Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner
24 July 1920, Stuttgart
Dr. Steiner: Perhaps Mr. Molt would say a few words.
Mr. Molt thanks the teachers for their work in the past school year and gives particular thanks to Dr. Steiner. He recalls Dr. Steiner’s words about strength, courage, and light at the beginning of the course in 1919.
Dr. Steiner: I too must think of the time when we began our course last fall. It is certain that what we attempted to bring from spiritual life into our own spirits has had an effect upon our souls. I would like to recall that moment and again ask those good spirits who are watching over our deeds to bless us and give us strength for our work.
I would like to continue with what I briefly touched this morning. I said that it was particularly valuable at this important moment in human evolution to believe we need to use all our deeds and being in working toward the intent of the Waldorf School. I spoke of this at the beginning of the pedagogical course in Basel. At that time, I said that many teachers have done an enormous amount of work toward providing principles of education, and it is not our task as anthroposophists to replace everything people such as Pestalozzi or Fröbel right up through Diesterung and Dittes have done. I mentioned that the abstract foundations that have come down from the great pedagogues of the nineteenth century will certainly stand up to a didactic pedagogical critique and that people can justifiably criticize us when we speak of a renewal of pedagogy.
In reality, something quite different concerns us. If you read Pestalozzi, or Fröbel’s works, if you read from Herbart right up to Dittes, you will find they speak of many beautiful things in regard to pedagogy. However, if you look deeply at what the educational system does, if you look into what actually goes on in the Pestalozzi schools, you will recognize that the spirit active there does not correspond to those principles you can accept abstractly. You need only look at the critical remarks Fröbel wrote about the Pestalozzi schools. If you follow the development of education in the nineteenth century, you will see that, in spite of the fact that people often thought properly, the proper thing was not taken up, was not done. Why is that? There can be but one answer. Regardless of which realm of culture you look at, it is always the same. Namely, the entire nineteenth century was under the influence of materialism. If we formulate educational principles from our anthroposophical standpoint, they can sound identical to what the nineteenth-century pedagogues said. We must, therefore, mean it differently. We speak from the perspective of the spirit, whereas they spoke from the overwhelming impulse of the materialistic worldview. Regardless of how idealistic those things may sound, those thoughts nevertheless arise from the position of materialism. It is not important that we discover some new abstraction, but that we find a new spirit.
Today, I want to present you with something I have recently said repeatedly in various places, something we must take into account in our times. Modern people think, when you speak of materialism, that it is a false view of the world, that we lay it aside because it is not right. Unfortunately, things are not so simple. The human being is a being of soul and spirit and also a physical, bodily being. But, the physical body is a true reflection of the spirit and soul, to the extent that we live between birth and death. When people are as blinded by materialistic thoughts as they became during the nineteenth century and right into the present, the physical body becomes a copy of the spirit and soul living in materialistic impulses. In that case, it is not incorrect to say that the brain thinks. It is then, in fact, correct. By being firmly enmeshed in materialism, we have people who not only think poorly about the body, soul, and spirit, but people who think materially and feel materially. What that means is that materialism causes the human being to become a thinking automaton, that the human being then becomes something that thinks, feels, and wills physically. The task of Anthroposophy is not simply to replace a false view of the world with a correct one. That is a purely theoretical requirement. The nature of Anthroposophy is to strive not only toward another idea, but toward other deeds, namely, to tear the spirit and soul from the physical body. The task is to raise the spirit-soul into the realm of the spiritual, so that the human being is no longer a thinking and feeling automaton. I will say more about this tomorrow in my lecture, but human beings are in danger of losing their spirit-soul. What exists today in the physical as an impression of the spirit-soul, exists because so many people think that way, because the spiritsoul is asleep. The human being is thus in danger of drifting into the Ahrimanic world, in which case the spirit-soul will evaporate into the cosmos. We live in a time when people face the danger of losing their souls to materialistic impulses. That is a very serious matter. We now stand confronted with that fact. That fact is actually the secret that will become increasingly apparent, and out of which we can act fruitfully. Such things as the pedagogy of the Waldorf School can arise from a recognition that humanity must turn toward spiritual activity, and not simply from a change in theory. We should work out of that spirit.
