From The Significance of the Child Study, a document found published on the Irish Steiner Kindergarten Association’s website.
Original intentions have to do with the essence of the will in each individual child and the resolve to incarnate and integrate the heavenly into the earthly with the help of higher powers.
The teacher should ‘listen’ to the child, without jumping to conclusions (but let’s get back to that later…)
The hearing is as if one is trying to listen to what the angel of the child could be revealing to us at this initial, profound moment.
Why not listen to the child instead of some angel? What kind of information is an angel able to give about children that the children themselves are incapable of conveying directly? And how do you verify to which child a particular angel belongs?
When working with others we can create meditative conversations that may lead to a healing response. A complete physical description of the child is a helpful place to begin. Often, when observing a child in this way there are details that are noticed that serve in understanding the child. Rudolf Steiner states, ”Through intensive study of the physical configuration of the body, characteristics of soul are revealed.”
So much for taking an unprejudiced approach to the child. What is this, if not saying that the physical reveals something about the child’s mental characteristics? Is this not going to affect the way the teacher treats the child, perhaps in a manner negative for the child’s well-being and development?
Further down in the document we learn that
if we can bring our thoughts of the child into sleep with us into the spiritual world, asking for inspiration from the child’s angel on behalf of the child, we again are striving towards another kind of hearing. To create a ‘hallowed’ space in ourselves, a kind of inner manger, where the birth of the child’s being can find it’s way to us is a kind of reversal form that takes place in the inner life of the teacher.