But why? Why LifeWays? by Susan Silverio

It has been my privilege to accompany the LifeWays class of New England as one of their lead teachers at Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown, CT.

Lifeways early childhood and human development training is an intensive four-season program of class time, independent study, observation, research and artistic activity.

But why? Why LifeWays? Many of these graduates already have college degrees in early childhood, some with many years experience in classrooms and centers. Andrea is a PhD candidate. So why LifeWays?

In this month’s issue of Exchange magazine, Carol Garboden Murray writes “When I got my degree, I did not forsee the amount of time that I would spend in caring rituals. It took me years to see caring as the core of curriculum excellence. The deep assumption about caring is that it is something that anyone can do. But we do not take care of human beings the same way that we take care of a house or a lawn. In childhood, the sensations of the body are the pathways to the child’s intellect and emotions. Caring routines involve engagement around bodily functions (elimination, cleaning, eating, sleeping) and therefore they hold the most intimate importance. The way we touch children increases or diminishes their self-worth. Our care of children’s bodies is directly connected to the care of their minds.”

So, we need the finest teachers in early childhood, and individuals who find joy in living and can convey to the children that life is good.

In LifeWays, we lift bodily care into an art of living.

These graduates are not only some of the finest, but they are also pioneers. Many of them are creating centers for childhood that are sanctuaries. Others are in the process of transitioning their centers and schools to new stages of organizational development. The future is not someplace they are going to, but one that they are creating. Their paths are not to be found. They are making them, and this activity forms and transforms themselves and their destination.

Each one of of these graduates gives me hope, hope for the future, hope for humanity.

Susan Silverio