This year’s autumn has been rather special!

Not only because we had a very warm October and now, in late November, there are still leaves to be raked! We also had the pleasure to participate in two and a half English weeks!  In very different settings we experienced similarly engaged and enthusiastic English teachers who thoroughly enjoyed all sorts of activities together. That shows how good ideas can spread, not only the Waldorf impulse, but also the English week idea.

In the first week of October, Catherine Bryden, Martyn and I attended a Chinese English Week in a Waldorf school nearby Bejing. Lots of clowning, creative writing and storytelling combined with theoretical input and methodology workshops were accompanied by social activities and nourished through delicious food. It was a wonderful experience, we felt warmly welcomed and very much at home.

This new experience was followed by an upper school conference in Yilan, in a Waldorf school in Taiwan. Even though the topics were more about upper school in general and there were also many humanities teachers, it felt very much like another English Week because we spoke English all the time. In rainy subtropical climate we had an inspiring time – again with really delicious Asian food.

Back home we hardly had time to unpack our  suitcases before we took of for the “German” English Week in Altenberg. In a newly renovated old cloister about 120 English teachers from 23 countries enjoyed artistic work, methodological workshops, singing, dancing and lots of German food. This time we were surrounded by a forest which displayed a beautiful range of yellow, brown and red leaves, shimmering in the autumn sun.

Full of inspiration and new ideas, we are back in school now. While class twelve students asked whether we could sing Christmas songs in the lessons, class ten students find it quite hard to start with singing at 8 o’clock. But I am sure they will also warm up to it.

I wish you all a quiet and joyful Christmas season! Greetings from Ulrike

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