Day 13- The Steiner Experience

Hi, I’ve decided to do a blog every day for advent (well at least try to). These blogs are going to be about various things, some about mental health but also some about other topics. I haven’t planned them yet, so they may be (most definitely will be) rough around the edges.  Some may contain trigger warnings; I will say this before the start of the post.

Day 13- Working in a Steiner School

At the beginning of the year I arranged to do some volunteering at a Steiner school that one of my old teachers now works at. I did this for 4 weeks near the end of June. It was very much an eye opening experience for me that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wanted to just do a basic post about my experience.

The Atmosphere

I didn’t really know anything about the school before I did this. But from the minute I walked in the building I realised that it wouldn’t be anywhere the near the same as I school I went to, or anything like any local comprehensives.

As I was sat in the reception it just felt so different. The school had this atmosphere that was just so positive. The staff looked so relaxed, and the children seems so happy.

Classes

The classes are split into year groups like normal schooling but the class names are a year above like American schooling. For example, class 6 would be year 7. The students have one main teacher and then separate subject teachers. Their main teacher will work with them from year 1 up until year 11, and their classmates will stay the same (except if people leave).

A School Day

The day started off for me with the children coming in and shaking the class teachers hand and then waiting for the other children to arrive. After this has happened the children then say their daily verse, do their movement (sort of like yoga), and then will play the recorder, sing, or learn a tongue twister.

After this the class went out to play a game. These games were brilliant; they were all about team work.

Once they had got their brains energised by the morning activities they then started their main lesson. Their main lesson is a two-hour lesson that happens daily that is about a certain topic, they will do this topic for a number of weeks, in the younger classes this may be something like animals, in the older classes this could be the body.

In these classes they will write poems about their topic, or might read books on it.

The other lessons they have are art, form-drawing, literacy/numeracy, R.E (older classes), eurythmy, music, games, hand-work, mandarin, and Spanish. Some of these are taught by their class teacher, and some are taught by specialist teachers.

My Opinion

It was really interesting to see such a different view on education. I learnt a lot from the people who were working there.

Whilst I was there I was treated like a member of staff but even more than that as I felt so at home there. I was trusted to teach some classes and I have never felt more honoured: somebody who knew me visited one day but didn’t realise it was me as they thought it was an experienced teacher.

I absolutely loved how happy the kids seemed there, I loved how involved the parents are, and I loved how the child was view holistically and not as an exam machine.

Steiner teaching is something I would really like to revisit if I had the chance. It was an experience I will never forget.

Love Abbie xx

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