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Fall/Winter 2009, Issue #57: Letter from the Editor

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My hope as editor is that Gateways stimulates thinking in our readers, that the support we offer to Waldorf early childhood professionals inspires them to something more. When readers respond in writing and share thoughts with us, then the editor knows what speaks to you in our newsletter. The last issue of Gateways included an article on nutrition in the kindergarten, and it led to being contacted by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt. She writes: I am a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher in Wisconsin as well as a WECAN regional representative. I read Gateways with enthusiasm each time it arrives. Thank you for all your work with the magazine. I especially enjoyed your last article, "Nutrition for Young Children." I too serve a full meal (including sauerkraut) in my kindergarten very similar to what you are serving your children. Last year I published a book [entitled] Cooking for the Love of the World: Our Relationship to Our Spirituality Through Cooking . . . In the book I invite the reader to perceive the world as spiritual activity. I 'lift' food out of the material realm of minerals, proteins, fats etc. into the fluidity of life. . . .

Anne-Marie's wonderful book is full of the experience of food and eating. Of course it has many recipes and much information about growing and cooking techniques, foods and the body's needs, but it also brings to the reader inspiration for appreciating food as gift of nature to the human being throughout the course of the year. Thank you for this artful and wisdom-filled resource! Anne-Marie has a website full of tasty information: Pass the web address on to parents as well.

We have a wonderful issue in store for you (please let me know what you think). We have some news and thoughts from the Waldorf world beyond North America, and practical ideas for activities in kindergarten. A major portion of this issue focuses on the realm of observing. We have several articles about thoughts and questions on child observation, and being more aware of one's self in the kindergarten. This is the heart of our work. On the one hand, can we truly see the children, both in the moment, as who they are, and get a glimpse of their becoming? And on the other, can we be aware of ourselves, even in the act of observing? Recently published in English, The Therapeutic Eye: How Rudolf Steiner Observed Children by Peter Selg (SteinerBooks, 2008) offers insight into this theme as well. Dr. Steiner is quoted in this booklet as saying that the ability to perceive the inner nature and development of children is a precondition for teaching. He also offers suggestions for developing this capacity. This short book has become the study theme for the early childhood faculty at my school this year, and is a valuable resource for all educators.

Many thanks again and again to all who have contributed articles. I hope they will inspire you to write as well. We received more contributions than could fit in this issue, so some articles we received did not find a place in these pages. Apologies from the editor if that is the case, and hopefully you will not be deterred from future contributions.

A reminder: WECAN offers many wonderful books as a resource for working with young children. Visit wecan_books.htm.

Finally, I want to mention that AWSNM website has been redesigned and is more user friendly. Here is the link to their new webpage of books and other educational resources:

Steve Spitalny
Santa Cruz, CA
Michaelmas 2009