September 1, 2019


To one who understands the sense of speech

The world unveils

Its image form.

To one who listens to the soul of speech

The world unfolds

Its true being.

To one who lives in the spirit depths of speech

The world gives freely

Wisdom’s strength.

To one who lovingly can dwell on speech

Speech will accord

Its inner might.

So I will turn my heart and mind

Toward the soul

And spirit of words.

In love for them

I will then feel myself

Complete and whole.


Translated by Hans and Ruth Pusch

This verse was given to the teacher of Greek and Latin, at the inauguration of High School classes in the first Waldorf School, Stuttgart, November 1922. Teacher and students were to speak it together at the beginning of class.


Where do we send our future artists to learn the foundation of their craft - their courage?

Where do we send our future inventors to discover and exercise their curiosity to be ready to solve the world's problems?

Where do we send our most sensitive thinkers, so that they can find time for quiet contemplation and digestion of ideas?

Where do we bring families together that are looking for a safe place for their children to grow into themselves without feeling the need to become someone else to fit in?

On this Labor Day weekend, it only seems fitting that the first Waldorf School would be on my mind. That fateful meeting between Emil Molt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany, and Rudolf Steiner. Molt would ask Steiner to open and lead a school for the children of the employees of the company. The first Waldorf School opened its doors on September 19, 1919.

I spent some time last week with a group of dedicated parents at a Waldorf Charter School. As a former teacher, I understand how parent volunteers can be the lifeblood of a school and a partner to teachers. As we talked, I realized how difficult it can be to explain to curious parents what your learning community represents, especially when you are still experiencing it yourself. It is our enthusiasm for supporting an educational practice that brings healing and joy to children that allows us to be open to something we do not quite understand, but there are times that our communities need more concrete answers. As we bring Steiner’s ideas in education to more communities, it is important for each to form their own identity and understand the unique needs of their families, understand the myths and realities of this artful form of education, and be mindful of its foundation.

On this Labor Day, I hope you will find time to share your curiosity, creativity, and the inspiration of your own inner path in your work with the world.

Until next time,

Kathy Donchak


Representing more than a decade of research, this book is the first account of the history and development of Waldorf education in America. Looking at the past and present with an eye to how the understanding of the term Waldorf education has changed over time, the author identifies key trends in education, both Waldorf and general education, to imagine the direction in which Waldorf education may move in the future.

The Story of Waldorf Education in America is a fresh, insightful, analytical, and valuable resource for parents, teachers, and educators who would like to know more about Waldorf education—whether they have extensive experience in the Waldorf education or have only just heard of it. Learn more

About the Author

Stephen Keith Sagarin, PhD, is faculty chair, a cofounder, and a teacher at the Berkshire Waldorf High School in western Massachusetts, where he teaches history and life science. He is also a former teacher and administrator at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and the Waldorf School of Garden City, New York, the high school from which he graduated.

Dr. Sagarin writes, lectures, mentors teachers, and consults with Waldorf schools on teaching and administration. He is an associate professor and former director of the M.S. education program in Waldorf teacher education at Sunbridge Institute, New York. Learn more


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