One of the things that sets a Waldorf school apart is the conscious understanding that everyone in the community is on a path of development and our development is connected with each other. The school is first and foremost a place where children are nurtured and guided in the development of their whole being. Behind this is the imagination that the child/student has a spiritual nature, has their own individual capacities, and that these capacities are unfolding over time in both a general and a unique way. This is the heart of the education. It is why standardized tests, programmed instruction, textbooks and over use of media make no educational sense. That the teacher needs to be striving, growing and developing on their own and in relationship with their colleagues, is also clear. What is sometimes less clear is that the life of the school depends on the reality that all staff including volunteers and any adult who participates in the school, be it in a festival, a committee, a faire, a field trip etc. are growing and developing. With the teachers, the ways that they agree to grow and develop are often well documented, in handbooks and professional development plans. But how can we learn to be conscious of the growth and development of each individual in the community? Many organizations are very successful at this – they go to great lengths to orient, select, train, reward and review every volunteer. The extent to which we in our schools pay attention to this is immensely important in the culture and success of the organization. For the school’s development rests upon the ways in which we consciously support the development of each individual involved at whatever level they are able to participate. Whether it is a healthy enrollment process, a clear job description for board members or a support system for those who volunteer, it is one aspect of our work that, in a hurry to get things done, is often overlooked or set aside and one that often creates a considerable amount of confusion that can be avoided. It is important for us to be diligent in this area in everything we do. In the end, how we support each other in our development to be more fully realized human beings is the most important thing, for us and for our children and students.
Keep in touch,
If you have a particular practice in your school that you think is successful at supporting the individuals in their development – whether it is a successful orientation program, a volunteer rewards program, professional development plans for trustees or anything else, click here to go to the post and add a comment telling us about your success. We would love to know. (Go to the post)