Written by Rising First Grade Teacher, Kerry Clements. 

“The true teachers and educators are not those who have learned pedagogy as the science of dealing with children, but those in whom pedagogy has awakened through understanding the human being.”

-Rudolf Steiner

On April 18th I boarded a plane to Dornach, Switzerland for the World Teachers’ Conference at the Goetheanum. This majestic building was designed by Rudolf Steiner, inspired by the form of the human being and carefully engineered to compliment the beauty of the land on which it sits. It is a school of spiritual science, an international center of music, theater, conferences, and the seat of the General Anthroposophical Society. Built mostly of concrete, the structure is an engineering marvel. 

The World Teachers’ Conference hosted over 1,000 teachers from 61 countries with over 40 different languages represented. It is hard to describe the awesomeness of this experience as I entered the main hall of the Goetheanum. Here I was, in the midst of a sea of teachers, including my dear friend and colleague, Mandela Davis. One thousand souls who had come together, from all over the world for the same purpose, to collaborate and grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Waldorf Education movement and how it meets the children of our time and future generations.

The 2023 conference was titled “Affirming – Nurturing – Trusting, an Education for Today and Tomorrow”. Throughout the 5 day conference, I had the opportunity to hear from some of the most creative and intuitive leaders in the Waldorf movement. Discussions ranged from early childhood development and incarnation, the impacts of digitization on the growing child, sensory development and integration, emergency pedagogy, and the urgent initiatives of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Each moment was filled with insightful and inspiring discussions, artistic activities, and personal and spiritual growth opportunities.

I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to represent the Susquehanna Waldorf School at this international assembly of Waldorf teachers. I made so many connections with many different people, from the United States and all over the world, that I am sure will continue to ripple into our school for years to come. Thank you to everyone who supported me in this endeavor and to Mandela for sharing this adventure with me.