Waldorf school training––whether as an early childhood educator, elementary school class teacher, or high school subjects teacher––usually involves three phases.
In a first phase, a prospective Waldorf educator will usually join a study group on anthroposophy or a cluster of Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts. The Center for Anthroposophy, among other organizations, sponsors these clusters in many different places around the United States –– from Maine to Florida on the East Coast to Arizona and California on the West Coast. Most clusters are held on the site of Waldorf schools, which provide local support for these clusters. Each cluster is custom designed to suit the needs of its host community, but typically classes in Foundations Studies meet twice a month for two consecutive school years, either on weekends or during week nights. In parts of the country where clusters are not offered, the Center can arrange one-on-one Foundation Studies with a mentor in its Individual Mentor Foundation Studies program.
Once a prospective Waldorf teacher has completed a course of Foundation Studies, the next phase of Waldorf school training involves taking teacher preparation classes. The Center for Anthroposophy offers a part-time program each summer in Wilton, New Hampshire for high school teachers. This program––the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program––involves three consecutive summer intensives, each four weeks long, plus two years of independent studies including a research project and a teaching practicum in a Waldorf high school. Those wishing to become a Waldorf teacher at the early childhood or elementary school level can apply to the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England in Keene NH, an accredited masters program that works in conjunction with the Center’s programs.
The process of becoming a Waldorf teacher does not end with Waldorf training since this process lasts a lifetime. A third phase, then, of Waldorf teacher training involves one-week refresher Waldorf classes, called Renewal Courses, which are also held each year in Wilton, New Hampshire during June and July.