We should all treasure having found ourselves here in this circle due to a feeling that we must so act, some of us more clearly, some of us less. You need only compare the seeds we have laid in the Waldorf School with all the terrible things giving rise to such a hostile storm.
The school was founded out of the echoes of our work in Stuttgart since April of 1919. Since that time, so many wonderful things have occurred. Nevertheless, we should not forget that what we intended in forming the Cultural Commission last year completely fell in the water. You can see why it failed by looking at the terrible scandals at the Goetheanum. The obvious demise of German cultural life reveals itself as a symptom through the things occurring at the Goetheanum. We will now have to use our strength very differently than we did before in order to counter that demise. That cannot, of course, occur only at the Waldorf School. Through the understanding that the Waldorf teachers have shown, through their dedication to their work, they are now called upon to act in a general anthroposophical cultural direction.
That struck me in such a living way today at the closing of the first school year, and was what I meant with the words I spoke in the presence of the children this morning. The children will not have understood those words, but that is unimportant. We know it is not so important that the children understand what we say to them, but that later many things brighten in their souls. I also received in the name of the spirit who is to permeate the Waldorf School the words of thanks given by Mr. Molt. That spirit will need to become more and more the spirit of Middle European culture. Those people who make themselves more materialistic, who lose their souls so that civilization will become materialistic, could still be saved today if what we have here in the spirit of the Waldorf School spreads out into the world.
Of course, we must protect the Waldorf School from every kind of false appearance. We should be clear that we must become increasingly reticent with those people who have heard of the founding of the Waldorf School, and now see it as their task to extend their world of loafing about into it. They also want to participate in the Waldorf School, to take part in what we offer, and to take some of that with them in order to make it into something similar elsewhere. We should be clear that we do not find it important to offer these loafers respite here, but that the anthroposophic spirit must be a part of the basis of any schools following the Waldorf School.
A few months ago someone came to me who wanted to found something similar to the Waldorf School in France, and asked if I could give some advice. She wanted to know if she could observe in the Waldorf School. I told her I could recognize what she wants to form in Paris as being in the spirit of the Waldorf School only if they formed the school in exactly the same way that we formed the Waldorf School. Thus, these friends in France would first have to be ready to call me there to hold a course, and they would also need to declare that their school arose from the same spirit. Otherwise, I would have to strictly deny that it was comparable.
You should not think that such answers are egotistical. You need to be clear that we will not move forward if we do not stand upon a firm anthroposophical viewpoint, that is, if we do not keep ourselves free from desires for compromise. If we take a clearly delineated standpoint, then it is not impossible that we would ourselves form a Waldorf school in Paris. What is important is that we cannot be moved to make any compromises. Today, you get the furthest if you have a clearly spoken standpoint. You can be outwardly conciliatory, but inwardly what is important is that you have basic principles, and that you stand by them. For that, you will need the strength to look at things in a radical way and not give in to a tendency for compromise. As you know, at least in the spirit of our endeavor, we have tried during this first year to work from such a firm position. I hope that will become clearer. As teachers in the Waldorf School, you will need to find your way more deeply into the insight of the spirit and to find a way of putting all compromises aside. It will be impossible for us to avoid all kinds of people from outside the school who want to have a voice in school matters. As long as we do not give up any of the necessary perspective we must have in our feelings, then any concurrence from other pedagogical streams concerning what happens in the Waldorf School will cause us to be sad rather than happy. When those people working in modern pedagogy praise us, we must think there is something wrong with what we are doing. We do not need to immediately throw out anyone who praises us, but we do need to be clear that we should carefully consider that we may not be doing something properly if those working in today’s educational system praise us. That must be our basic conviction.
