One of the things I really like about Waldorf education is the attention that the teachers spend on creating a warm, inviting, classroom. Every class I’ve seen has a “Nature Table”, for example, where students bring in interesting or cool things they’ve found in the great outdoors, be it a rock, stick, leaf, snake skin, or whatever else catches their eye.
In our school, parents also take turns being the flower fairy, which is what I find myself having to deal with tonight, even though it’s almost 11pm. The flower fairy, as we say, waits for no-one…
What’s a flower fairy? It’s a parent who picks (or, more commonly, buys) flowers and brings them into the classroom, to arrange as a few bouquets in vases and perhaps leaves one or two on the nature table too.
With the warm colors of a typical Waldorf classroom, the requirement that children wear non-logo clothing, and the attention of the teachers towards creating a good learning environment, it’s quite a shock to visit non-Waldorf classrooms and find them so sterile and cold by comparison.
As with much involved with a private school, it’s easy to see the benefit of the additional expectations on the parents, but it’s also easy to see how enrolling your children in an independent school is really more about enrolling your family in the school!
Meanwhile, I gotta pop out now and buy some flowers, so tomorrow we can help the flower fairy make our daughter’s classroom look beautiful, warm and inviting, the perfect environment to be maximally conducive to learning.
See ya in a few!
hi there! my son is only 7 weeks old, but i am already looking into schools lol. i am MORE than interested in a Waldorf school for my son, but every time i do a search on them, i come up with very few results. we live in southern maine…do you know of any near us or of any helpful links?
You can find contact information for Waldorf schools and nursery programs at http://www.waldorfearlychildhood.org/membership_directory.asp
You might also be interested in Sophia’s Hearth in Southern New Hampshire: http://www.sophiashearth.org/
I’ve been involved with Waldorf for many years and I highly recommend it, especially for early childhood. The WECAN site listed above is a great resource.
You can find a listing of Waldorf schools and early childhood programs in your area on this site:
WECAN is a great resource for early childhood.
Also you might be interested in Sophia’s Hearth in Southern New Hampshire: http://www.sophiashearth.org/
I’ve been involved with Waldorf for many years and recommend it highly, especially for early childhood.
I agree that Waldorf schools are terrific. No doubt about it. As are Montessori and many “alternative” schools.
But I want to stick up for public school teachers and their classrooms. Sure some of these teachers don’t care about kids. And some of them have sterile and cold classrooms.
But many do not. I’m a solo entrepreneur who works with teachers and am often in their classrooms–from Montessori pre-schools to public elementary schools to private and alternative schools. And I’m happy to report that I’ve seen some delightful, learning-and-kid-friendly, warm classrooms in everyday public school classrooms.
Bottom line, when you’re picking a school for your kids, don’t go for some generic preference: only Waldorf or only alternative or only parochial.
Check out the schools and principals and teachers in your neighborhood or city very carefully. You may be surprised.
And stop getting excited about articles in the NYT and Wall Street Journal that report such things as “Alternative schools not doing better after all.”
Which alternative schools? Where? Why? After all our kids don’t go to some big national one-size-fits all school. I don’t care what the national statistics are. I want to know what’s going on in the 4-5 schools that are options for my grandchildren.
And where are your children, based on their individual needs and personalities, the happiest. Where will they do their best? Could be one child will love Waldorf and your second child won’t go for it at all.