We will be heading through this wonderful book chapter by chapter. It is by the beloved Master Waldorf teacher Else Gottgens and focuses on Waldorf education in practice for the first three grades. (However, I think many pearls can be gleamed out of it for the older grades as well). Else Gottgens was an amazing Master teacher who was a class teacher for 41 years and then began at age 61 to mentor other Waldorf teachers for the next 20 years. She was in literally hundreds of Waldorf classrooms. If you would like to know more about Else’s life and career, please see this article this article.
This book is about “ensuring Idealism meets Realism in a productive way.” It is easy to read about Waldorf education, and so much different in practice when you are trying to teach (whether one child at home or thirty children in a classroom). As a Waldorf teacher, we create moments of learning out of our own creative forces. Whilst we can gleam examples and ideas in the pages of a book or a curriculum, we cannot find our own creativity there or the relationship with our own child there. As a teacher, we look to develop a relationship between ourselves and our child and use education as a force for the health of that child. The preface of this book asks, “We are each asked to solve this riddle: How can Ideals and Reality come together in the right way? When they do, we see the result of common sense.”
If we are Waldorf homeschoolers, we are all here to teach our children from our own inner work and our own inner self with the guidance of the Waldorf curriculum which was created for a school environment and cannot be duplicated at home. Common sense is a fruit of this labor.
The Foreward of this book notes that it had been circulating around and amongst teachers and faculties in the form of photocopied paragraphs from 2005 onward and then this book was published.
We will start with Chapter One in our next book post. I do hope you will obtain a copy and follow along…..