Renewal Courses 2023

Return to your classrooms inspired by new ideas to share and put into practice.

Welcome to Renewal 2023

This rejuvenating two-week professional development program offers a wide range of academic, artistic, and practical courses designed primarily to support independent and public Waldorf schools teachers, administrators, parents and board members, but open also to those seeking to enrich and deepen their lives through Anthroposophy.

Weeks & Dates

Week 1: Inspirations for Teaching and Leading June 25 –June 30 (online) $495

All online courses are live and interactive!
Participants can tune in from their chosen location ~

Inspirations for Teaching and Leading offers a week-long virtual retreat comprised of certificate-earning professional development courses in grades teaching and school leadership development. Online courses welcome participants to tune-in and be inspired 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.

 Daily Town Hall gatherings for Renewal participants will include singing with Meg O’Dell Chittenden, eurythmy with Leonore Russell, and thought-provoking conversations with 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.

Summer Renewal Courses 2023

Please choose one course for the week ~
Admission to all Town Hall Conversations is free for all Week I participants!

Inviting your students to join the circle is the work of first grade. Uniting individual beings into one whole class and leading that class through their first experience of grade school, is the work of the first-grade teacher. The first-grade year is a magical time where the children will learn how to learn through stories, songs, verses, and play. The foundations of literacy and numeracy including the forms, sounds, and sequences of letter and number symbols are laid and the world of reading, writing, and arithmetic gently unfolds. For the teacher, this first year is about getting to know the students, where they come from, who they are now, and how they fit together as part of the class. As a first-grade teacher, you are opening the door to the children’s experience of academic learning while nurturing their development as free, spiritual human beings. 

This course will address the essential elements of teaching first grade.  Topics will include storytelling including suggestions for selecting stories; circle work, movement, and rhythmic activities; artistic work including guided drawing, form drawing, painting, and beeswax modeling. We will discuss how to foster a reverence for the natural world through nature studies, the festivals of the year, and seasonal crafts. Through the lens of the developing child, we will look at how the first-grade curriculum for language arts and math, as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, can be interpreted in a contemporary context for the children of today. We will talk about creating an inclusive classroom environment and lessons, as well as ways to promote a sense of belonging and community within the class. We will look at developing good classroom and work habits for the children including respect for themselves and others. We will also discuss the work of the teacher including suggestions for planning the year, block rotations, daily rhythms, parent meetings and communication, classroom management, and the growing need for supporting the children’s social and emotional health, and self-regulation skills.  

Participants will receive resources for every aspect of the year.  Examples of main lesson book pages, songs, poems, speech work, and activities will be provided as well as sample block plans, parent communications and a comprehensive resource reading list. Together, we will engage in drawing, painting, and beeswax modeling, as well as plenty of time for discussion and questions.  


Jennifer Persinotti is an experienced class teacher at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia. A Waldorf student herself as well as the child of a veteran Waldorf teacher, she has been in and around the world of Waldorf education her whole life. With an undergraduate degree in secondary education Earth and Space Science and Waldorf certofocate from Sunbridge Institute, she has found her calling as a Waldorf educator.  

Second grade students live between universal archetypes and the individuality streaming to them from the future. They remain immersed in the world of imagination while seeking to find use for their powers of will. The beautiful images living in the stories from first grade are now brought into sharper focus while being translated into fundamental capacities and skills. How can we build practical aspects of literacy and numeracy through these imaginative paths while supporting the healthy development of the child as a future citizen of our contemporary world?


The curriculum of the second grade meets this stage of development with fables, folk tales, and stories of individuals that address the inner questions faced by seven- and eight-year-olds. Animals exemplifying human qualities help to bring to life in a humorous way the serious choices that form character. Stories of great individuals from many cultures present examples of what people can achieve when they dedicate themselves to a purpose-driven life, often despite significant struggle.


In this course we will work together to form a living picture of the second grader, discuss methods and approaches, and learn practical activities and strategies. We will discuss each block through the year, share resource suggestions, and examine student work. Elements of movement, speech, form drawing, and painting will accompany practical strategies in language and math. Forming positive class routines, practicing effective classroom management, and working with parents will also be explored.


Chalk drawing by  Zoë Eisenberg

Michael Gannon has been teaching and learning from classes at Spring Garden Waldorf School for the past 21 years. Now on his third cycle through the grades, he is inspired by connecting ancient wisdom with imagination for the future. He received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Hiram College before completing a Master’s degree through Antioch University New England. In addition to guiding his current class through the grades, he works as a remote mentor and consultant with other Waldorf schools and is a member of the core faculty of the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute teacher training program.

Week 1 (online): $450 

Week 2 (in person): $750

Limited financial aid and/or payment plan may be requested by selecting corresponding “Registration Type” on the registration form (illustrated below). Practicing teachers (Waldorf & Other) please remember to list the name of your school and the grade you teach.

The first page of your registration form. For illustration only.

a screenshot of the first page of Renewal Registration

You may cancel your registration before May 1 and receive full refund, less $75 cancellation fee. No refunds available as of May 1.

