A Developing Member in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Serving Children From Early Childhood Through Eighth Grade
My Take: Why the PA Matters
My Take: Why the PA Matters
by Kathryn Koehler
After a fast paced day, dashing out in the gathering darkness to attend last Tuesday’s PA meeting, I remember thinking, Is it worth it; all of this hustle and bustle? To be sure, a more relaxed pace suits me better, but let’s face it: life in the 21st century is life in the fast lane.
The moment I arrived at school it was apparent that it is definitely worth it. The sense of community overwhelmed me as I entered the fellowship hall and witnessed many LWS parents breaking bread with one another as their children, already sated, ran about in improvised games of tag and hide-n-go seek.
At 6 o'clock the children were spirited to childcare as the meeting got underway.
Following a few brief announcements* and an opening verse from Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul, the featured speaker, Lucy Schneider, was given the floor.
Ms. Schneider has been a mentor and teacher in our school for the past four years. She has been a class teacher and served as faculty chair at the Steiner School in New York for 15 years. She just completed an Organic Chemistry block with our 8th grade students and will teach a Renaissance Astronomers block to the 7th grade after break. She has also led workshops and training for LWS faculty and staff.
Many of the topics Ms. Schneider touched on in her talk spoke to and re-energized me. From her reassurance that LWS has a strong and viable foundation on which to build, to her wisdom concerning the ways that we can work to create a stronger LWS community, I was restored.
She charged us as a community to keep the channels of communication between parents and teachers open and honest, and to recognize that all families do not choose Waldorf for the same reasons, suggesting that what works for one family may not work for another family. She cautioned us not to tell our children that we make choices because it’s Waldorf, but rather that we make choices because they are wise and work for our family. This one really hit home for me as I have used the because its Waldorf policy, or because it’s in the family handbook and I signed off on it; the easy (lazy?) way out to be sure, but certainly not the way that teaches our children the values and ideals we are attempting to instill in them.
The discussion following Ms. Schneider’s talk was informative, enlightening, edifying and entertaining. Yes, it’s true, Jim Johnson admitted that his children have absolutely eaten HoHos! See what you're missing???
Driving home after the meeting I felt uplifted, inspired, and could it be possible…relaxed.
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