To the extent that I feel in a very living way what it means to you to have devoted your entire person to work of the Waldorf School, I would like to say something more. As Waldorf teachers, we must be true anthroposophists in the deepest sense of the word in our innermost feeling. We must be serious about an idea often mentioned as a foundation of Anthroposophy, one of importance for us. We should be aware that we came down from the spiritual worlds into the physical world at a particular time. Those we meet as children came later and, therefore, experienced the spiritual world for a time after we were already in the physical world. There is something very warming, something that strongly affects the soul, when you see a child as a being who has brought something from the spiritual world that you could not experience because you are older. Being older has a much different meaning for us. In each child, we greet a kind of emissary bringing things from the spiritual world that we could not experience.
A consciousness of the message that the child brings is a positive feeling that can be, and in fact, is, taken seriously by the Waldorf faculty. This awareness counteracts the decline of our civilization. It also counteracts the traditional religious beliefs preached from all the pulpits about eternity, that eternity following death toward which people look with that clever soul egotism because they do not want to cease to exist. People do not cease to exist, but what is important is how you arrive at the conviction of the eternal soul, whether you come to it through egotism or whether you have a living perspective and comprehension of the eternal human soul. A living comprehension will lead you to see the pre-existence of the soul, to see what the human being experienced before birth, to see that human life in the physical world is a continuation of previous experiences. Traditional religions strongly oppose preexistence, which can make a human being selfless. They strongly oppose those things that do not strive toward a murky and numbing uncomprehending belief, but toward knowledge and the clear light of comprehension.
Such things become practical when we say a child came down from the spiritual world later than we did. From the child’s life before me, I can perceive what happened in the spiritual world after I left. To carry such a living inner feeling is a genuine meditation for teachers, one of tremendous value and significance. By enlivening anthroposophical nature in such a specific way, we will truly be teachers working from the anthroposophical spirit. The best we can develop in Anthroposophy is not what the lazy people of the world want to coax out of us. The best is what develops in your feelings and in your souls as the spirit of the Waldorf School. During this first year, that spirit has truly come alive in your souls. In the future, we will need to direct our efforts toward taking care of that spirit. That is what I wanted to say to you this morning.
We want to undertake all individual activities in that spirit. I am really very sorry that I could only come here today, and that I could not have been here for the preparation of the children’s reports. We must further develop what I said about the practical and pedagogical aspects of psychology. I can see how difficult it was for you to develop that psychology as a strength. We will continue to try because now that we have decided to be Waldorf teachers, something that arose from a cosmic impulse entering world history, out of that same impulse, we want to remain so.
Dr. Steiner, who had been standing until this time, sat down.
Dr. Steiner: We now want to continue our discussions. We need to discuss some things that have recently occurred and then see how to continue in our teaching.
A teacher reports about the year-end report meetings. Questions arose about whether some children were in the proper classes for their age and knowledge.
Dr. Steiner: That is an important question. We also need to take into account that the solution will not be very easy. If you came to particular impressions during your discussion about writing the school reports, then perhaps we need to go into those in detail. The question takes on a quite different aspect depending upon whether the situation concerns only some individuals, or whether a large number of the students are not in the proper class. We need to have an idea of how many children we should not move into the next grade, but keep in the lower grade. We need to go into detail about the numbers involved. Of course, a large redistribution of the children will reflect the inadequacy of our considerations at the beginning of school when we placed children in classes according to the information presented by their former school. We may need to disavow ourselves of things in that regard.
We will need to consider that in detail. I would ask that the teachers who have such children whom they believe were not properly placed say something about that. Can someone please begin?
A teacher mentions G.T. in the fourth grade who is too old.
Dr. Steiner: In regard to G.T., the question is not whether we should place him in another class, but whether we can bring him up to his grade next year. He is nearly twelve and I think we should try to do that. We can handle the question of French and English separately. He learns very well, and keeping him in the fourth grade would certainly be unjustified. We will need to do something about these differences.
(Speaking to Dr. von Heydebrand) Have you been able to accomplish anything with F.R.?
