By Karen Atkinson
It has been three years and two months. We are all well aware of the impact the pandemic has had on societies across the globe. Given the effects of climate change and the increased influence of technology in our daily lives, it is no wonder we observe children displaying heightened symptoms of anxiety and a general sense of unease with the world around them.
It is not just the children who have felt the impact of these seismic shifts in our world, but also their parents and, yes, our teachers too. The landscape of education has changed. A path that was once clear to travel has become ever more challenging. As teachers and leaders, it is our role to be awake to these changes and find new ways to support our youth towards a future full of promise, one that they deserve and will be excited to grow into.
Before we begin to navigate our way forward, teachers and leaders would do well to imagine how they can attend to their own personal well-being in an effort to cultivate the conditions necessary for our children to thrive. Leaning into wellness is an important lesson we have been learning during the past several years. After all, how can we educate our youth if we ourselves are not radiating a feeling of goodness, balance, confidence, hope, happiness, and inspiration?
Rudolf Steiner often referred to the importance of who the teacher is that stands before the children each day, making it clear that every one of us needs to take care of our own forces in order to be worthy of standing before the children. “ You cannot be good teachers and educators,” he told the first circle of Waldorf teachers on their first day of their preparatory course, “if you only look at what you are doing and not at what you are.” (Rudolf Steiner, First Teachers’ Course, Lecture 1).
Leaning into wellness is not a luxury; it is a necessity for educators of today and tomorrow. We can find inspiration from connecting with others, from a walk in nature, or from learning something new that inspires us. Renewal Courses is designed just for this purpose!
I hope you will join us this summer for a week-long retreat to be inspired and prepared to return to your classroom with fresh ideas. Renewal Courses offer two week-long professional development opportunities including a choice of as many as 20 courses designed to cultivate the capacities needed to be the best teacher and leader that your school community deserves.
Inspiration for Teaching and Leading
Renewal Courses during the week of 25-30 June 2023, for Grades Preparation and Waldorf Leadership, provide flexibility and accessibility. Led by our highly experienced faculty, courses will take place virtually through a balance of online and offline times. Inspiring experiences––offered live and in real-time––allow participants preparing for their year ahead the freedom to tune in from their own chosen location. Each day includes eurythmy, singing, and engagement with the arts, as well as curriculum guidance, resources for teaching (available to you all year!), and opportunities to connect with colleagues around the globe.
These Renewal Courses are open to Waldorf teachers and administrators, as well as parents, trustees, artists, and thinkers seeking to deepen their lives through anthroposophy. Finding renewal and gaining inspiration is at the heart of our summer courses.
- Preparing for Grade 1 ~ with Jen Persinotti
- Preparing for Grade 2 ~ with Michael Gannon
- Preparing for Grade 3 ~ with Kris Ritz
- Preparing for Grade 4 ~ with Joshua Gartland
- Preparing for Grade 5 ~ with Jen Kershaw
- Preparing for Grade 6 ~ with Anne Clair Goodman
- Preparing for Grade 7 ~ with Alison Henry
- Preparing for Grade 8 ~ with Sarah Nelson
- Waldorf Leadership Development ~ with Torin Finser
Included during this first week of Renewal (online) will be six Town Hall Conversations with special guest presenters Alison Henry, Angela Lindstrom, and Heather Scott on “Answering the Call for Decolonization: Reflections on the Waldorf Curriculum”, as well as lively discussions with Adrienne Patrick and Irene Richardson exploring “Opportunities for Growth in Community and Curriculum”. Music with Meg O’Dell Chittenden and Eurythmy with Leonore Russell will contribute to the wellspring of spirit light and soul nourishment.
Renewal Courses during the week of 2-7 July 2023 will include a dynamic array of topics taught by our seasoned instructors, bringing community together through rich engagement with the arts and opportunities for personal connections, all deepened through anthroposophy. Join us on the idyllic campus of High Mowing School in Wilton, NH for our annual in-person week of Renewal Courses.
Rest and unwind while engaging with anthroposophy and connecting with a wide community of individuals inspired by Waldorf education. These courses will take you on a journey towards new horizons as you explore insightful ideas and best practices for your classroom and school community. I hope you can join us for this rich opportunity to deepen connections––live and in person––this summer!
- Projective Geometry and Plant Study ~ with Henrike and Craig Holdrege
- Child and Student Study Through Elementary and High School ~ with Christof Wiechert
- Teaching Subject Classes in Independent and Public Waldorf Education ~ with Jason Child
- Chalkboard Painting and Classroom Art in Grades 1-5 ~ with Adrienne Patrick
- Art History and Evolution of Human Consciousness, for Grades 6-12 ~ with Patrick Stolfo
- The Art of Storytelling: Social Justice, Inner Development, and a Healing Education ~ with Irene Richardson
- Teaching Physical Science in Grades 6, 7, & 8 ~ with Will Minehart
- Transforming Perspectives on Technology: Working with Eurythmy and Charcoal Drawing ~ with Jason Yates
Registration is now open! For more information, please visit our website: Renewal Courses 2023 – CFA – Waldorf Teacher Professional Development
May your days be filled with happiness, and may summertime bring you inspiration and Renewal!
With all good wishes,
Director of Renewal