“What are you doing for others?”
||| On January 17th, the US observed its annual holiday recognizing the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In anticipation of this important date, our Lead Faculty discussed what this holiday means for us as a school, and what we want it to mean for us in the future. This is an ongoing and important conversation about how we keep questions of diversity, equity, and inclusion living on a daily basis throughout the year and how we keep our attention and consciousness actively focused on them.
The life of Dr. King brings up so many themes that are central to the Waldorf curriculum, and the holiday in his honor gives us a chance to make these important themes more explicit and conscious for ourselves and our community. In the coming weeks, we will share with you here some of the themes that are being attended to in our Grades classes, focusing on a different grade and theme each week. Many of these are themes that are important throughout the year for that grade.
This week in Third Grade, Mrs. Borstel focused on the words Dr. King spoke to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama (1957): “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?'” This led her to the theme of service, and the children took a silent walk around the campus to see what they could do to be of service to their fellow students. The children came up with the idea of cleaning the blacktop and pruning back the ivy. They then fetched scissors, brooms and dustpans to do this small but important act of service.
Mrs. Borstel is also preparing her retelling of the story of the flight of the Hebrew people from Egypt to the Promised Land, and the struggles of Moses. Dr King used this as a guiding image in this speech, and the story sets a strong foundation for conversations of oppression and the quest for freedom that the class will be having. Next week, we will hear from First and Seventh grade.