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the journey

March 25, 2009

Life really is a journey and lately I love how it’s getting to be more and more enjoyable again.  I’m so glad I’ve signed up for the Waldorf intensive this summer and started looking into anthroposophy some more.

My interest in Waldorf education initially pulled me towards the curriculum and gaining an understanding in how the subjects are taught.  I wasn’t so sure about anthroposophy so my first step was to look at the curriculum and see if I could see the differences.  Math was my favourite subject through most of school and is one of the reasons I want to teach so naturally my initial draw was to that very subject.

The first math book I happened upon was Teaching Mathematics for First and Second Grades in Waldorf Schools.  For such a small  book there sure is a lot of detail and for someone not yet exposed to a Waldorf grades classroom it sure was a lot to digest.  I loved the notion of going from the whole into parts and the example stories for explaining things were so warm and rich.  Relating the topics to Kevin (who’s even more of a math geek) was fun too.

In my recent book order I also acquired two curriculum books.  One is of Eric Fairman’s notes from when he taught grade one; the other more of an overview or “checklist” in a way, for what needs to be included on each subject at each grade level from grades 1-12. The math portions aren’t as big in these books but that’s why I needed to pick up Math Lessons for Elementary Grades too!  It has a number of activities and lesson ideas but not so much of the background.  That’s where the books about the teaching experience have been really helpful.

Last week I borrowed a copy of Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out.  As the owner indicated it was an easy read and surprisingly quick.  Her notes in the book gave me some additional insights into what it is like to be a teacher in a regular classroom so I was really happy for those additional words of wisdom.  It was an interesting book and it did answer some questions for me but my current read has been even more helpful.

School as a Journey was a book that I looked into ordering way back in the fall.  I’m actually glad that it took until now for me to start reading it.  I’ve had an introductory to Steiner’s views on temperament thanks to a local study group and last week I started learning about anthroposophy through a program in Toronto.  The result of all this is that I’m finding that I’m gaining more insight into what some of the main lessons are like and seeing how anthroposophy fits with the curriculum.

Anthroposophy was the main thing that I questioned with Waldorf and while I can’t claim to be wholly open to it I am finding the personal explorations I’m working on to be immensely helpful.

The journey continues…

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