The Waldorf School
The first Waldorf School started in Stuttgart, Germany in the year 1919 by an Austrian philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). There are about 1100 schools in 6 continents and 64 countries worldwide, following the Steiner or Waldorf pedagogy. The learning process integrates the arts, sciences and humanities , in an age appropriate manner, during the three major stages of child development – Early Childhood, Primary years and Adolescence to young adulthood. In Steiner Kindergarten classes, teachers focus on practical work with the hands, play and following the rhythms of the week, month and year. The arts underpin the teaching in primary school from grades 1 to 7, which help the child develop academic and social skills. In High school (grades 8-12) an understanding which is based on logical and objective thinking is taught across all subjects, enabling students develop moral capacities and become responsible contributors to their communities. Individual teachers and schools have varying degrees of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology and governance, based on the local regulations, social/cultural environments and economic statuses of different countries.
Olympics at Abhaya - For Class 5 Waldorf Schools
2/3rd Feb 2018 .
I was charmed into my time at Abhaya school when it was first established by the bougainvillea creeper and the badaam tree on the grounds. Over time I came to love this space – the location of much of my primary schooling and a site of learning and experience. In hindsight, this is where I first encountered new ways of learning that I remember fondly through house building, practicing for the Greek Olympics, preparing our own eco-friendly Holi colours and learning about places, both near and far. As I transitioned into High School this place also came to signify strong and trusting relationships with both my classmates and my teachers. It also made me stick my guns to what I believed in and made me an independent (if not sometimes stubborn) thinker! One of the most satisfying memories of school is the effort and the time I put into all of the different areas of learning, as I think of them now (back then they were all just part of school) such as knitting, math, languages, carpentry, painting, physics, surveying, astronomy, biology, chemistry and so on and so forth. I like to think that I tried my hand at a lot of things before I decided what I enjoy and what I don’t.
In Abhaya teachers see the spirit of each child and their individuality . My child has fun learning because the curriculum is age appropriate. There is a unique emphasis in finding strength within oneself to accomplish the day’s work and my child feels connected through a valuable nurturing community and a level of love and care which is empathetic .The excellent curriculum the handwork, music , language is wonderful .The values imparted to the children help them to live fulfilling lives. But there is still room for improvement where discipline and good manners are concerned.
I visited this beautiful country of India for the first time spending six weeks in Abhaya Waldorf School and ten days helping to establish a Eurythmy Training. I have enjoyed myself very much here. Such a friendly warm hearted community where Steiner Waldorf education is practiced to a very high standard. Dedicated teachers, happy children, good facilities in a country setting away from the main city of Hyderabad. I taught Eurythmy, Form Drawing and Music and also helped some student teachers with curriculum studies. Thank you Abhaya for the wonderful time I spent here, I hope to see you all again in the future!
To contain my journey at Abhaya in a few lines is indeed a challenge for me. Teaching as we all know is not a job, it is an experience of one’s lifetime. At Abhaya, it comes across most resolutely. Here, each day is a day of learning, learning to be a better human and even more, a better teacher. Teaching is also not only about closing gaps in knowledge transfer. To me it also means to extend a part of myself to my students, a part that one has cherished only to be shared with the dearest. At Abhaya, there is never a dull moment in the classroom. The best thing about teaching is if you understand where a child is, what they know, then you can scaffold them to move on to the next level. At Abhaya as a teacher, one gets to do just this and much more. To get an opportunity to move with the pace of the child and be able to provide ample support is what makes Abhaya special for me. Abhaya gave me bountiful occasions to hear and to be heard. And the dialogue continues…
Abhaya is an essential aspect of my life and who I am as a person. It’s been a space where I have learnt invaluable lessons, developed a curious and open mind, explored myself and challenged my inhibitions. The school has always been home to me, a place full of liveliness, warmth and unconditional support.