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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Typical Waldorf Story

Hi, I'm new here, my first time posting.

I've got a child in 4th grade at a Waldorf Inspired school. Our son has been in
the school since Kindergarten.

I felt very good about our choice when he was in Kindergarten; it was a lovely
experience for him. I could tell he was happy. First grade was another story
with an extremely strict teacher. There was no connection with the teacher for
DH and me. My son would have his hello and goodbye with her and always seemed
uncomfortable--the handshake. The teacher had poor skills with adults and with
her colleagues and finally left the school. She had taken a class through the
grades, however.

From what I could ascertain, the students were deathly afraid of the teacher. My
son speaks of her turning red in the face when she became angry with a student.
He was afraid of her--afraid to approach her. She began "training" them this way
from her first day with them. Even though the students seemed to be fearful of
her, many were very sad to see her go. Many parents were, too. She had an
amazing "power" over the parents and students that perplexed me. She was a very
"on-top-of-it" teacher. Yet I had concerns, obviously. I know my son was
learning, but at what expense?

This year he has a teacher who is a complete 180 degrees different from his
first teacher. The teacher has no control over the class and the children
completely disrespect her. The principal tells us the children are acting
appropriately for their age. I don't know that my son is learning and at what

Mostly, I'm appalled. From his frist teacher to this teacher it is what I
imagine to be extremes in both cases. Or is it?

We are considering an alternative to Waldorf Education, but before we do
anything we will regret, I am hoping to open a discussion about Waldorf teachers
or maybe just teachers in general. Granted, I don't have trust in teachers,
more, I feel that they need to prove themselves to me. With the two extremes my
son has had in teachers I also have learned that to be an organized teacher is
helpful; this year I have no idea how my son is faring due to the
disorganization of the new teacher, yet she is kind, yet the children are so this a WE situation or is this found in all realms of
school? I'm not sure having only had this one experience.

I always felt bad for not "getting along" with my son's teacher and am trying to
get along with the new teacher, but find it challenging to respect her because
of what I see with the children.