During my ongoing journey with Waldorf, I did a project with Street-Children in Egypt where Waldorf approach was applied. Street-Children are free souls who are not yet formed by the society and striving for somebody and some educational method that responds to their needs. Those needs that are not intellectually influenced nor formed makes the most of the children in their bodies but not able to concentrate on any intellectual information given.
I worked with them for three main targets; first to enrich the physical body connection which required better medical care and a beautiful, clean and organized classroom; secondly to enrich the etheric body by introducing a daily rhythm; thirdly to raise the curiosity about and the connection to nature which was done through the main lesson content and farm visits.
Focusing on establishing a daily rhythm, we started after the breakfast, by an outdoor morning circle where we use our bodies and wake-up our senses and limbs coordination. We stay outdoor and sing a song together before we sit in a circle for a story to hear which has an open ending and needs to be solved by a game we play together. After a short break we start our main lesson that is followed by a related artistic expression, like painting, of what we have learnt.
As you might have noticed, the sequence that we always start with is by living inside the feeling sphere of the child, like in a dreamy story that ends with a problem which fires us up to move our bodies and solve, through a game that has the elements of using our bodies to inspire our thinking. It works wonderfully well, like a spark flows from the body to the head.
I was amazed to see one of the children; who was extremely unable to concentrate on nor understand what he is being told, unable to stand still in the circle without hitting the kids around, unable to catch the ball being thrown slowly and directly to him, I was amazed to see him playing the game and trying to find a solution. You can see that his head is working trying to find a solution after trying out with his body, you can see him after the main lesson living with his painting paper and colours calm and focused.
From this short experience, I could see very clearly how the energy of thoughts naturally flows smoothly inside the child from the feeling sphere to the body and limbs sparking the wakeup of the head and thinking.
Mohamed Elmawazini, was born on February 27th, 1984 in Egypt and living in Germany since five years, works as an Engineer since fourteen years and completed a Master programme for Waldorf education on 2017, since then he has been connected to the Waldorf society and curious about Anthroposophy. He is working with Hebat-al-Nil school in Luxor, Egypt on the translation of Steiner’s lectures about education to Arabic and on facilitating discussions with the teachers about Anthroposophy.
* ‘The First Teachers Course' includes Rudolf Steiner's lectures on 'The Foundations of Human Experience', 'Practical Advice to Teachers' and 'Discussions with Teachers'. The core questions arose during the anniversary conference of 'The First Teachers Course' 2019 at the Goetheanum. Many thanks to the preparational help of Claus-Peter Röh, leader of the Pedagogical Section. The interview was conducted by Katharina Stemann.