Overcoming Fear and the Perception of Judgment within the Waldorf Community
This past year, after discovering Waldorf during Fall 2010, I finally visited my first Waldorf school. Everything up to that point that I knew about Waldorf and my experiences with it were from books and online. When I first got the invitation online to come visit our local Waldorf school for a playdate. I was beyond excited. But then fear set in.
What if I’ve been doing ‘Waldorf’ wrong all along. Maybe I have no idea what I am doing. What if I don’t fit in at all. And the ‘what ifs’ went on and on….
By nature I am not a very unsure person. I am a strong choleric, so this line of thinking was pretty shocking to me. However the more and more I thought on it, I realized that when it comes to my kids and their schooling I can feel very vulnerable. I also happened to feel very judged. The decision to homeschool and to do Waldorf have not been met in our families with open arms by some- to the point that I really don’t share anymore what we’re doing in our daily lives. I also have had some past negative experiences with other mothers and judgement. So while I purposefully try to move past those experiences, they still seem to stick in my gut from time to time.
Ironically, Waldorf and homeschooling, are some of the things that I feel most assured and convicted about as well. Ever since we discovered Waldorf, the extent to which it has so deeply resonated with me and our family life has not been shaken. The more and more I learn about it, the more I love it, as well as homeschooling.
I think the idea of being pushed out of my comfort zone again by seeing a Waldorf school brought on all these emotions. It was good however because I was forced to acknowledge them for what they were and work through them. I knew then, as I still do now, that whether we had a good experience or not- I was still making the right decision to homeschool my children and that Waldorf was the right choice for us as well. If I found out that I was doing things differently than the school was, well that would-and should be- a good learning experience. Not one filled with shame and inferiority!
And wouldn’t you know, the school and the teachers were lovely. The other parents were kind, and I did know what I was doing. The lessons I think I took away most from the school were quite frankly to chill out. Don’t over think what you’re doing and LESS IS MORE!
We’ve went back to our local Waldorf school again for May Day. It was a lovely experience. The school and everyone in have been so welcome to us as homeschoolers. I would encourage all of you to visit your local school if you haven’t already. Please don’t let fear and judgement deter you. At the end of the day, no matter what type of schooling we do or don’t do with our children, we are their chosen parents. No one knows them better than we and there is a comforting and confidence endowing element to that. With that in mind I believe we can be at peace in this moment with whatever we thoughtfully and intentionally chose for our children. And if we happen to look back on those choices years from now, I hope we can have grace enough to laugh and learn from our mistakes rather than judge ourselves harshly. Trust me I will be laughing and learning right along with you!
If you want more information on Waldorf Education, please visit my Waldorf Page and all the other super articles in the Discovering Waldorf Series.
And, please, if you want to write an article for Discovering Waldorf, I’d LOVE to have you. Contact me.
Blessings and magic,