How a Waldorf Teacher Inspires Mindfulness

by Ted Curtin, Class 8 Teacher

Class 8 begins each morning by taking a walk around the recess field. It gives us a chance to wake up and stretch our legs after the ride to school, and it gives the students some time to check in with each other and socialize a bit before beginning the day's work.  Before we head back in, we always take a moment to be in the moment, to take in the quality of each particular - and unique - morning. 

At this point in the 8th grade year, we are becoming more cognizant of the fact that we are looking at our last days together at the school. We look at the work that remains to be done - the final blocks, the class play, the last assemblies, the class trip in May - and we find moments that cause us to reminisce about the years that we have spent together. It has been fun to hear the random memories that bubble to the surface and that are retold with humor from that particular perspective of classmates who have spent many years together. Looking back, these 8 years seem to have passed by so quickly!

When we return to the classroom from our morning walk, we sometimes take a few minutes to write something about some aspect of the morning that has touched our thoughts or feelings, or that we have purposefully focused our attention on.

Last week, on a morning misted with a light rain, we stopped in at the Sunhouse. We sat quietly and took in the experience of the place and the moment and then went in to write some impressions. As usual, there were many examples from the students of perceptive observation and beautiful description, in poetry and prose. As the students wrote, I decided to join them, to see what the muses would bring me. I was a bit surprised by what came from my pencil, and share it here not for its literary value, but as an indication of the mood of 8th grade from the teacher's perspective at this point in our story.

In the Sunhouse a drizzly March morning
Incipient Spring gets an early start,
A new season of growth and becoming.
The students in my garden
Are getting ready to unfurl new capacities
Toward their individual futures;
The raindrops on the roof
Tip-tap the passing moments,
Counting out the time left to us.