For the educator and the teacher, it is necessary to keep the whole earthly life in mind; Because what we put into a child in the eighth or ninth year of life works through into the forty-fifth or fiftieth year of the adult human being, as we will discuss. So, what I do as a teacher during the primary school age with the child, penetrates deeply into the physical, psychic and spiritual nature of the human being. It often lives under the surface for many years, strangely coming to light after decades, sometimes even at the end of life, because at the beginning of life, it was laid in the child as a germ. One can only work in the right direction at this age when you do not only consider the present age of the child but keep in mind the whole future life from out of true knowledge of the human being.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 308 – Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens – Stuttgart, April 8, 1924 (page 12)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger