I have received several emails from readers within the past month asking how I "keep such a beautiful household" and "seem to have it so together" ... "how do I do this? What are some books/resources you recommend?" Or "We are new to Waldorf, how do I get started?"
Well, really, my friends.....my life is probably not what you may perceive it to be.
I get angry.
I raise my voice.
I regret ways that I handle situations.
I second guess myself daily.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I have cried myself to sleep more than a few times these past 2 months.
But that's ok.
Everything for me is a learning experience; it has to be.
I think of the children I have been called to care for and I feel the magnitude of my service to them....
Early childhood teachers lay such a framework for the rest of a child's life....do you remember your nursery or kindergarten teacher? Mine were nothing too memorable, but I do remember them....their faces, the way they smelled, the way them room smelled, their frowns and smiles...when they were saying "wow" to something you may have said and how it felt to really believe they meant it...or not.
My kitchen and house at the end of lunch is a dish disaster area....for someone like me who prefers things always tidy and neat, this is something that is hard for me to step away from. But with my group of 9 three and four year olds, my presence must be felt and seen as we learn boundaries and limits. Step away from the dishes. Step away from the tidying. Don't worry, it will be there for you later (!)
Learning to be comfortable with each child's strengths and boundaries is a real experience for me. I'll just say it-- sometimes it scares me. The above boy is strong and built almost like a gymnast---so muscular and able. He is new to our group (and the country) and may be experiencing some difficulty making friends. He expressed a real want to climb up the ledge of my staircase. I kept bringing him down...until one day, I decided to let him. I stayed close by....and tried to quiet my mind. The children were clamoring as they watched him climb..."Wow, look at you!" "you're so high up" "how do you do that?" And the smile on his face was huge. The other children attempted, but it's so interesting to watch how they really do know their own limits with their physical abilities. (comfort, discomfort, etc.) The climbing hasn't happened again since, but I think the effects of this experience are a lasting impression.
This year, I have very new challenges to think about as I work with a nursery aged group, plus my own child.
I foresee this year being my biggest area of potential growth as a teacher to date.
Recommended Websites/groups for Waldorf homeliving:
ps- please disregard the watermark on my photos above. I couldn't figure out in time how to remove it:)