Being a Waldorf Teacher

Waldorf teachers lovingly guide and shepherd the children along, so that they may more fully realize their own potential and embrace their individual destiny.

Who is a Waldorf Teacher?

Who the teacher is as a person is of tremendous importance and the depth and quality of the child’s education is bound not only to the teacher’s mastery of the subject but also their attitude, moral uprightness, sensitivity, and objectivity.

To be a Waldorf teacher one must be an artist in the sense that one must have the flexibility of soul to be open and receptive to inspirations when they present themselves, the self motivation to seek creative strategies in meeting the changing needs of the children, and have a deep and genuine interest in the world and it’s limitless possibilities.

Teaching children is a tremendous responsibility. It is not simply a job; it is a calling. The teacher does not need to be a seer but must be a seeker of the truth, striving to develop ever deeper insights into the individual child and the overarching picture of child development. A true teacher meets the children where they are at their stage of development rather than forcing them to conform and adapt to a predetermined picture of what they should be. Waldorf teachers lovingly guide and shepherd the children along so that they may more fully realize their own potential and embrace their individual destiny.

The flexibility of soul required and the ever-changing demands on teachers are rather unique, for how we direct and work with the children is always changing for their consciousness is constantly evolving. The teacher has years to strengthen individuals where they are challenged, encourage greater self confidence, and help every child to meet with success.

Conventional mainstream educational models were first introduced in India during colonial rule and the trend has been to over burden children with facts and information which are often irrelevant, disconnected, and devoid of meaning. Subjects are taught in very dry, abstracted ways with little relationship to reality and life. By only teaching to the intellect, personal creativity and imagination are suppressed and there is little encouragement or opportunity for free independent thinking and consideration of the many possibilities outside of the text book approved answers. In short, the capacities of children for creative problem solving, nuanced logic, and sequential thinking is diminished by only focusing on brain activity and giving the greatest importance to the retention of factual data.

Waldorf education strives to restore balance by awakening the unrealized potential and nurturing the imagination of every child. It provides opportunities for children to apply their skills and gifts practically in the world. In a Waldorf school, the teacher serves as a conductor of a diverse orchestra, bringing together performers to create beautiful music and harmonies. While there are soloists who share their gifts and inspire others, it is through combined and cooperative efforts that something even greater can be achieved—reaching new and unimagined heights. The Waldorf curriculum is designed to meet each child at every stage of development, emphasizing the joy of learning and genuine love for the children. Waldorf teachers weave academic and social impulses together, strengthening and enlivening our humanity. Ultimately, they contribute to sculpting the future through the human virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness. In short, Waldorf teachers help to sculpt the future through the human virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Training to be a Waldorf Teacher

Learning is a life long endeavor and this is even more true for Waldorf teachers. In a world of rapid changes and the demands of meeting the changing consciousness of growing children, a Waldorf teacher must be committed and steadfastly engaged in efforts to further their professional development. Our teachers receive extensive training from experienced, trained teachers and mentors as well as regularly attending training workshops and conferences throughout India and the world.

At Prerana, we have an in-house mentoring program where younger and more experienced teachers are partnered together to share and expand their understanding and penetration of the curriculum, its methods, and the grander picture of child development. Our teachers engage in regular pedagogical studies together, review lesson plans, student work, and share ideas and inspirations in an open collaboration to better meet the changing needs of the children. Also, Prerana teachers have been fortunate to receive regular training sessions from mentors such as David Nikias and Katherine Lehman from the United States as well as visiting trainers from Europe, Australia, and Switzerland.

Parents and others who are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a Waldorf teacher are strongly encouraged to contact the school directly.