dege

Wertverteilung

Was überall zu haben ist, wird nicht begehrt,
was manchmal fehlt, wird als Bedarf hervorgekehrt,
woran es öfter mangelt, wird bereits verehrt,
das Seltene ist das, wonach man sich verzehrt,
was gar nicht existiert, besitzt den höchsten Wert.

Waldemar Dege

Traumdeutung – vereinfacht

Von zweierlei Art sind die Dinge:
entweder konkav oder -vex.
Daher geht’s in deinen Träumen
irgendwie immer um Sex.

Piet Hein

Füngeckstern

Gott, mit den fünf Fingern
beider Hände spielend,
band einen Streif aus Gras;
fünfeckig war die Schlinge.

So trat des Fünfecks Stern
hervor, der seine Arme
den weißen frischen Flügeln
der Kichererbsenblüte gab.

Lob des Fünfecks

O Fünfeck, sein gelobt, denn die verlieh
der Himmel Eigenschaften sondergleichen.
Du bist kaum Stoff der Schulgeometrie,
doch Pflanzen erbten deine Symmetrie –
von Anbeginn ein numinoses Zeichen.

Ein wahres Kleinod gabst der Kunst du mit:
An deiner Seite und Diagonalen,
wo einst das Rationale Schiffbruch litt,
bewähre sich, zum Trost, der Goldene Schnitt
als Maß des Schönen aus dem Reich der Zahlen.

Das ebene Pflastern will mit dir nicht glücken,
die Biene fühlt sich erst im Sechseck wohl –
doch wunderbar verschwinden deine Lücken
sobald wie deine Flächen räumlich knicken
zu einem Zwölfseit – kugelich und hohl.

Das Stoppschild hat acht Ecken, drei der Hut,
doch hat der Festungsbau dir zu verdanken;
auch für den Lederfußbal bist du gut.
Seit des Bürostuhls Fuß auf dir beruht,
kommt man auf ihm weit weniger ins Wanken.

Mit einem Streifen aus Papier allein
lässt du als flache Knotenform dich falten.
Wie überraschend kann die Wahrheit sein:
Im Zentrum wächst du neu, gedreht und klein,
als Endlosfolge ähnlicher Gestalten.

Richard Erbefels

Gott ist mein Punkt und Kreis

Gott ist mein Mittelpunkt, wenn ich ihn in mich schließe;
Mein Umkreis dann, wenn ich aus Leib in ihn zerfließe.

Angelus Silesius

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The other side of my class

Before I start to write down my observations of my class, I would like to explain the five kinds of individual intelligence. Although I stick to the term “intelligence”, I prefer to call it development. So there are five kinds of individual intelligence or areas of personal development:
mental intelligence (which is the most common nowadays and which is offen measured with IQ test). This intelligence considers mostly the development of the brain and our thinking.
emotional intelligence (may be it is better to call it sensation or feeling). This intelligence corresponds to the heart and is much more important and will become in the next years even more important.
system intelligence (called also relationship or social). This intelligence corresponds to our personal faith, as well to our faith in other people. It is crucial for our interactions with other people.
creative intelligence. This intelligence corresponds to the soul.
entrepreneurial intelligence. This intelligence has something to do with the will and is also very important. People who are entrepreneurial intelligent have a strong will, perseverance and diligence to succeed.

This five types of intelligence are very important and they are more or less the first step to go through. My aim as a class advisor is to go this way together, so that in the end the students are not only mentally, but also emotionally, socially, creatively and entrepreneurially intelligent.

If you look again at those five types of intelligence you can see, that they are individual. But there is also community (group or public) intelligence. It is also five types:
social intelligence – concerns our care about our body, family, school, people, animals, plants, the whole world. Concerns mostly our everyday life.
cultural intelligence – concern handicrafts, agriculture, literature and so on. This kind of community intelligence concerns the culture of a group and its creation.
economical intelligence – concerns finances, work, entrepreneurship.
political intelligence – concerns law, legal affairs, state, international affairs.
community intelligence – this is the last, but maybe most important aspect of the group / public intelligence. It can be also called civil intelligence and concerns the civil society. According to Rudolf Steiner it is the third pillar of society together with the state and the capital. It should develop further. It includes NGOs, gatherings of people, cooperations, clubs, associations, foundations and so on.

So, till now we have 10 types of intelligence. If we manage all of them, we can go further on to the last and most important two, which I can’t call just intelligence, but development. Those are spiritual development and creation. This are the last two steps in which we will become oneness with the Creator.

Today was my third day with my new class. It was quite important, because I managed to observe the student for the first time outside the class room, in the interaction with other students.

After the first two days I already new that:
1. The class is younger than normally in the 12th grade. Most of the students are 17, some of them even 16, which means that the class is more like a 10th or 11th class in the overall development.
2. The students in the class are very smart and mentally intelligent.

This two observations are very important and explained a lot about the class. It seems that the class was not challenged enough mentally. They can learn a lot and want to do so. It will be very important to require a lot and to really challenge the class mentally, so they will be sure to cope with the exams.

On the other side, and it is very important, thereare different kinds of intelligence as we already seen. The class seems to have still to learn a lot in the areas of emotional and social intelligence. I already noticed the first two days that there are some conflicts in the class, may be most of them not even discussed. There is definitely a group which wants to learn and a group that also wants to learn, but prefers to speak and have fun, which disturbs the others. Also, the attitude towards the other students, the school and the teachers is not quite ok. This all speaks for gaps in the social and emotional intelligence. Normally exactly those are very important and well-developed in waldorf school, but not exactly in this school and in this class. So, we have to put more time and stress on the emotional and social intelligence also. That’s why I suggest to put some 1-2 extra hours a week for class meetings.

I still have to observe what is the situation with the creative and entrepreneurial intelligence in the class.

The same with the five group types of intelligence. I still have to get to know the class better. I really hope that the class is going to learn and develop a lot in this week. I am looking forward for some written experience reports about this week, which will serve also as personal reviews and learnings.

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