Pioneers in Soccer

This fall the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm team fielded its first ever soccer team. Calling themselves “The Pioneers,” they opened the season with a tie as they found their footing and began to gel as a team. It didn’t take long, as experienced and new players alike quickly became a cohesive unit. The team finished strong, winning its last 5 games for an undefeated (5-0-1) inaugural season. Players, coaches and parents gathered after the final game last week to celebrate the team’s success and to thank the dedicated efforts of coaches Daniel Foster, Luciano Sappia and Christine Garcia-Akers. Coach Foster praised all of the players for their courage and for the support they showed one another throughout the season. Captain Quinton Dooley, speaking for himself and his teammates, closed the evening by noting how grateful he was finally to have a soccer team. Everyone is looking forward to building on these successes next fall!  -J....

An Inspiring Visit

The  7th and 8th grades were visited today by Shabana Basij-Rasikh.  Shabana shared that as a young girl in Kabul, Afghanistan, her parents, strong advocates for education for girls, dressed her as a boy in order for her to walk freely in the streets and secretly attend a school for girls. This was at great risk of death by the Taliban, which controlled the city. Shabana spoke to the students about her passion for education: “When you educate girls, you educate boys, too. For those girls become mothers who then have sons and share with them a passion for learning for all.”  She spoke passionately about students as leaders and told our students that they need to know that their work can change the world. Eventually, Shabana came to the United States to attend Middlebury College. On returning to Afghanistan,  she founded the SOLA (School of Leadership Afghanistan), a boarding school for girls.  Students are taught in English and many find sponsorships to help continue their education in Europe and the United States. We were happy to host Shabana today and her message served as an incredible reminder of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States — both in terms of educational opportunities and opportunities for girls and women.  She encouraged the students to travel and begin to get a perspective on their own lives by building their relationship to the whole world, and not just their town or country. The following shares some of the stories from the young women at SOLA –...

Five Reasons Why Parents Choose a Waldorf Education for Their Child

(reposted, from our northern neighbors at  Waldorf Canada, www.waldorf.ca) As a parent you can be sure that choosing a Waldorf education for your child is a safe and smart choice.  Your homework has already been done by millions of parents who’ve sent their own children to Waldorf schools across the globe. Here are 5 reasons why, over the past century, parents have made Waldorf one of the world’s largest independent schools systems: 1) Waldorf parents can be sure their child will be prepared and successful Research shows that 94% of North American Waldorf graduates attend university and an incredible 50% attain a Masters or PhD. University professors speak very highly of the assertive and engaged Waldorf graduates in their classes. Yet, leaders and employers are not looking for people who can simply pass tests and follow orders. Waldorf graduates are successful because they are confident, creative thinking individuals with the courage to change the world. Our alumni go on to rewarding careers and continue to value learning, work, relationships and an ethical approach to their chosen path. 2) Waldorf teachers are personable, insightful and committed Waldorf teachers are well trained professionals whom are experts at understanding what makes children tick. We know how to orchestrate a class of diverse learning styles and temperaments, using multiple methods of teaching to ensure that each child is warmed in their heart, skilled with their hands and sees clearly with their mind before advancing to the next thing. In the classroom Waldorf teachers interact with others with thoughtfulness and compassion, are capable and interested in many things and they make good decisions. They are...

Torin Finser on Parent-Teacher Relationships this Tuesday

Please join us on Tuesday evening, March 17, to hear Torin Finser speak about his latest book, “A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School.” Torin Finser, PhD., is Chair of the Education Department at Antioch University New England.  He has written extensively on Waldorf Education and consulted world-wide. More information on the event is here: http://waldorfmoraine.org/event/adult-speaker-series-3/   BOOK REVIEW: A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School|by Kathy McElveen, Austin Waldorf School The doorway to a classroom is a threshold where teacher and student meet. There is another kind of meeting at this threshold, that between the child’s parents and teacher. This important relationship receives thorough attention and its just due in Torin Finser’s book, The Second Classroom. “How adults work together can be as important as the curriculum on any given day.”  This is true at all levels of work in a school, in what the children learn as they watch adults interacting, in the effective working of the school community, and in the success of addressing the needs of a particular child.  Consciously and carefully cultivating relationships is the hard work of community building and this book is a treasure trove of practical advice, diverse experiences, and a call for action. There is value here for new and experienced parents, teachers, and school administrators or anyone interested in education.  There are practical tips for improving parent conferences and class meetings, strategies for “hard to handle parents”, as well as chapters on parent volunteers and the value of effective administration. Parents are challenged to be “co-responsible for the social health” of the class and encouraged to become part of an active...

Waldorf Community Association – Upcoming Events

From the WCA, Our School Parent Association The Waldorf Community Association (WCA) is looking forward to a full 2015.  Please take advantage of these offerings and please consider getting involved to help move the WCA into 2016 and beyond. Winter Festival Feb. 28  Yes, our first ever Winter Festival! A hot fire, warm soup, perhaps some cross-country skiing and/or a winter walk, and more. We’ll make snowmen if King Winter obliges. Please plan to join us for weekend fun here at school. Talk: Parent-Teacher Relationships at a Waldorf School Torin Finser is the chair of Waldorf teacher education program at Antioch University New England and is author of several books, including School as a Journey: The Eight-Year Odyssey of a Waldorf Teacher and His Class, and his most recent book, A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School, which was written with the help of our very own first grade teacher, Ana Reiselman. Please join us in March (date to be determined) for a presentation and discussion with Mr. Finser. Foundation Studies: Delving into Waldorf Education This is an invitation to participate in an extended inquiry into the ideas and practices of Waldorf Education. In this twice-monthly class, we will look at curriculum, try our hands at painting, music, movement, and other arts, and read some of the texts central to the Waldorf philosophy. September 2015 through June 2016 (with year II to follow). Please contact Colleen Ryan or James Kennedy today and look for more information in future Newsletters. Contact: cryan@waldorfmoraine.org and newsletter@waldorfmoraine.org. Lazure Workshop: Ensouling Your World With Color The WCA is working with artist Charles...