When 3 or more teachers from the same school are registered at the same time they are automatically eligible for a 10% Group discount. School administrators should email with teachers’ names, contact information and the course each one wishes to attend and we will generate one discounted invoice and email it to school for payment (either online or by paper check).

Week 2 Room and Board Pricing

Please see accommodation descriptions and directions here.

High Mowing Dorms:

  • Single Occupancy – $200 (no longer available)
  • Shared Occupancy – $150
  • “Village Housing” – $135

Franklin Pierce University:

  • Shared Town House – $250

On-campus Meals:

  • Breakfasts – $50
  • Snacks – $30
  • Lunches – $70
  • Dinners – $40
For individual course descriptions please click on a selected course title below or…
register here

For directions via multiple modes of transportation and other important information you’ll need during your stay, click here.

Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.

Director of Renewal Courses

portrait of Milan Daler

Milan Daler

Program Admissions

(603) 654-2566

Contact Karen for questions about the Program, or Milan about Admissions.

Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.

Director of Renewal Courses

portrait of Milan Daler

Milan Daler

Program Admissions

(603) 654-2566

Contact Karen for questions about the Program, or Milan about Admissions.

Our 2022 Renewal Courses line-up + daily schedules (below the poster on the right)

Click on each course title for detailed descriptions
WEEK 1 Inspirations! June 26th to July 1st (online)
Preparing for Grade 1: Once Upon A Time with Lori Ann Kran read more…
Preparing for Grade 2: From Form to Solid Foundation with Michael Gannon read more…
Preparing for Grade 3: Becoming a Steward of the Earth: Awakening to Self & Surroundings with Kris Ritz read more….
Preparing for Grade 4: Celebrating the Earth: Hearing the Voices of our Elders, Reclaiming the Sacred with Kevin Kilb read more…
Preparing for Grade 5: The Golden Age: Feet upon the Ground, Gaze toward the Heavens with Jen Kershaw read more…
Preparing for Grade 6: From Chaos and Coldness to Order and Compassion with Anne Clair Goodman read more…
Preparing for Grade 7: A Year of Awakening & Exploring with Wendy Kelly read more…
Preparing for Grade 8: Awakening to Adolescence in a Rapidly Changing World with Sarah Nelson read more…
Curative Education with Robyn Brown read more…
Waldorf Leadership Development  with Torin Finser and Special Guests read more…
Special Features in Week 1
  • Keynote Address and daily lectures by Christof Wiechert
  • Circle games and movement activities for grades 1-5 with Jan Lyndes
  • Daily singing and music instruction for grades 1-8 with Meg Chittenden
  • Daily eurythmy with Leonore Russell
  • Answering the Call for Decolonization: Reflections on the Waldorf Curriculum for Grades 6-8 with Alison Henry and Guests read more…
Town Halls: Diversity in Waldorf Education: Do mysteries still exist? with Christof Wiechert read more…
WEEK 2 Return to Community! July 3rd to July 8th (in person)
Make Up Your Mind: Navigating Color Through Polarity with Charles Andrade read more…
Living Thinking with Michael D’Aleo read more…
Making Math Meaningful: The Joy of Learning Math in Grades 1-5 with Nettie Fabrie and Wim Gottenbos read more…
Bringing a Living Approach to Teaching Physical Sciences in Grades 6, 7, and 8 with Gary Banks read more…
Cosmic Cycles, Earthly Rhythms with Mary Stewart Adams (Star Lore Historian) read more…
The Art and Craft of Subject Teaching in a Waldorf School with Jason Child read more…
Special Feature in Week 2 Evening Lecture with Adam Blanning, MD
Wednesday, July 6th at 7 pm. Open to the Public, all are welcome. read more…
Please click here for Center for Anthroposophy Evening Events, July 4-7, 2022

Program Leadership

Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.

Director of Renewal Courses


Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.
Robyn Brown
Chris Burke, Ph.D.
Meg Chittenden, M.Ed.
Michael D’Aleo, M.S.Ed.
Nettie Fabrie
Torin Finser, Ph.D.
Michael Gannon
Juliana Weeks
Anne Clair Goodman, M.Ed.
Wim Gottenbos
Alison Henry, M.Ed.

Wendy Kelly, M.S.Ed.
Jen Kershaw
Lori Kran, Ph.D.
Jan Lyndes, M.Ed.
Sarah Nelson
Kris Ritz
Lisa Romero
Leonore Russell, M.A.
Jeff Spade
Christof Wiechert

Please take a look at our last pre-Covid Renewal Courses

Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.

Director of Renewal Courses at the Center for Anthroposophy

Long-time Waldorf teacher, former Leadership Council Member for AWSNA, Program Director of Renewal Courses, and Coordinator of Administrative Leadership Program and Mentoring Services at the Center for Anthroposophy, as well as Lower School Faculty Chair at Gathering Waters School. Providing pedagogical leadership support for teachers, faculty chairs, pedagogical administrators, professional development coordinators, and school mentors.

portrait of Milan Daler

Milan Daler

Administrator, Center for Anthroposophy, community activist and former Waldorf parent.