New group to start in October 2019!

Waldorf Administration & Leadership Development

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Waldorf schools are self-administered, which means that most decisions are made on site by faculty, staff and trustees. This allows for policies that are child-centered and responsive to the changing needs of a local community and curriculum that corresponds to the child’s changing consciousness. Those who know the children make the decisions.

However, site-based management also presents significant challenges. Sometimes faculty members are selected to leadership roles based on their pedagogical dynamics, facilitation, con ict resolution, etc. Likewise, a school often hires administrative personnel with expertise in finances, development, admissions, marketing, etc. who have the needed skill sets but do not have a background in Waldorf education or the philosophy— Anthroposophy—that guides decision making in a Waldorf school. There is a need for greater role clarity so that groups, committees, and individuals work collaboratively rather than at cross purposes.

Antioch University New England is pleased to announce a learning experience custom designed to bridge the gaps between pedagogy and administrative expertise.

Who should attend?

  1. Administrative staff who have expertise in specific areas of school admin but need more background in Waldorf, Anthroposophy, collaboration and group dynamics.
  2. Waldorf school leaders such as faculty chair, college chair, committee chairs, etc., who are experienced in pedagogy but now have been asked to serve in a variety of leadership roles and need additional skill sets.
  3. Administrators from Camphill communities and other non-profit ventures based upon Anthroposophy.

We hope participants will experience first-hand the kind of collaboration needed in schools yet without the high stakes of their own place of employment. The design of the program will allow all groups to interact and even inform/learn from one another but at the same time have separate sessions based upon the needs of administrators or faculty leaders.

The Schedule

We’re mindful of time commitments and the limited funds available to schools, and have designed an economical, non- credit bearing experience focused on the working school leader, balancing face-to-face experiential learning, mentoring, and online learning. The entire program lasts just 13 months with only 15 days of required residency (in three five-day institutes) away from work and family. We will foster a retreat-like atmosphere for each residency while at the same time expecting a high level of focus and discourse.

Session 1  A five day residency in Keene, New Hampshire. Participants will travel on Friday and be welcomed Friday night with introductions and social activities. Classes will be held from 8:30am–5:30 pm. Anticipated cost: $1,500.

Participants may choose a five day Renewal course offered by the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire, in late June/early July. There are usually a dozen or more courses from which to choose. (Those who have recently done a Renewal course may ask to be excused from this session.) Anticipated cost: $500, payable to the Center for Anthroposophy.

Session 3 Online independent study will focus on a series of readings targeting one of the two threads (foundation studies or school leadership) and online postings of re ections on the readings, with emphasis on the question, “How can this material help me better navigate my journey in a Waldorf school?” No additional cost.

Session 4 Phone and email mentoring. Each participant will be matched with an experienced mentor in his/her eld and will be expected to spend at least one hour per week in a distant mentoring session (total of 10). These conversations will be con dential. Anticipated cost: $500, paid directly to the mentor.

Session 5 A final five-day institute in Keene, NH. Further content will be offered on a variety of themes, experiences of the past year will be shared and processed with an empahsis on case studies and problem solving.  Anticipated cost: $1,500.

Total Cost: $4,000

Application Information

Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis, first-come, first served. Required information for applicants includes a summary of relevant past formal learning and work experience, a brief self-assessment of the candidate’s strengths and challenges as a school leader, and a letter of assurance from board or faculty leadership supporting the candidate’s participation in the program.
Send questions and apply to ACSR@antioch.edu.

Sample Morning Presentations by Torin Finser:

  • Role clarity in light of Waldorf School Governance and Organizational Dynamics
  • Strategic leadership vs. tactical decision making: alignment of accountability, authority and responsibility in the context of the threefold model
  • Agreements, including personal conduct, the importance of process and policy development, individual freedom vs, group accountability . . . HR issues (facing in)
  • Entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing, enrollment and community development (facing out)
  • Collaborative leadership and the search for common ground/consensus

Additional Sample Topics:
(with emphasis on practical skills, participants select a different topic each day)

  • Threefolding, from theory to practice
  • Basic HR best practices for non-finance leaders
  • Group dynamics and process
  • Parent relations
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Case Studies
  • Accessibility
  • Having dificult conversations
  • Developing a donor circle and philanthropy
  • Strategic planning and school development
  • Dynamics in the history of American education
  • Addressing biographical issues toward emotional health
  • Shared principles and core principles at the heart of Waldorf Education
  • Diversity and inclusion, cultural, religious, gender and orientation issues

Program Leadership

  • Torin Finser, Program Director
  • Laura Thomas, Administrator, lthomas@antioch.edu, 603-283-2302.
  • Faculty: Leonore Russell, Karine Finser, plus four guest presenters for each Keene institute