At Glenaeon preschool we have a strong commitment to the traditional values of childhood as a foundation for a healthy life. It is our aim to nurture, protect and honour the young child and childhood itself as an essential phase of development, not to be hurried through.
“Children who live in an atmosphere of love and warmth, and who have around them truly good examples to imitate, are living in their proper element.”
Love and emotional warmth create the basis for the child’s healthy development. These qualities are expressed in what lives between the adult caregiver and the child, in the children’s behaviour toward one another, and among the early childhood educators, parents and the surrounding community. Young children absorb and imitate the mood of the teachers and the program. Teachers strive to be worthy of imitation and filled with gratitude, love and warmth.
Steiner Early Childhood education is based on the understanding that the child learns through imitation.* The openness of the young child, their reverence for all life and their ability to absorb every nuance of what they experience is a great opportunity and a deep responsibility for teachers as they strive to be worthy of this imitative faculty. It is also imitation that allows the deepest learning to occur. The young child is devoted to the task of becoming a fully grown up human being.
…Children also imitate our inner attitude. Kindergarten teachers therefore try to pervade everything they do with care. …the way they place an object on the seasonal table, or the way they put the toys away at clean-up time and make sure all the babies are tucked in and don’t have any cold toes sticking out. If parents and teachers approach common life tasks such as cooking or cleaning with reverence and care, children will develop a deep respect for work and for material things.^
* Patterson, BJ & Bradley, P. 'Beyond the Rainbow Bridge' 2000
^ Robert Trostoli, 'Rhythms of Learning', Anthroposophic Press, 1999'