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A Healing Education

A Letter from Head of School

Pictured above from left to right: Maribeth Hagley, Ursa Smith, Jill Zihar, Amanda Kenney, and Ikhlasah Woodburn

How many schools do you know of that were created to be a healing education? This was the impetus behind the first Waldorf school started in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. Over 100 years later, this remains the impulse of Waldorf schools today. Last weekend, several of our teachers (pictured above) attended the annual Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) Conference entitled “Toward a Kinder, More Compassionate Society—Finding Our Ways”. Below are the titles of the workshops they attended:

  • Inclusion Through Ring Games

  • A Practical Look at Creating and Running a Thriving Waldorf Birth to 3 Program

  • Ensouling Story with Care and Compassion

  • The Ups and Downs of Self Regulation During Collaborative Work

I spoke with the teachers when they came back as they shared the inspiration they experienced. One teacher said, “I feel happier coming back to work!”

This morning, I was able to spend a little time in an early childhood play yard, and I realized I heard their work in action. Teachers model beautiful ways to help children “find their ways” with one another. I heard phrases like: “We aren’t using pushing hands. We have enough love for one another not to do that.“ “I know you’re excited to see your friend, but this is too much of a welcome.” And I heard a child say, “I have my bubble up”, meaning they need some space. This is also true in the grades. In one class today, parts for a play were given out. I heard one child say to another who I’m guessing didn’t get their top choice, “I’m jealous, but I’m happy for you.” The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh is finding ways toward a kinder, more compassionate society. This is daily, on-going work. Thank you for being part of this effort. Thank you for choosing Waldorf education as a healing education, for your interest and for your support in this important and meaningful work. With gratitude as we find our ways together, Kirsten Christopherson-Clark Head of School


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