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Improving Teacher-Student Relationships Using Ruckshau Meditation Practice

Author: 
Kari Madera

Abstract:

As a fourth grade teacher, I struggled with a particular student and tried Ruckshau meditation to see if it could help build teacher-student relationships. This is the daily practice developed by Rudolf Steiner of reflecting backward through the day just before going to bed. No educational studies were found on this exercise. My objective was to show that this suggested daily practice for all Waldorf educators worldwide will help with classroom interactions and reduce stress and burnout. I compared and contrasted Rudolf Steiner’s methods of Ruckshau with mindfulness practice from Ellen Langer and the reflective practices of John Dewey, who are guiding theorists in these areas. I extracted patterns out of my reactions and behaviors from everyday writing. I used a Likert scale to rate my feelings of burnout before and after using Ruckshau meditation to show positive developments. I provided examples of relationship improvements using excerpts from my journal. Ruckshau meditation improved my feelings of burnout as measured with the Likert scale and as a result I felt more connected to the students in my class. This practice may help create more peaceful, energetic instructors, thereby improving relationships in the classroom.