Eighteen years ago when my daughter’s father insisted that I put our daughter in a Waldorf school, I was not interested at all. Being a teacher myself, I felt that nobody could teach her but me. I was determined to home school her. Friends and family criticised and judged me for not placing her in a school with other children. Being very sceptical, naïve and arrogant I refused to listen to any form of advice about any schooling system let alone Waldorf education. After many conversations with other people and much convincing I agreed to visit a small Waldorf school in Observatory. It was here that I first heard about how one teacher stays with the group for seven years, the subjects, artistic work and much more…
I entered the school’s garden where the children were playing quietly and observing how the teacher gently encouraged their play. I was convinced – to bring my daughter to this little school. But more than this I was attracted by Waldorf’s unique approach: the old-fashioned pace, an abundance of arts and crafts, plenty of outdoor education and an emphasis on hands-on learning not to mention the good old-fashioned chalkboards.
This was the beginning of new learning for both my daughter and I. I, as a mother had to embrace and ‘buy in to Waldorf Education. I now felt ready to take this step after seeing my daughter coming out of her cocoon. And even when my daughter Anisha, now 22 years old looks back on her time at Gaia, she looks back with only fond memories of her Primary years.
I could give some advice to all parents considering Waldorf school; do some research of your own and ask lots of questions. The Waldorf educational approach has been researched and written about extensively, and the movement has its own website, with books, curriculum, and research articles. There is also a listing of accredited Waldorf schools all around the globe. There are also several excellent independent books written about Waldorf Education.
To the Class 7 parents … thank for all the goodness that you showed me over the past five years. Next year, I intend taking it all with me and putting it into practise. I feel so grateful for the help, many conversations and knowledge that I received from you all.
Wishing you all strength and joy as you embark on a new journey next year.
Class 7 Teacher