I’m a Steiner teacher who happened on this blog. I hope you don’t mind my sharing my thoughts.
My middle child was in a class of 36 in a Steiner lower school, and now is in a class of 30 in the upper school. He still felt and feels embraced and understood as an individual. So the success of the Steiner schools at educating free individuals has nothing to do with class sizes. Nor is it a resource question: there are many areas where Steiner schools are spending less per pupil than state schools, or equivalent amounts.
IMHO, the key to why you felt met as an individual is that the school you went to placed that very experience at the center of its raison d’etre. From a purely scientific point of view, each person is a confluence of nature and nurture. We are, from our place in nature, animals. Nurture allows us to understand how each person can be formed by the environment.
Free individuality is neither what we are as animals nor how we have been formed from outside, however. It is neither nature nor nurture. It is a potential for becoming what you are not yet. How can a school or teacher respect that potential if they do not affirm its existence? In many ways, this is the “spiritual” core of Steiner education. You were affirmed daily as an individual with an as yet unknown potential for becoming what you seek to become.
About 15 years ago, there were many teachers who had transferred from the state sector at our school. They universally commented on the difference in the tone of both casual conversations between teachers and at meetings. At the state schools where they had taught, they said, the teachers mostly moaned about the children and their classes. At our school they virtually never heard complaints: instead there was a focus on positive elements and solutions to challenges. It was a complete turnaround. One of these teachers had spent 30 years as a teacher, assistant head, and head teacher before coming to us. He was astonished at how different our orientation was.
I don’t claim that any of these things are solely possible in the Steiner environment. Just the opposite: they are possible everywhere. Just not always done.
So do what you can do as a result of your education in the Steiner system: be a free individual who transforms the world in a positive way.