The Middle Senses


The Middle Senses

In the early winter we discussed the four lower senses, which are the foundation of our mixed-age kindergarten program and directly support the development of our higher senses of hearing, language, concept, and ego. We will address the four higher senses later in the year, and now explore the middle senses, which like the middle child, can sometimes be overlooked. The middle four senses comprise smell, taste, vision, and warmth. These middle senses are mediators between "inner" and "outer," the bridge between the lower four (related to inner experience) and the higher four (related to outer experience of the world).

When we smell the fresh snow, taste the zing of a lemon, examine the color of an autumn leaf, or feel the warmth coming from the fire, we are stimulating these middle senses. Unlike the lower senses, when we smell, taste, or see something we often have an emotional response. We LOVE curry, or we HATE curry, for example. We might feel an internal warmth just thinking about the warmth of sitting in front of a fire. And likewise, as you may have read in the New York Times recently, the experience of holding a warm mug increases the likeliness of a favorable impression of another person. These middle senses involve and stimulate our emotions.

In our elementary school, teachers are working to educate the child's feeling life, a change from early childhood when the focus was physical well-being and development. Children of elementary school age need to experience a great variety of smells, tastes, and sights, as you can imagine a 13-year-old would tell you! Experiences of warmth are important too, and going without a coat and feeling the cold – for an older child – might stimulate just enough antipathy to cause them to put on their coat next time they go outside. Feeling the emotional warmth from their teachers and parents is meaningful too. An emotional connection can be made between this physical feeling of well-being and the care of another human being, which is so important for developing healthy relationships. In the next few weeks, we will dedicate some time to each of the middle senses, offering links to experiences or products that you might find interesting for your middle senses!

-Jennifer Chace

Campus Development Update

Progress! This lease signing process has taken much longer than we'd earlier anticipated; it has been more complex that we'd imagined as well, even with the years of experience in the real estate world of some of our committee members. We expected to be able to sign the lease for the space at 160 Christopher Street on Monday or Tuesday of the vacation week. The deposit check was cut and sitting on my desk. Yet, circumstances put a few more road blocks in our way, mostly in the form of landlord expectations of New Amsterdam that our committee didn't feel were prudent to carry without further research. The remaining issue will receive the attention of the full board on Wednesday of next week. The board carries the responsibility for the financial and legal well being of the school, something that cannot be taken lightly, so we will take the time for each member to consider the full ramifications of a decision to move forward. The first vote was to give the real estate committee the authority to move forward with lease negotiations. This second vote will be to approve the lease in its final form. Our committee's inclination is to move ahead, but we feel that involving the full board in the decision is the right way to go. Had the lease negotiations been less complicated, we probably would not have brought the lease back to the full board. Yet here we are! There will be a full community email as soon as we have a signed lease, and weekly updates in the Villager on further progress. Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm these last weeks. We will get there together!

March Parent Evenings

Juniper, Willow, & Maple
NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 13

Louise deForest will join all three early childhood lead teachers on the topic of "Setting Boundaries."

Grades 1, 2, & 3
Wednesday, March 20


Monday Morning Eurythmy Mini-Session (for Parents!)
Monday, March 4

A quick 15-minute eurythmy session with Brigida to start your week.

Monday Book Club
Monday, March 4

Coffee Friday
Friday, March 8

Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.

Grades 2/3 Parenting Support Group
Friday, March 8 • 9:30-10:30am
Wednesday, March 13 • 8:30-9:30am
Hosted by Wendy. Parents may attend either meeting.

Parent/Teacher Conference Day (SCHOOL CLOSED)
Friday, March 15
Please sign up for a time slot with your class teacher.

Kim John Payne Lecture: The Overwhelm of Boys
Wednesday, March 21

Book Group Restarting!

Our Monday morning book groups are back on! We will continue to discuss Developing the Self Through the Inner work Path in the Light of Anthroposophy. We read together and discuss as we go. No preparation needed; now is a great time to join!

Summer waldorf courses

for Teachers and Parents

June 23-July 5

Wilton, New Hampshire


Did you know that your Amazon purchases could be raising funds for our school? Shop through Amazon Smile to easily help our school:

1. Go to

2. Choose New Amsterdam School as your selected charity

3. Shop as normal and a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to our school! 

Belle Savransky