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Universal Gratitude

A Letter from Our Head of School

Dear WSP Families and Friends,

This has been a week filled with gratitude! It began on Saturday, May 1, with the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony marking the official opening of Heartwood Annex, the new eighth grade classroom. Immediately following the ceremony, we welcomed families onto campus for May Fair, an all-community celebration of spring. Throughout this week, we expressed gratitude to our teachers for their dedication and hard work during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Gratitude is a fundamental value of Waldorf Education and is practiced and cultivated daily at school. Individual acts of gratitude feed the social health of our working groups, of each class, and of our whole school community.

In The Child’s Changing Consciousness and Waldorf Education, Lecture VI, Rudolf Steiner writes:

All that flows, with devotion and love, from a child’s inner being toward whatever comes from the periphery through the parents or other educators—will be permeated with a natural mood of gratitude…

It is the cultivation of this universal gratitude towards the world that is of paramount importance. It need not always be in one’s consciousness, it may simply live in the background of one’s feeling life…

Such a subconscious feeling of gratitude may rise up in us every time we look at nature. It may be felt every morning when the sun rises…

And if we only conduct ourselves rightly in front of the children, a correspondingly graduated feeling of thankfulness will develop in them for all that comes to them from the people living around them, from the way they speak, smile or deal with them. (pp 128–9)

How we hold one another with gratitude is also reflected to us in how the children hold one another. Throughout this past week, I have been filled with so many moments of gratitude for the many individuals who make up our community—children, parents, teachers, administration, board, alumni, and special friends.

With gratitude for you,

Kirsten Christopherson-Clark

Head of School


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