A teacher: He is very well behaved in class, but he does not know as much as the other children.
Dr. Steiner: He is, however, mature enough and will certainly come along. It was therefore not a mistake.
In that regard, could we perhaps go into the question that I heard gave you many headaches. I can certainly imagine how terribly difficult it would be, but we must objectively weigh whether we should form another sixth grade, given all the psychological peculiarities of the present fifth grade. We need to consider whether it might be better to create an additional class. We would not need to split the class down the middle. We can certainly arrange it so that you, as the present teacher, would have full say. Now, there are fifty-one children, so I think we could arrange it so that you could select your sixth grade class, which would then consist of thirty, and we would move twenty. I would certainly think that everyone has absolute freedom in that regard. You should choose fifteen boys and fifteen girls.
A teacher: I have a list of twenty-six for me.
Dr. Steiner: As you wish. The choice lies entirely with you. However, it seems we should do it this way since the class was somewhat too large.
Do you have something against dividing the class? I know that you like them all so well that you do not want to give up any. Still, it would be better. You could certainly achieve the sixth grade goals if you had no more than thirty. If you could keep those you believe should stay, and then split off a class of twenty, would you agree? That would be the right thing to do. Then it will be easier to work with children like G.T. Is there another child we should consider? A teacher: I had A.S.K. in the sixth grade. He is epileptic and had to stay away from school for several months.
Dr. Steiner: He must certainly repeat the sixth grade. He could go into the new sixth grade class. We need to be careful with those children we are holding back. We should speak about him with his parents.
A teacher: This is a tricky thing. The parents will not understand. They do not have a very positive attitude. There are always problems with the boys.
Dr. Steiner: Well, that is certainly no reason. Certainly not. The
father is a reasonable person, though not a strong person; he is
certainly reasonable. It would be best to speak with him and not
with his wife. The boy is neglected, and it would certainly not
matter if we kept him in the sixth grade. The question is whether
he should be removed from school and whether we should let it
come to that. If he really is removed, then that will be the end for
him. If he remains, he will at least not sink further.
According to his report, there is really not much possible other than leaving him in the sixth grade. For the time being, I would suggest that you speak with his father, but that only needs to happen at the beginning of the new school year. There are advantages in having the boy do the sixth grade again. I would simply present that to the father objectively. From the way you judge him, it appears that he hears things only intermittently, and if he were to hear them again, that might be good. If you see that the father is going to remove him, then we will put him in the seventh grade. This is certainly difficult. Are there only these few cases?
A teacher asks about F.M. in the fourth grade.
Dr. Steiner: There is no real reason not to put him forward. He is a weak student and difficult to handle. For the time being, we will need to put him forward and try to do some things so that he learns and catches up. Otherwise, we would contradict ourselves too strongly.
A teacher asks about K.A. in the fifth grade and suggests that he be placed for a quarter of a year in the remedial class.
Dr. Steiner: (speaking to Dr. Schubert) Perhaps you could take him on for a quarter year and bring him along. It appears that there is a kind of mental weakness in the family. I would advise you to work with him.
H. will remain with you in the remedial class, and then you can decide when you think she has caught up enough and should go into a class. The remedial class will remain as it was.
I thought that M.G. would not move on to the second grade. She was in the remedial class quite a long time, but one beautiful day the light will go on in that girl. It may happen. Let’s keep her in the remedial class and decide later. If she wants to, it would harm nothing if she participated in the lowest grade. She can also do that, so let her participate in the lowest grade. In general, we do not need to make any major changes. We can resolve the cases we have. We do not need a complete revision.
In teaching foreign languages, it will be less difficult because we do not have to divide the children so strictly according to grade. We should not teach foreign languages so strictly according to grades. Things have developed that way; in general, we do not need to arrange the foreign language classes according to the grades.
In teaching foreign languages, there is a tremendous difference between speaking in chorus and individual speech. The children can all easily speak in chorus, but individually they cannot. We should use that fact. We will discuss that in the pedagogical questions next year, namely, that we should try to have the children speak individually immediately after they have said something in chorus. That should become a basis of learning, without doubt.
