Rudolf Steiner gave a gift to the teachers in the “Teachers’ Imagination” at the founding of the first school in 1919. Now more than ever, it is needed to strongly knit together the fabric of a school’s faculty and staff. It is a call for us to bring the spiritual reality to the fore, even when the physical circumstances are so fraught. Because there is such a strong call for social and physical distancing in reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic, we need to become even closer spiritually. As members of a school’s collegium (or whatever term it is that describes the guiding circle of the faculty), we are called on to experience the strength of what we might think of as the inspired, guiding faculty of the school. Now is a moment which calls on us to realize in each school the spiritual collegium which Rudolf Steiner described when he called together that first circle of teachers.
The Teachers’ Imagination posits the reality that each teacher in that circle already has the necessary strength from his or her Angels to meet the moment. That part of the Imagination has everything to do with fortifying myself as an individual teacher. But in this time of Covid-19, we need to particularly focus on the Beings circling above our heads: the Archangels. These Beings have everything to do with cultivating our circle of teachers, especially asking each of the human beings there present to recognize what comes from the many others in that circle. For it is through the Archangels’ gift of courage that we can face the future as a circle of the Whole. This is Michaelic courage in pure form. Knowing that the Archangels are there, giving us the courage to use our Angel-given strength, we can lend our “en-couragement” to the colleagues who contribute their insights to the vision which will lead the school into the future.
So it is that you do this inner work not for your own benefit, but rather to provide support for your colleagues. Out of our warmth of feeling and in our mind’s eyes, all our colleagues and the Archangels above our heads create the whole that is ranged around and above us. So it is that in this part of the Imagination, we are called to encourage, to inwardly carry, and to benefit from the gifts that our colleagues have to give to one another and to the whole by virtue of their unique individualities. Through this gift of love, I also give my strength to realize our faculty’s vision of what the future is calling for in this moment. So it is that the many “others” in the Circle and I become part of the greater whole which we call a Waldorf school. I give to the others so that the “Being” of this Waldorf school is manifested and can work through us and into the world.
The Teachers’ Imagination shows us how to create a vessel, a chalice, into which Inspiration can flow. We and the Archangels then have created this chalice which is meant to receive a drop of light, a drop of Michaelic wisdom needed for our time. By supporting my colleagues and they me, each of us can then know that we have allowed the school community to receive a drop of light which it surely needs to nurture and educate our children in this time.