Today, some parents of the 1st, 2nd and 7th and 8th grade class at our Waldorf school put on a Chinese New Year's play. Children from each of those grades came to watch along with some Kindergarteners.
When it came to quiet the crowd
for the play to start, the music teacher, Mrs. L, raised her hand and just walked around at the front with her arm raised and looking into the audience. One of the parents who had a mike walked over to try to give her the microphone. Mrs. L waved it off. She did not need the microphone.
And, indeed she did not. I watched as she stood at the front with one hand raised. As the crowd began to notice, one by one they too (students and class teachers) raised one hand in acknowledgement and closed their mouths. Once everyone was quite, Mrs. L, then walked to the littles and just motioned to them to close their mouths and watch with their eyes. They too listened and everyone was quiet with the play ready to begin.
I was awestruck and really just touched. Touched because these teachers teach with respect and in return, they get respect. No microphone needed. No need to call out, "Okay everyone, let's quiet down..." No, we all know we are there for a performance. Of course there is a little excitement at the beginning but really all you need to see is one motion from a teacher to know that it's now time to be quiet. The mutual reverence is just...I love Waldorf education.