‘I Don’t Think You Choose To Be A Teacher…’

This was a matter-of-fact comment made by a dear colleague from Michael Oak Waldorf School School at our Regional Council meeting last week. Teachers from all Waldorf Schools in the Western Cape were present. This was in answer to the question, “What made you decide to choose teaching?” As I pondered her answer I realised and acknowledged the deep truth in these few words…We do not choose to be a teacher, being a teacher chooses us.

As I sat in the meeting and heard all these amazing people share about how teaching has chosen them, I realised how blessed we truly are to teach in a Waldorf school. We all have one common factor among us and that is that none of us could fully describe just how much being a Waldorf teacher means to us. The warm smiles with nods of agreement and the pondering of each others comments silently spoke of our truest feelings for the profession we have been called into.

Rudolph Steiner has said, “We teach who we are”. I could not agree more! The person we radiate the most in the classroom is the person we, unconsciously, teach our children to follow, imitate and look up to. Our actions do say more to each other and the children than our words do.

A famous saying which holds so true says, “A person may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” As a child I remember the comfort, warmth and security a teacher made me feel, and not so much what she said in the lessons she taught me. As Waldorf teachers we strive for this feeling to flow like a warm blanket over not only our children in the classroom, but to each other as well. Saturday’s meeting was just another confirmation of the spirit, truth, warmth, love and inspiration that lies within the lives of these teachers. May we continue and always strive to truly teach WHO WE ARE!

With gratitude

Joy Dreyer (Class 2 teacher)