The pedagogic team
All areas of the prepared environment in Maturanahaus are supervised by the seven adults of the pedagogical team. They accompany the children and teenagers throughout their occupations and experiences during their time in MATURANAHAUS. The adults prepare the environment and various courses and meet weekly to reflect upon their experiences.
Through personal reflection as well as discussions on various insights, they extend and deepen their knowledge of the developmental needs of the children and teenagers, exchange experiences with the parents and prepare parent-teacher meetings and other events dedicated to the parents.
Benjamin Aaron Herre
Born in 1978, founded MATURANAHAUS with Robina Limanski in 2004 for their two children who were in kindergarten at the time. Aaron has been a teacher for all age groups since the foundation and is the executive manager of the MATURANAHAUS association.
I was only 20 years old when our son announced himself in 1998 and had just begun studying orchestra music. As a former Waldorf student I was used to alternatives to the "norm" and was already a distinct contrarian, but I had a great yearning for true inner freedom and the possibility to take my decisions into my own hands.more ▾
The constant bullying and manipulation and the struggle to be loved and recognized by others had led me to become a young adult who felt unprotected and torn. At the same time, I strongly felt that I would like to create something completely new.
Discovering Robina was pregnant came as a great surprise. Despite all of our insecurities, we were very happy. It felt like a starting signal. Robina's singing teacher provided us with the decisive recommendation to a lecture about the groundbreaking practice of mindful child rearing practised by the Hungarian doctor Emmi Pikler.
From then on, I soaked in all the interesting information and my brain worked overtime to look at child (human in general) development from a new perspective and to truly understand what exactly happens. Then, our master instructor, Mathis, was born and taught us (and is still teaching us), what that meant in reality – and the real learning process began.
My most valuable source of inspiration on the theoretical level were Rebeca and Mauricio Wild, who I was able to meet personally several times in the following years. But by then the ship was already well on its way. Just two years after Mathis's birth, his sister Rosalie was born and gave our family system another whole new set of dynamics. Our very personal method of child-rearing was not well greeted by our environment.
Friends turned away, doctors and other professionals deemed us irresponsible, relatives felt offended because we were indirectly questioning their old system with our new perspective. Personally, the decisive element was feeling our vitality growing thanks to my non-directive stance, like a tree that is never cut back expands its branches, twigs, blooms and leaves in all directions and this continues to give me a new faith in human nature.less ▴
Nadja Robina Limanski
Born in 1976, works as a teacher for all age groups of the prepared environment. She is also the pedagogic director of the MATURANAHAUS association. Together with Aaron she founded MATURANAHAUS which is operated by them and the pedagogic team.
“When I was pregnant with out first child, I was invited to a lecture on self-directed motor development and respectful care for small children. That’s how I found out about the Pikler Institute and their work and a fire began to burn in me.more ▾
It was an invitation to take a fresh look at living with children, their needs, and it was an opportunity to further develop my own stance as an adult, to a growing trust, freedom, non-directivity. This impulse lead me and Benjamin on an adventurous ride as parents, one that continues on to today. We were so impressed with our children’s vitality that we quickly realized that a regular kindergarten and school were not an option for our family.
When our children were still small, I was studying at the University of Music and went back and forth between home and university as if travelling between two separate worlds. The issue of my own self-directed learning processes became ever more important to me.
At Rebeca and Mauricio Wild’s summer courses, which still took place every year back then, we met families from our region who were also passionate about these ideas and together we founded the play group “KinderRaum Hochburg”. These contacts and discussions enriched our lives as parents and encouraged me in my belief that it is possible to find a group of like-minded people and create a respectful environment for children.
After I completed my degree in 2004, Aaron and I decided quite spontaneously to found MATURANAHAUS and since then I have been in an inner and outer process of experiencing, learning, growing, stumbling, astonishing...”less ▴
Born in 1962, came to the MATURANAHAUS in its first year when it was still located in the old school in Sexau. Since then Gerd accompanies children of all age groups.
How I came to non-directivity.
I started out on my "path" with a deep-rooted unhappiness about my own schooldays. Things that were important to me could only be done outside of school – what an incredible waste of time!
I swore that it would be different for my own children.more ▾
When, many years later, this time had come, we went to France to a small community consisting largely of people who wanted to avoid the German school system and try out new things.