A teacher mentions that it will be difficult to carry out the class schedule if children from one class have foreign language with other classes.
Dr. Steiner: It would be best, but this is not possible practically, if we had groups of two different ages together, so that one child could learn from another. It is good when the younger children learn a language from older ones. It helps when weaker and better children are together. For now, we cannot do that, but when it becomes possible, we should mix the weaker and better children together in the language class.
A teacher: What should we do with the new children in the language classes? Should we tutor them?
Dr. Steiner: We will need to tell the parents immediately that there will be a lesson in the afternoon. There is nothing else we can do other than simply to push harder. Are there really so many new children?
A teacher: Since Christmas, I have fourteen new students.
Dr. Steiner: We certainly do not want to set up any rules in this regard, but look into each case separately. In general, if there is no particular reason, it would be best to advise people to remain at their present school until the end of the year, but we do not want to be completely unfriendly.
We must form an extra class in foreign languages for such children. That is absolutely necessary since otherwise we cannot take children into the upper grades. If only that is possible! We need to do what needs to be done. In general, we can say that in the language classes it may be possible to have older and younger children since the younger children will learn from the older ones, and the older children will move forward by helping the younger ones. We can certainly mix up the ages.
A teacher asks about increasing the number of hours of language.
Dr. Steiner: You want more hours, but on the other hand, we really have the children in school long enough. We cannot increase the number of hours. I don’t think we can do anything there. Later, in the higher grades, we can think about it. Perhaps in the ninth and tenth grades we could do some more language. We cannot take any time away from the main lesson, not one half hour can be removed. We cannot keep the children in school even longer; they are already here most afternoons.
A teacher: What is the maximum number of hours we can teach children during elementary school? In the first grade, we have them for twenty-six hours, but in the higher grades there are already many more hours, due to Latin.
Dr. Steiner: We cannot increase the number of hours. Why didn’t you present eurythmy as a separate subject in the reports, instead of combining it with music? I see that as a shortcoming.A teacher: Since I had to teach all of the children, I did not know them well enough individually. I would also propose that we add one more hour for music.
Dr. Steiner: With music it is certainly possible that we can do something. It is certainly true that there are not enough hours. Do you want to make a specific proposal about how many hours you want in each class?
A teacher: We could do that differently. We could arrange things so that we have separate classes for choral singing and for practice in listening, or we could give choral instruction at particular times around the times of the festivals. That would be my preference. I assume I will have the classes as they now are. In classes that are too large, I cannot meet each of the children adequately.
Dr. Steiner: How many hours would you need for music in the first grade? We already have twenty-six-and-a-half hours there.
A teacher: One hour.
Dr. Steiner: Then you could also meet each child individually. We still need to do much with the class schedule. Certainly this one hour is possible, also in the second and third grades. The question is whether we should always have choral instruction in the upper classes. That is something we could do from case to case. I think that you could divide the time you have for teaching music into individual and choral instruction.
Then there is also the deportment class. That is not a problem, and we can certainly add that, I mean, add it to the other hours, but it should not detract from music. What you want when we have the new teachers is to have individual students by class and not combined. We must do that.
In addition, as soon as we have the capacity, we will need to add some gymnastics. We can certainly include gymnastics so that we can say “gymnastics and eurythmy.”
That would be quite good. We could bring them together so that we have physiological gymnastics alongside psychological eurythmy. If anyone asks, we can say we have not ignored it, it is included. We cannot have less eurythmy, we must have a special period for it. It would probably be enough if we had a half hour of gymnastics per week connected with eurythmy, or if we mixed the exercises in both. We need exercises with standard gymnastic equipment.
There is a problem with gymnastics. We cannot put the boys and girls together. The division is a space problem. We cannot have the boys and girls together when we work with the gymnastic equipment. With the floor exercises, we could certainly put them together if the children have gym clothes. That would certainly be possible, everything else is simply prejudice.
