„It‘s important for you to see what the human being is.“ With this appeal the 7th day of the teacher course begins. Course participants will focus on the spiritual being of man with its states of consciousness of waking, dreaming and sleeping as well as the corresponding soul forces thinking, feeling and will in their relation to each other. Later in the morning they will deal with the developmental step of the child around the age of 9/10 and the importance of the first biology lesson, which regards man as the background for grasping the animal world, especially in its form. Which animals and how they are to be presented to the children places high demands on the artistic and linguistic abilities of the teachers. Whether the human being is present to the teacher as a reason for comparison has an influence on the morality of the pupils. Thus, the meaning of this teaching goes far beyond the mere getting to know or knowing animals. Finally, in the afternoon, after the language exercises and the narration/reading of a fable the Waldorf teachers to be trained to dive into the history of the European Middle Ages with the Crusades, which R. Steiner chooses as an example for the elaboration of a historical area: the teacher‘s tasks in this field include recognizing basic features, polar forces or images, and vivid descriptions. Finally, one of the socially effective questions will be discussed how to deal with a student‘s enthusiasm for the teacher.
How do these contents present themselves today? How many of our colleagues today deal with the living question of the human being? How can one convey the human being, whom one perceives in our time as being destructive of nature and the earth, as the pivot of life? What skills do class teachers need in order to present class content in such a way that the essence of the person being treated already emerges from the presentation? Where do we as class teachers, who are mostly historians and biologists, take the time in our everyday lives to acquire an overview of the facts and basic features of the material to be treated in such a way that we can present it in a vivid way?
Susanne Speckenbach, German Studies, Slavic Studies, Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy, Doctorate. First Russian teacher, then class teacher with music and religious education in Freiburg, Germany.
Translated by Douglas Gerwin
* 'The First Teachers Course' is the foundation of Waldorf Education with the notes from the lectures of Rudolf Steiner: 'The Foundations of Human Experience', 'Practical Advice to Teachers' and 'Discussions with Teachers'.