There I read the first books from Rebeca Wild and made my first excursions into the still unfamiliar and fascinating world of non-directive child rearing.
I was hooked and took further steps: I attended seminars with Rebeca and Mauricio Wild and conducted numerous discussions with Robina and Benjamin, the founders of Maturanahaus.
All this made it possible for me to observe child development in a new way and to venture more deeply into developmental processes.
I am very grateful for this today.less ▴
Born in 1988, began working with us here in our pedagogic team in the fall of 2015. As our sixth full-time teacher, he currently works in the entry stage and over time will branch out to work with all of our age groups.
Before I came to Maturanahaus, I accompanied a young boy diagnosed with autism at a public school. It soon became clear that a public school is not the appropriate educational setting for this boy. In my search for alternatives, I rediscovered alternative schools.
Years ago, I had been interested in alternative educational approaches and I now rekindled this interest. After one year of unsuccessful efforts to help the boy change schools, I set myself a limit in the spring of 2015. Working in a public school was no longer in line with my beliefs. It had become my wish to accompany children and their growth processes at an alternative school. At the same time, Maturanahaus was looking for a new teacher.
Coincidentally, the year before I had had an inspiring conversation with one of their former employees. The non-directive approach was something I had already come to value in Gestalt therapy and now I was curious to see how it can be implemented in an educational setting. In the summer of 2015, I contacted Maturanahaus and was impressed with their realization during my first visit. I began as a trainee at the start of the new school year and since December 2015 I have been a member of the pedagogic team.less ▴
After working at public schools for six years, I began to search for alternative paths. In 2014, I visited Maturanahaus for two days and participated in a weekend seminar. After that, one thing was clear to me: I want to work here. First I worked as a trainee for 6 months. For the past year and a half I have worked part-time at Maturanahaus. I now accompany pupils from the secondary stage in the subjects art, home economics and needlecraft. Additionally, I work as a freelance cook for private parties and seminars.more ▾
I have great pleasure in seeing how children here can develop freely in many different ways, how precise the educational methods are examined and experiencing how this leads to peaceful cooperation and a respectful application of rules.less ▴
Born in 1968, has been involved in MATURANAHAUS as the mother of three children from the very beginning. She has been a member of the pedagogic team since the spring of 2013 and accompanies the children in the entry and primary stages two mornings a week.
After our first son was born, my husband and I asked ourselves how we would like to shape our lives with our children. At first I knew only this: how I didn’t want to do it...! I became familiar with the association “Mit Kindern Wachsen”, regularly attended parent seminars in which we sought to lovingly attend our children, provide them with everything they needed for their development and their lives here on this planet.
It quickly became clear that this wasn't some kind of childrearing method they could simply be applied. In my everyday life with my children I realized that the first step was to connect with myself, my own feelings, needs and beliefs and to find a respectful approach to accept all of these in order to have a corresponding attitude towards my children.
I have been working part-time at Maturanahaus for three years and have thus been contributing to creating possibilities for children to develop from within with the loving attention of adults. For me, Maturanahaus is a place in which every child can grow to become their own true self.less ▴
Maintaining a pedagogical institution requires an ever-increasing amount of administration in this country. So the small office in our house has since been extended to a proper office of administration in the school building. The necessary tasks are completed there with patience and dedication during office hours as well as further mornings and afternoons and the occasional night shift.
Born in 1968, is our office “gem”, where she is available for questions and queries during the office hours. She is also the mother of four adult children and a long-time friend of our work.
The stories Rebeca and Mauricio Wild told of their school in Ecuador in their seminars have enthralled me since the early the 1990s. Although such a place could not be realized for my own children, I am delighted to be able to support parents taking this route with their children and partners and thus learning to approach others and especially themselves with love and respect.less ▴
Born in 1971, is the father of four children and has supported Aaron for many years in the administration of MATURANAHAUS. Since May, 2010, he is the official director.
Our House Team
Every day children, youths and adults spend time in MATURANAHAUS and enjoy the variety offered by our prepared environment. To make this possible, constant care and maintenance are needed inside and outside our house. In addition to the constant efforts from our parents, this is especially possible thanks to our house team.
Born in 1962, is the mother of a son in MATURANAHAUS. She has been our cleaner since 2011 and responsible for keeping our prepared environment fresh and clean so that we all feel comfortable.