An objection is made.
Dr. Steiner: Why do you think so? Often the girls do not do what the boys can do. You could form groups and work with them alternately. In the one case, the girls could work on the parallel bars and the boys with the high bar. The girls would need to have gym shorts. We would need to have decent pants made down in the factory.
The question now is, who could take over the gym class so that you are not overburdened? Already, everything in the school concerning singing, eurythmy, and music lies with you. In general, much depends upon you.
A teacher (who had previously done some gymnastics): If we have eleven classes, there is a question whether that is possible. Could the class teachers also provide some instruction in gymnastics? Not always, but here and there?
Dr. Steiner: The class teachers are already burdened. The lower three grades do not need any gymnastics. We can take care of the first and second grades with eurythmy alone. Afterward, however, we will need to have gymnastics. It would also be good to do it. It would be quite nice if we could connect it with eurythmy, so that the children first have eurythmy and then do gymnastics.
Gymnastics would be a little too much for you. I had not thought of that. There must be a way to give someone else that period. Actually, two need to be there. The eurythmy teacher needs to be there also, but that is not difficult.
Well, we need to look at that. Either we can let gymnastics go, or we find a way to have a gym teacher. It would be enough to have an hour of eurythmy and then, right after, a half hour of gym. But, then, we would have too many hours.
(Turning to Mrs. Baumann) Now you have two hours of eurythmy. Wasn’t that too much?
A teacher: I often had fifty-one children at once. In the third grade, I had forty-eight. I handled that by having half of them watch while the others did the eurythmy.
Dr. Steiner is in agreement with that.
A teacher wants to divide the classes.
Dr. Steiner: We will do that when we see what the other classes need. That is something we need to determine at the beginning of the next school year. The size of the classes is not yet clear, but there are more children coming. How many children do you think will be in the first grade next year?
A teacher: Fifty-six.
Dr. Steiner: Of course, we must make two classes of that. For the second grade, we don’t need to consider it. The future fourth grade is also so large, it has over fifty children. There are so many new children. I also thought of giving the youngest children to Miss Lämmert for singing, as it will be too much for Mr. Baumann. It would also be too much for gymnastics. We have to see how we can work with the faculty we have.
We must also discuss the question of the faculty. The number of new classes is increasing, and we need new teachers. There are now two temporary buildings under construction, which we hope to complete by the beginning of the new school year. If they are ready, we will have just enough room. There may even be enough when we divide the future second and fourth grades since they are both more than fifty children. It will, however, be tight with the rooms. All we can do is keep the number of specialty classrooms down. We will have to put this off. We could just make it with the structures we now have. However, we are missing, at least for the time, a room for singing. A room is missing for the kindergarten, and we are also missing the rooms for the additional classes we will have in the following years. We do not have a library or a gymnasium. We lack rooms for the continuation school, but perhaps we can leave the continuation school aside for now. We still need a room for the physician, as we discussed before. We are missing a whole number of things. These are all things that we recently discussed. Perhaps we should try to solve these things by adding an extra floor.
A teacher: We can’t do that.
Dr. Steiner: Why is that impossible? Why did we want to add a floor and now we can’t do that?
A teacher: The foundation is inadequate.
Dr. Steiner: I don’t understand. What does the architect say? Didn’t he know that already? It is terrible when ideas come up that turn out to be impossible. Of course we can, we are told, and then afterward everything has to be changed. The building code should have been thought about earlier. In Dornach, I would never allow anyone to present a plan if we were not absolutely certain we could complete it. We only lose time with such things. We go around with ideas, and then nothing comes of them. We had counted upon having the eurythmy room upstairs. I mean, we counted upon it. You told me about that in Dornach.
A teacher: Not as a fact, but as a possibility.
Dr. Steiner: I don’t want to know about possibilities. If someone tells me about something, I assume it to be real. Otherwise, it is nothing. You should always get a definite answer from the Building Department first, and then the architect must know he can count on it.
