By Torin Finser
A recent trip to Brazil, where I worked with teachers in a variety of schools, including those teaching in the favela, showed me how international is the need for leadership development.
My Brazilian colleagues articulated many of the same questions we carry in North America: how to work with group dynamics, support initiative, facilitate good meetings, resolve conflict, heal organizational trauma, build healthy parent-teacher relations, and so forth. Schools in New Zealand have asked for an introductory leadership workshop, and inquiries are coming in from Canada, Mexico, and other communities where Waldorf schools are trying to fulfill their mandate to serve the high ideals of Waldorf education.
Often the need to “remove hindrances” described in the pedagogical realm also applies to school governance. One colleague said, “Can we just start by learning to get out of our own way? Why is self-administration so difficult?”
Although much of the adult work is embedded in the general challenges of this age of the Consciousness Soul, there are techniques and insights that can help us govern our schools more efficiently and with greater skill. We don’t need to spend so much time in meetings, and leaders can be cultivated and not just “volunteered.” But in order to get beyond the all-too-frequent experience of “reluctant leaders,” we need to work together to build trust, born of shared agreements and clear roles and expectations. There are ways to build healthy communities, but we need to devote some time and resources to get there!
In our experience, when a school sends a small team of participants to our Waldorf Leadership Development program, they return to their school with greater impact. To that end we offer a group discount for three or more participants coming from the same institution. But we also welcome single registrations from those serving in new or changing pedagogical or administrative roles. Click here to see our website for more details.
The next cycle of this one-year program, mostly online, begins on Saturday, 11 May 2024.