Aida’s letter

Dear Special Friends,

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making it possible for me to go to the Public School Institute at Rudolf Steiner College. What a wonderful experience! Before I became a Waldorf teacher, I taught in Israeli public schools for the Ministry of Education for eleven years. Here the children rarely leave their desks in the public school. The Arab children, especially, have problems holding their pencils because they move their bodies so little. For the past seven years, I have been working with my colleagues to develop a Waldorf curriculum for Arab children. I learned much in those two weeks which I am bringing back to share with my colleagues at Tamrat El Zeitoun.

I learned new songs on the recorder, new ways to felt wool and work with puppets, new ways to dye fabrics, to paint, to sing and many stories. I also had the opportunity to share things from my culture, such as when I told an Arab story to my PSI class. Very importantly, I learned how to help children move their whole body, not only their hands.

I was especially fortunate to be selected by the teachers to dress up in a cape and crown and experience the birthday celebration as a child would in the Waldorf kindergarten in America. I learned how to involve the parents to make it a special celebration for the child and for the family. In the future, I will do this in my own Waldorf kindergarten.

I love the openness in California and felt so much freer. Because of this, it seemed so easy to learn new things. It was wonderful to have the chance to know a new culture, a new people. Although I know the importance of protecting children from media and teaching parents how to create a tranquil environment for their children, I became even more sensitive about the need for children to be held in a protected space. Upon my return to school, I plan to find a way to build a separate area for our young children so they have a more sheltered space than what they have now.

group with AidaIt is a miracle that our school has survived so many challenges. It is my dream to have Tamrat El Zeitoun become a regional center for Arab Waldorf Education for both Israel and the West Bank. I look forward to working more with Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation and Rudolf Steiner College to make this dream come true.

Again, thank you for giving me many new experiences for my life, my family, and my school. I look forward to taking everything I learned and finding a way to share it with the teachers at my school and in time, with the Palestinian educational community. They take what I take. Because of all you have given me, I have taken many wonderful teachings home with me to share with them.

With love and gratitude,

Aida