My own journey with York Steiner School began in 1980, when I became the school’s first Class 1 teacher. I was 28 at the time, and remained here as a teacher for the next 28 years. Though I am not teaching children any more, I am still very much part of the school, devoting my energies in particular to helping others become teachers in this and other Steiner Waldorf schools through the NESTT (North of England Steiner Teacher Training) course.
My time with the school has been a working life shared with hundreds upon hundreds of others – children, parents and fellow teachers. I have watched little people grow into big people, and big people grow little again as the school reawakens their own childhood in them. One of the loveliest experiences has been to welcome back pupils I and my colleagues have taught, now returning as parents bringing their own children to be taught here in their turn.
Recently I allowed myself the imagination of what it would be like if York Steiner School were to come to an end. The thought was actually unthinkable. One the one hand, how could everything we have created and made possible together over the years simply cease being? And beyond this, how could such a precious opportunity for learning and development be denied to children and their families in the future?
Unthinkable maybe – but the exercise did make me realise how neither our past nor our future should be taken for granted.
The aim of the Friends is to celebrate the reality of the connection we have all made together. Part of this may involve remembering the different things different ones of us have been through with each other. Part of it may involve sharing where we have come to now in our lives. And part of it will hopefully be reaffirming the value that the school continues to have for us, as a place we would want to see continue and thrive so that others may benefit from its opportunities as we have done.
Back in 1980 I had no real idea of what would grow from that small and hopeful seed that planted itself in the fertile soil of York. It has become something truly amazing – and it is something that is still growing and becoming.
And you, dear Friend, even if you were a naughty girl or boy in my class, are part of it.
So please feel welcome to boogie on the Friends dance floor, or just sit round the edges to watch what’s going on. Without you we would not be the school we are.