One of the first words that a child learns to say or sign at Camphill Special School is “thank you.”

We say “thank you” to Elsbeth at the end of our music lesson; we say “thank you” to Tina at the end of handwork class; we say “thank you” for our food at snack time and at the end of each school day we say “thank you” to each other and sing: “thank you for this time together; thank you for this day.” Showing gratitude and appreciation is a big part of our life here and there is so much to be thankful for. Each morning the children in the lower grades recite a morning verse, which begins with the words: “The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day.” The young child stands at the center of the universe and the sun shines lovingly down on them. In fifth grade the verse changes and the students say: “I look into the world…” Students in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade begin to look into the world and learn about the world through subjects like Botany, Geography, Astronomy, Geology, History and Zoology. Slowly the student is transformed from the little 1st grader who sat at the center of the world receiving all of life’s  gifts and blessings to a middle school student who reaches out and learns to know and love the world by studying it, to a high school student who can begin to contribute and give back to the world through his or her own deeds.

The first step on this journey is thankfulness, the second is love for and interest in the world and the third step is responsibility towards the earth and to each other.

By Ginny Thimme, Lower School Teacher

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