Something comes over them, and it awakens in the soul as a kind of faint, dreamlike question: How does the teacher know this? Where does it come from? Is my teacher really the world? Until now, my teacher was the world, but now there is a question: Does not the world go beyond the teacher?
Up to this point, the teacher’s soul was transparent, and the child saw through it into the world; but now this adult has become increasingly opaque, and the child asks, out of the feelings, what justifies one thing or another.
Experience of the difference
The teacher’s whole bearing must then very tactfully find what is right for the child. It is not a matter of figuring out ahead of time what to say, but of knowing how to adapt to the situation with inner tact. If right at this moment one can find the appropriate thing for the child through an inner, imperceptible sympathy, it will have an immense significance for that child’s whole life right up to the time of death.
If a child at this stage of inner life can say of the teacher, «This person’s words arise from the secrets and mysteries of the world,» this will be of great value to the child. This is an essential aspect of our teaching method. At this point in life, children experience the difference between the world and the I-being.
(Source: Rudolf Steiner: The Roots of Education, AP, 1996, 5 Lectures, Bern, 1924)