By Karen Atkinson
Reflecting on Summer 2022
Gazing back over this past summer, I am filled with tremendous gratitude for our Renewal community and the sensational faculty who lead courses rich with innovative ideas and inspiring content. At the heart of each offering was the foundational experience of connecting with one another. Our instructors made this their priority, while crafting impressive lessons and offering alternative ways to shape their course content.
In an effort to support our wide-reaching Renewal community, our grade-specific courses during the first week were offered online. Participants were invited to tune in from their own chosen location and participate live in real-time classes, while engaging in an interactive learning journey. In this way, they experienced a rich learning opportunity designed to help them prepare for the year ahead, eliminating the need to arrange for travel, lodging, meals, and childcare.
The second week of Renewal brought us back in person for a summer retreat on the idyllic hilltop setting of High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire, after a two-year absence. Participants gathered for the opportunity to rest and unwind, while engaging with anthroposophy and connecting with a wide community of individuals inspired by Waldorf education.
The unexpected result of connecting with many other Waldorf educators and like-minded individuals, during in-between moments throughout the week, allowed our community to weave together the magic of each day. In addition to connecting with colleagues in a shared course, there were daily experiences, such as morning eurythmy, mealtimes, afternoon singing, and evening events for all Renewal participants, including participants enrolled in CfA’s Waldorf high school teacher training program, the Kairos Institute, and the Waldorf Program at Antioch University New England.
Imagining Summer 2023
Shifting my gaze forward to the next summer of Renewal Courses, I can already share the following dates and themes. Please mark your calendars and save the dates!
Week I: Inspiration and Renewal for Grades’ Teachers and School Leaders (online)
Sunday, June 25 – Friday, June 30, 2023
Week II: Deepening Our Knowledge and Connections (in person)
Sunday, July 2 – Friday, July 7, 2023
Embracing the present moment, being mindful of the important issues that are making an impact on our lives, and finding the courage to take up these challenges all continue to guide my own thinking, feeling, and everyday actions. In helping to provide teachers in both independent and charter Waldorf schools with rich professional development opportunities, I have many exciting plans in process that I look forward to sharing with all of you soon. In the meantime, I am sending good wishes to each of you.
May your communities be energized by the strength of the season.
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.
Images from the in-person week of a summer retreat on the idyllic hilltop setting of High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire, after a two-year absence.
Cosmic Cycles, Earthly Rhythms
with Mary Stewart Adams (Star Lore Historian)
The Art and Craft of Subject Teaching in a Waldorf School with Jason Child
Making Math Meaningful: The Joy of Learning Math in Grades 1-5 with Nettie Fabrie and Wim Gottenbos
Bringing a Living Approach to Teaching Physical Sciences in Grades 6, 7, and 8 with Gary Banks
Closing on July 8 with Karen Atkinson, Douglas Gerwin, and the instructors and participants from the Renewal classes:
- Make Up Your Mind: Navigating Color Through Polarity with Charles Andrade
- Living Thinking with Michael D’Aleo
- Cosmic Cycles, Earthly Rhythms with Mary Stewart Adams (Star Lore Historian)
- The Art and Craft of Subject Teaching in a Waldorf School with Jason Child
- Making Math Meaningful: The Joy of Learning Math in Grades 1-5 with Nettie Fabrie and Wim Gottenbos
- Bringing a Living Approach to Teaching Physical Sciences in Grades 6, 7, and 8 with Gary Banks
Wrapping up with a speech eurythmy piece with Leonore Russell, Maria Ver Eecke (not in this photo), Carsten Callesen, and Debbie Spitulnik.