Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Gender Relationships in Waldorf Classrooms

Today I had the pleasure of observing in the 2nd grade at our Waldorf school and it was so wonderful to see the easy friendships forming between the boys and girls. By 10:30 I was back with my 22 6th graders, smack in the middle of hormonal anarchy! It's amazing! On the one hand many of my students are experimenting with thoughts of crushes amidst the laughter and teasing and games of tag. On the other hand many of them have known each other since kindergarten and feel a deep and easy kinship with each other. What I truly find amazing is that most boys and girls feel at ease to adopt many personae throughout the day. During main lesson they are serious, engaged, show their brilliance and thoughtfulness. At recess they run and compete and show off their physical prowess...yes, boys and girls alike. There is little to no self-consciousness or feeling that... ooh boys or girls can't do this or that. Boys and girls in my class cry, are emotional, get academically competitive, are dramatic, like to sing and run and play soccer and football. There are no rigid gender-specific ways to act in my classroom. Why? I think it's in part because they all feel so comfortable with each other. They are able to be multi-talented in the arts and academics and sports and therefore multi-faceted in their characters. They are even able to see each other with newly budding eyes of "zest"...the lovely all-encompassing word that my daughter's 6th grade came up with to mean...well...pre-adolescent feelings! I am so lucky! What healthy young adults they are becoming!

1 comment:

vinnie and madds said...

Thank you for writing such a positive, excited view of older children at Steiner.. our son who's five is about to switch from a state-funded NZ kindergarten to the local Steiner school, and it is SO inspiring to read about the path ahead, the possibilites and freedom of expression for our children! Hooray!