Now the only possible plan is to build a gymnasium and attach the other rooms I mentioned to it. That would then be the first part of a rationally designed school building. Our concern now is where we should build it.
That is something we need to consider carefully. Is there enough money? The main question is whether we have enough money. We need to spend the money, even if the purchase is not entirely necessary. It is there, people have given ten million marks. Now everyone wants to do things without risk. This is entirely a question of courage. We must build upon that basis. The spiritual value will certainly come from the school, and not from other things. As a result, we must have the courage to undertake risky projects. However, we should not do more shaky things than we can balance with solid things.
We will need to travel around in the next six weeks to raise the money. The question is how we should do that. We need to see how we can find some way of doing it. We need to get some money, so it will be necessary to enlarge our plan for the school association. It is easily possible that we could get some money if we form a World School Association, that is, a general association for such schools, one that is international. Now everywhere we go, people say that Berlin has no interest in paying for the Waldorf School. If we form a World School Association, it might be possible to use some of the income for Stuttgart. It is unlikely that we would get very much if we ask people to pay for the Stuttgart Waldorf School. We need to see to it that we find some way to get some money. A number of things are in progress, but they are not going very quickly. We have something very promising in Dornach, a shaving soap and the hair tonic, “Temptation,” but we can’t get that going quickly enough. We cannot invent things fast enough to have a gymnasium, a eurythmy room, and a music room in the fall. Before we have that, all the baldies would have to grow hair.
A teacher: At the risk of my wife not recognizing me, I want to try it.
Dr. Steiner: Our eurythmy ladies have already decided to try the hair tonic so that their mustaches grow. Then they will shave them off with the shaving soap. The thousand-mark bills will grow on peoples’ heads. There is still some money. The members of the Anthroposophical Society do not know how important the Waldorf School is. I recently spoke with some women, and they had no idea it was so pressing. Everywhere people are saying we should form schools. All that we need to do is to ask people, but we should not give the impression that we want to spend everything here. For that reason, I said that we don’t want to center everything here in Stuttgart, but instead travel around to various cities and prepare people. We don’t want to send things out and dictate to people. That was how the thought arose of creating a school in Berlin. We should not try to have people put off their school plans. What is important is that we do not offend people, so we will have to travel. We could go to The Coming Day for capital we would then pay interest on. We could afford the interest for four hundred thousand marks, so what we need to do to keep things moving, we should do immediately. Enlarging the school further is another thing. If we want to continue the school beyond next year, and want it to continue to grow as it has, then we will need a great deal more room.
A teacher: Perhaps it would help if we used one of the larger classrooms as a music room in the afternoon.
Dr. Steiner: Perhaps we could work that way until we build the gymnasium. We have now come to a question that we have to solve in some way, as otherwise the school cannot continue. We must solve the problems of classroom space and future teachers.
There is a discussion about the need to build housing for the teachers.
Dr. Steiner: The whole problem of space remains unresolved. We have resolved the space question only to the extent that we have room for the classes. The other rooms we need are to a large extent insufficient or not there at all.
How many new classes will we have? A first grade, a sixth, a ninth. We are also missing the gymnasium and an art room. The gymnasium would be the eurythmy room. We will need to make ends meet, only it must be large enough for eurythmy. We will have to see how we can build the gymnasium and the other additional rooms.
It seems to me that today we have made a list of only what is absolutely necessary. We can see from this situation that we will not move forward if we think only about the minimum. If we were to begin with the gymnasium now, the situation would improve so much by Christmas that we would really have acceptable conditions. Everything is hanging in the air, and no one knows if it will be different two weeks from now. We need specific information about what things cost. We cannot negotiate the way things are now.
A meeting with the architect was set up for the following day.
A teacher: It is our own fault, because we have only taken care of the present. There have been so many new enrollments that the situation completely changed within three weeks.
