Teaching Grade 2: From Form to Solid Foundation

with Michael Gannon

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 the serious choices that form character in a humorous way. 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. Discussions will include contemporary pedagogically appropriate impulses for the teacher as Waldorf education enters the next hundred years.

As current situations have forced changes in the way we interact with our classes, Michael has been interested in determining how the impulses behind Waldorf education can be re-imagined. Continuing to foster healthy human interactions and the development of students in a time of virtual experiences and individual circumstances will be a topic of conversation throughout the course, and as a group we will begin to form and share ideas about how Waldorf education can meet the needs of, and adapt to, the requirements of our current time. He is excited to work with all online course participants and to find ways to make this experience meet their needs.

Morning lectures with Christof Wiechert 
Singing with Meg Chittenden

Michael Gannon

Michael Gannon has been teaching and learning from classes at Spring Garden Waldorf School for the past 17 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.

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