POEM: What Is A Waldorf School?

By Ellyn Hilliard, 7th grade teacher at Desert Star Community School

“What is a Waldorf School?”, you say,
While on your way to Opening Day.
You know there’s something strange and new
But you don’t know just what they do.
You toured campus late last week,
Each colored classroom, you got a peek,
Your kids are curious, and so are you,
Why is the fifth-grade classroom blue?
What’s all that yarn and colored thread,
The wooden swords and fresh baked bread,
Those funny books on every desk?
Do they read here? Do they test?
I don’t see laptops in the rooms.
They’re planting flowers with the moon.
And who is Loki, who is Thor?
I really must discover more.

So, Waldorf is a type of school
Where things are taught with different rules.
We try to teach with head, hands, heart,
And call on every single part.
We sculpt the body, train the hands,
So when the children truly can,
They take our stories deep inside,
And let imagination guide.
Through fairy tales and native lore
Of knights and kingdoms, dwarves and more.

Then when they’re whole, strong and steady,
The mind is waiting at the ready,
For thoughtful insights, deeper knowledge,
The kind they talk about in college.
Experiments with light and sound,
And magma lava underground,
Shakespeare verse, medieval chants,
St. George and dragon, Maypole dance,
The preamble of the Constitution,
And social change with revolution,
Discussions of life’s destiny,To find my place, “where will I be?”

A hundred years ago today,
A group in Stuttgart made their way,
To see man’s learning as a fire,
That kindled up a strong desire,
To focus on the critical thought,
And bring the truth to what they sought.
By working with the feeling soul,
And tuning up the thinking goal,
We’ll turn out conscious human beings
With new ideas and deeper feelings.
Their purpose clear is all unfurled:
To make this place a better world.

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