A teacher: We must look at what we must do, and in addition, we must raise the money. The question of money must be secondary. We haven’t yet had any personal discussions with the parents who certainly have a real interest in the continuation of the Waldorf School. Some of the them have given loans, but we need to work with them personally. What we cannot get together in that way we will have to borrow from The Coming Day. We need to create a comprehensive plan for raising money in the next few days. In my opinion, the progress of the Waldorf School should not depend upon financial things.
Dr. Steiner: Yes, we need something concrete. We cannot negotiate anything when we see that the architect says he can make the hall, and then says he can’t. To work in that way is terribly inefficient. We already discussed in our last meeting that we need a eurythmy hall. We have known that for some time. We based our plan upon that impression, namely, that the architect had said we could build it. In any event, we have lost three weeks since the architect claimed we could add a new floor, and today that is no longer true. We do not want any temporary structures. We must see that we build the new things with an eye toward a longer period. We definitely need to meet again tomorrow.
You could also inquire at the Building Department before you officially present something whether they might approve what we want to do. In any event, we cannot discuss it further until we have a plan. That is the main thing I wanted to say.
Dr. Steiner is asked to say something about the problem of the faculty housing.
Dr. Steiner: It is difficult for me to say anything since I am not in a position of putting up the money. That is the first thing you need to know. As long as we do not have the money, the question of teachers’ housing remains purely academic. Apart from teachers’ housing, there are other things we need to do. Either we will carry things out or they will not be done. It is important to avoid making the mistake of planning only for the minimum. We need to do things as they should be done, independent of the financial situation.
I am certain, since the self-sacrifice of the teachers has so elevated things, that things will move forward spiritually, that there will be no spiritual fiasco. The events of the first year have shown that we can hold on. Whether the world will give us money? I hardly believe anymore that the world will give money for such things. People have no understanding for them. That is something that causes me tremendous distress. What I said at the beginning of this meeting is certainly correct for the spiritual realm. We need to place material questions upon a reasonable foundation.
What can we do? How far we can expand the school is an important question. Somehow we must find a limit, or we must have people behind us who can give millions. The situation is impossible because we have accepted every enrollment. For that reason, I would propose that, in the sense of my introductory remarks, we declare we will continue the school as it was, and that we will not accept new children if we cannot build a gymnasium. We can tell people that we receive no support. We need to do that in the most effective way. We will continue the school as we did in the previous year, but we must, unfortunately, reject those children we have already accepted. The world should know what the situation is. We should tell people about this. We can say, hypothetically, that if we do not receive the finances we need, if we are not able to build a eurythmy hall and gymnasium for the fall, then we must limit the school to its present size. If we do not state things this radically, we will not move forward. We will also not be able to pay the teachers.
A teacher: Could we raise money by traveling around and giving lectures?
Dr. Steiner: We can certainly do that. However, I do not believe that your work will be fruitful if we don’t draw people’s attention to it. I also do not believe that we will be able to work if things stay as they are. I certainly think it will make an impression if we keep the children we now have, but do not enroll anyone new and turn away the new enrollments we have. If we tell people this, I think it would help. If we remain in this difficult financial situation, no one knowing where the money will come from, we will not move forward. It should be a “back against the wall” declaration that indicates what the work of the faculty can achieve here, and that the world has failed to provide the financial support that it should.
A teacher: People ask why they should give everything to Stuttgart. People in Hamburg and Berlin have no interest in what we are doing here in Stuttgart.
Dr. Steiner: The important thing is for the spiritual movement to continue. We cannot say that what is important is that we are creating something here that is for everyone. We certainly cannot say that people should give for the work in Stuttgart and ignore other things. We should certainly not imply that we are forming a central organization in Stuttgart and demand that people give to it.
A teacher: Should we put an announcement in the newspapers that the number of students has grown unexpectedly, so that we now need to employ more teachers in order to continue the school in its original spirit? Also, that we depend upon their support?
Dr. Steiner: We should say in a positive way that we are ready to continue the school as it has been, but that we can no longer accept new enrollments if people do not help to support us. We need to say a radically serious word. We will not consider the formation of new classes with regard to new enrollment.