By Karen Atkinson
CfA has been offering inspiring summertime Renewal Courses for Waldorf teachers and school leaders for over two decades, maintaining a connection with educators and administrative personnel in independent and public Waldorf schools. Renewal Courses are designed to support all who participate in the holistic educational process of our children and youth, today and into the future.
The concerns of our time are many. Questions of equality, the need for diversity, a feeling of belonging, and pathways of accessibility––along with the social and emotional well-being of our youth, climate concerns, and political upheaval––all reside at the forefront of teachers and school administrators. Our children and youth are raising important questions and actively urging their teachers to meet them in new ways. The roads we once traveled as educators now lead across landscapes littered with obstacles. The students who stand before us are expressing needs that sometimes go beyond the scope of our capacities as teachers. The time has come to shift our gaze, our thinking, and our practices in order to reimagine the manifold ways in which Waldorf education can bring inspiring and innovative educational approaches to our children and youth of today and tomorrow.
This coming April, the World Teachers’ Conference will take place at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, to explore the theme of “Affirming, Nurturing, Trusting: An Education for Today and Tomorrow.” Conference coordinators hope to open up future possibilities for our children and young people––a future in which they can feel safe, welcomed, supported, accepted, and seen; a future in which they can successfully connect with fellow human beings and contribute successfully to society.
Inspired by this very theme, Renewal’s summer courses have been crafted to meet those who care for and lead our Waldorf students across the globe. Over a period of two weeks, there will be twenty courses to choose from!
Inspiration for Teaching and Leading ~ 25-30 June 2023 (online)
Offers a week-long virtual retreat comprised of certificate-earning professional development courses in grades teaching and school leadership development. Online courses allow participants to tune in from their own chosen summertime location. Our comprehensive online programming provides a healthy breathing rhythm between online and offline time, and includes daily singing, eurythmy, and engagement with the arts.
Participants will be preparing themselves to meet their students developmentally, socially, emotionally, artistically, and academically. Instructors will provide resources, inspirations, and direct guidance for engaging with best practices in Waldorf education today. Jen Persinotti, Michael Gannon, Kris Ritz, Joshua Gartland, Jen Kershaw, Anne Clair Goodman, Alison Henry, Sarah Nelson, and Torin Finser will be leading these online courses.
Special Events / Town Hall Conversations
This first week will feature six daily Town Hall Conversations for all Renewal participants combining singing (Meg O’Dell Chittenden) and eurythmy (Leonore Russell) with thought-provoking conversations (led by Alison Henry, Angela Lindstrom, and Heather Scott) on “Answering the Call for Decolonization: Reflections on the Waldorf Curriculum.” Adrienne Patrick and Irene Richardson will explore the theme of “Opportunities for Growth in Community and Curriculum.” Town Hall Conversations, free for Week I participants, will also be open to those seeking to deepen their knowledge and expand their connections to anthroposophy, diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging. Those not attending a course during Week I can purchase a “Town Hall Conversations Only” ticket for access to the following topics:
- Answering the Call for Decolonization: Recognizing the Narratives that Perpetuate
- Answering the Call for Decolonization: Recognizing the Narratives that Disrupt
- Answering the Call for Decolonization: Recognizing the Narratives that Heal
- Opportunities for Growth in Community and Curriculum: Connecting with the Self
- Opportunities for Growth in Community and Curriculum: Identity, Anthroposophy, and Community
- Opportunities for Growth in Community and Curriculum: Deepening Your Work
Renewal Courses during Week I are intended to help elementary school teachers prepare for grades teaching and school leadership. Waldorf educators and personnel have the opportunity to refresh, renew, and be inspired from their own chosen summertime location.
Participants during this week can tune in to prepare for their year ahead without having to travel or coordinate care for their families. Our “live and interactive” courses are taught by highly experienced instructors who have designed their virtual classes with teachers and school leaders in mind. A midday start (EST) allows participants from multiple time zones the world over to take part in these essential courses. Our online courses are financially accessible to all––without leaving much of a carbon footprint!
Deepening our Connections ~ 2-7 July 2023 (in person)
Offers a week-long summer retreat on the idyllic campus of High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire. Participants will have the opportunity to rest and unwind while engaging in anthroposophy and the arts, connecting with a wide community of individuals inspired by Waldorf education.
This coming summer will offer a choice of eleven week-long, certificate-earning professional development courses:
- Living in Transformations – Projective Geometry and Plant Study with Henrike and Craig Holdrege
- The Child and Student Study through Elementary and High School with Christof Wiechert, Eurythmy with Cezary Ciaglo
- Teaching Subject Classes in Independent and Public Waldorf Schools with Jason Child
- Into the Black: Personal and Universal Biography-Informed Chalkboard Painting and Classroom Art in Grades 1-5 with Adrienne Patrick
- Art History and the Evolution of Human Consciousness, for Upper Grades and High School with Patrick Stolfo
- The Art of Storytelling: Using the Language of the Archetypes for Social Justice, Inner Development, and a Healing Education with Irene Richardson
- Teaching Physical Science in Grades 6, 7, 8 with Will Minehart
- The Class Play with Rob Lanier
- Transforming Perspectives on Technology: Working with Eurythmy and Charcoal Drawing with Jason Yates
- Introduction to Eurythmy in the Working Life: Bringing Harmony to Everyday Social and Working Interactions with Leonore Russell
- Living Thinking with Hugh Renwick
Evening Lectures with Christof Wiechert and Bernd Ruf
Community Music and 4th of July Celebration
Everyone is Welcome!
Renewal Courses offer professional development opportunities for Waldorf teachers, administrators, parents, trustees, artists, and thinkers seeking to enrich their lives through anthroposophy. Week-long retreats consist of certificate-earning classes in grades teaching, school leadership, and a variety of courses in the arts designed to support independent and public Waldorf school communities. Led by a stellar line-up of instructors, Renewal Courses inspire innovative thinking and the opportunity to engage through the arts in a chosen educational field. I look forward to seeing you all this summer! Click here to visit the Renewal Courses web page.