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Why We Say "No Photos or Videos" at School Events

The following was shared by Aniko Gereb, Pedagogical Director, with our School Community following our 2023 Parent Festival where students shared various curriculum pieces with their friends and families. We are sharing here in its entirety here as it speaks beautifully to the topic of "No Photos or Videos"!


By Aniko Gereb, Pedagogical Director

Dear Community,

We were very happy to see so many of you at the Parent Festival. After a three-year break it was a pleasure to see the children on stage sharing many of the riches of the Waldorf curriculum. Without even one rehearsal on the Burlington Performing Arts Centre stage, and after a long pause in performing, the children brought a natural feeling of confidence and excitement, sharing curriculum pieces from daily life at school. Hard work, practice and perseverance led to a beautiful performance. It was real theatre from their heart to yours.

At the beginning of the Parent Festival evening, I asked you to please refrain from taking photos and videos. I could not give you an explanation right there with all the children sitting in the audience, I hope you will understand why. Last week, at our Parent Meet and Mingle, I reviewed this topic.

In Waldorf education, teachers are working constantly to bring and build stories through pictures. We are building a rich pictorial experience that forms the child from the inside out. Whenever the curriculum meets the child they completely immerse and identify with the characters. When children are acting out their picture consciousness, which is a Waldorf way to say, the children are able to imagine themselves as the character, they lend themselves so strongly to the real characters, imagining that they really are The Rider, or Joan of Arc, or the Rock Star, the singer, the most special cat, or (you fill in the blank). When we film or photograph our children, and then show it to them, the reality can be startling. They may see their 'flaws' and it really detracts from the mighty experience that was in the moment when they were being their 'picture consciousness'.

It is not that we are awakening them from their inner dream, but we can almost destroy the reach of imagination of their experience in the moment. Even if we show them the video 10 years later the damage can be significant. Artistic sharing has a special soul and spirit which lives between the child and you, the audience. That energy is most valuable right there and can not be captured in any video. Therefore we will always ask you to cherish the precious moments with your own eyes and hearts and not watch the children's offerings through the lens of a camera or cell phone. I am certain that all the children will preserve these special moments for a lifetime in the way they experienced them in their souls.

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