Saturday, May 15, 2010

how to become a teacher

Teaching a First Grade at a Waldorf School is quite a task. You have to decide on how to teach your different blocks, choose your stories, figure out what archetypal characters to use to teach the math processes, write painting stories, design the "form" of your classroom by picking transition songs or verses, looking for or writing a play, sew beanbags, put the classroom together and oh yeah, tell a story in front of the whole school on the first day.

I've been spinning my wheels a bit trying to figure out how to get started on this. I'm a fairly analytical person who is still working very hard to get in touch with her inner artist (I've found her but she's a bit shy), so I've been trying to process this all. As I was speaking with one of my mentors the other day, a helpful idea emerged. We were talking about Lecture two in Study of Man and this idea of mental pictures and concepts, when it dawned that people understad concepts in different ways. There are those who really see them in their mind's eye. Then there are those who are most comfortable in movement, and those who "feel" if things are true or false. It's leading me back to the idea of learning styles, though it's not just about how you learn but about how you perceive the world. What are the primary sensory avenues I use as an individual? How can I create lessons out of that?

Turns out that there will be some movement and a whole lot of stories around the things we do, because my pictures tend to come out of words. Now if I do my work well, I'll be writing the stories for myself, then drawing pictures out of that, then adding the story back but with many fewer words. And of course there will always be much acting out of stories, because that is as natural to me as breathing.

Yes, I think this will work.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I can't believe it's only 6 or so weeks until we leave. Things are happening rather quickly with contracts on both houses, visit to school complete, lots of little details to take care of. I feel a bit insane at times with my head full of questions like: "are math gnomes the best way to go?" and "how do you figure out the best moving company?' and "should we ask for help and see who responds?" and "is the crazy neighbor going to ruin this for us?" and so on. You can imagine I'm not my most settled at this point.

But it feels good. The Wizard and I have been reflecting on our time here and to say we are ready to move on is a bit of an understatement. I can't wait, though I also can't fathom how I will get it all done between now and the end of August. One foot in front of the other. I look forward to writing a bit more here about my evolution as a teacher. So many questions to consider, from the right size and shape of beanbag to the Mood of the Fifth and beyond. I guess that's where faith comes in: the belief that it's all going to come together in a good way. Onward.