A Letter from Our Head of School
Dear WSP Families and Friends, Today was our last day of programming for the 2020–21 school year. Our Little Friends program remained in session two weeks beyond our other early childhood and grades classes who were finished as of June 10 this year. It is awe-inspiring to watch these little ones each morning as they engage in the world around them with unencumbered curiosity, compassion, and courage. Indeed, Waldorf Education is the education of head, heart, and hands. Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of more often visiting the Mulberry Play Yard to listen to the Little Friends delight in the discovery of creatures like roly-poly potato bugs hidden under rocks with wonderings of “is the roly-poly sleeping or maybe just a little frightened?” I noted a child wearing heart glasses (called “support glasses” by her teacher) worn as a sign of solidarity for her classmate who wears glasses. What a beautiful metaphor for seeing one another through the lens of love! I quietly watched as the children worked together moving bricks to make an oven, “We can build!” they repeated over and over. Indeed, they can, and so can we as a Waldorf school! The children demonstrated what I had been hearing all week long in a conference on Waldorf Education—the aim of Waldorf Education is “courageous learning through compassionate curiosity.” Eleven WSP faculty and administrators participated in the first ever joint virtual summer conference School Renewal and the Heart of Change hosted by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, and the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education. As Waldorf Education celebrates 101 years, the Waldorf movement came together to examine, reflect, and imagine our potential as Waldorf schools for the next 100 years, meeting challenges of our times by continuing to grow and evolve from the seeds planted by Waldorf Education’s founder, Rudolf Steiner. These past sixteen months have been unprecedented and challenging for all of us in so many ways. They have given us an opportunity to look anew at our relationships with race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, technology, nature, community, and more. Individually and collectively, we have been changed and have grown because of our experiences. Because we are connected as a community, we feel the vibration of that change and growth within our entire system—positive, negative, or simply new. This week’s conference offered Faculty and Administration the opportunity to examine our connections and how systems come into being. We have been challenged to ask ourselves questions like: What is being asked of us during this time of change? How can we imagine a different future for our children through education? How can we raise a just generation? How can we work with unconscious bias? How can we listen to the seeds that guide us in our lives and work for the future? Throughout this past year, our awareness for one another has increased, and this is at the heart of meaningful change. As one of our presenters, Victoria Reyes of Austin Waldorf School, shared: Reach for awareness. Education is about awareness. DEI work is about awareness. Systems Thinking is about awareness.
Awareness is the greatest agent for change. Change is the greatest agent for growth. Growth is the greatest agent for healing. Healing is the greatest agent for renewal. As a school, we remain incredibly grateful to our entire community to have ended the 2020–21 school year together and strong. We have learned so much from one another this year, and we rejoice in the immense capacities of our students. We take our growing awareness into the summer months with the vision of returning in August renewed and ready for a thriving new school year. We are excited about the changes that will come as we continue to grow together. Wishing you a summer of renewal, Kirsten Christopherson-Clark Head of School