Soul Teaching

I was out on our three acres working on the watering system today.  We have pressurized irrigation water that enters the property on one far end of the acreage and needs to water the last, last apple tree clear on the other end of the three acres. Working out there reminded me of when I was ten years old and discovered a beautiful, clear area of dirt in the side yard. I should have asked, I know…but it was so tempting…and I dug a complex system of channels, tunnels and ponds in the perfect area.

Turns out my parents had just seeded grass in the area. Interestingly, I don’t remember getting in trouble for that. I do remember the fascination of making water go where I wanted it to go. That fascination is what keeps me interested in running dripper pipe to every tree and providing just the right pressure of water to each one. It’s the same feeling I had when I was ten.

Recently I have been reading about Waldorf education, and what has sparked my imagination this week has been the idea of teaching to a child’s soul. What this means to me is that extra eye you keep on students to see what sets them afire, and facilitating that. Sadly, standardized testing pretty much annihilates the soul, stomping on it with fireboots till it’s thoroughly extinguished, but with common core curriculum coming up, I have hope for soul teaching yet.

It’s easy to recognize a teacher who teaches this way. As the year goes along, such a teacher catches the sparks from his or her students, and keeps them alight.

It doesn’t take so much extra work, but it does take attention and energy, which we tired teachers may be lacking with all this teaching to the test.

Who would have known, all those years ago, that I would be a fantastic (if not fanatic) drip irrigation installer? I doubt that my parents really caught it.

When you become a Soul Teacher, you step out of the bounds of just going over the material into becoming a facilitator for a child’s growing into the person he or she will be.

That’s wonderful stuff!


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