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A Safe, Healthy Haven: Waldorf Questioners/Concerns Thread - Page 5

post #81 of 801
I think that any group or organization or industry that goes against the main stream has a tendency to feel clique-ish, and fulfill a role for many members of a sense of belonging, that being a member completes them. The attitude seems like a defense mechanism, because so many other mainstream people reject the casue (otherwise it would BE mainstream)-- I am speaking very generaly b/c I do not know much of anything about the Waldorf organization, except for my own experience. But when any org/or business is run with personal conviction and deep emotion behind it I think it can less success, than if you left certain more business-sided aspects of it up to business professionals who are really unbiased on how they feel about the actual product or service or whatever.

I was pulled drawn to Waldorf b/c it came the closest to the type of education and environment I desired, which I think is the case for a lot of people in this education crisis we face in america today--people want alterantives, and like someone said before they want Waldorf to fit so badly, they ignore certain aspects that don't fit. but I have also met people who seem to be into things purely for that sense of belonging, whether it be the natural movement or an area i am familiar with, the body mod movement.

it is common for humans to go a little overborad when they get into a position of power, and use it to satisfy their own desires and longing. it sounds like if there was more organization higher up that did not have any alterior motives and true goal was the success of the movement, so any behind the scenes, clique-y behavior was not tolerated, it seems like there would be much more success.

it is always hard when you believe in something (natural/home birth, breastfeeding, religious convictions) to not feel something negative toward someone that does not hold the same beliefs. and we all know that has led to some pretty ugly behavior......

i don't know, those are just some of my initial thoughts.
post #82 of 801
Thread Starter 
Mama nomad, I see what you are saying and agree.

(I address the rest of this to everyone)

When I speak about "cliques", I mean that within the very school there tend to be cliques that excluded other members within that same school, and thus the actual power structure lies within the cliques rather than the perceived power structure of the school. (People are on committees, boards, and guidelines for confidentiality are established, but there is loose playground/parking lot/bar stool talk that goes against the honor code people are supposed to be representing in the literal school structure guidelines that everyone is supposed to adhere to-these are in an official AWSNA book everyone is supposed to read.)

Regarding "success"... to me, personally, Waldorf being successful means Waldorf having a more positive effect on those who have devoted themselves and their families to the Waldorf or Anthroposophical movements.

To me, it's about quality, not quantity (mainstream vs alternative).

A lot of those I have spoken to who have been hurt (myself included) were heavy and positive contributors/participants who got "steam rolled" by the cliques within the Waldorf school and Anthroposophical movement at large, and the ego associated with them.

Has anyone else had these types of experiences here?

Happy Saturday and
post #83 of 801
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say that I am (as many of us are) going to be pretty pre-occupied over the next couple of weeks not only with the holidays, but getting everything together for our first homebirth (yay!).

I hope you all have a happy and restful holiday season, and I will check back with you soon...

Happy Holidays and
Peace,


Sincerely,
Beth
a.k.a.
Beansavi
post #84 of 801
I wish you the best of Christmases and all good luck with that home birth Beth. Look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!
post #85 of 801
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Columbine. All the best to you, too. I will pop back in when Iget a chance or have any "news"....

Peace,
post #86 of 801
Thread Starter 
Happy New Year everybody.

I am working towards another type of educational certification and hope to one day find it a more professional, friendly, and fulfilling teaching experience... since teaching is my joy and my calling, as is family life.

Please keep this thread going and maintain this nice place for people to speak freely. I'll be around...

Peace,
post #87 of 801
How come i can't open your picture? it says photo inaccessible--contact owner.
but by all means if you are busy giving birth just ignore this!!


happy birthing and happy new year!
post #88 of 801
Thread Starter 
Hey, I wish I were giving birth...but the right time is not yet, I guess...it's just that fun time of taking five full minutes to get out of bed three times a night to pee!

I'm working on the darned link---it only works for me so far. I may need to post the picture somewhere else on the computer and then link it to that. But that would mean I knew anything about computers---ha ha!!!!

Thanks for the happy birthing and new year wishes!!!!
post #89 of 801
Thread Starter 

Duh...

Hi Guys,

Alright, I can't tell if it works because it always works for me but no one else! Let me know...

Peace,
post #90 of 801
Link Not working.......
post #91 of 801
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm gonna get hubby to help me tonight.
post #92 of 801
Happy New year Beansavi...
post #93 of 801
BTW, i couldn't open your link either
post #94 of 801
Thread Starter 
Happy New Year!
post #95 of 801

adoption

Hi. Just came across this thread and have read it all.I too have some questions. Our family are veterans of the waldorf preschool,kindergarden.and now grade school. I am specifically concerned about how adoption, ie having adopted your children is viewed? We always felt this was a treasured experience in our small preschool, but moving on to the grade school we've experienced some astoundingcomments by teachers, attributing certain behaviors to adoption, commenting on our feelings of entitlement as parents,etc. As many adoptive parents know,the circumstances surroundingthe child'sadoption can sometimes be less than desireable ,but we've occas. gotten the feeling that our children were seen to be working through something bad they did in a previous time, in order for them to have had a difficult beginning. This goes hand in hand with our noticing that the teachers seem to be experts on all matters. All said,for now the grade school experience is primarily positive , but would love input from some others on my concern. Thanks!
post #96 of 801
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne
gotten the feeling that our children were seen to be working through something bad they did in a previous time, in order for them to have had a difficult beginning.

This goes hand in hand with our noticing that the teachers seem to be experts on all matters.

Dear Karne,

These two points seem to be reoccurring, in my experience, and are what I feel to be some of the main weaknesses of the Waldorf movement and system. (My son was vaccinated, and so I was told -in writing- he "needed" to go through painful situations to accomplish what a disease would have burned through karmically.)

The weaknesses you mentioned in your above quote harmed my child, myself and teaching career (which was on record as being exceptional until I began calling people and behaviors to the carpet), and ultimately caused my entire family to suffer.

I am so sorry you are experiencing this.
Please do not take it lightly, however.

I have written and phoned The Anthroposophical Society in North America and spoken to Jean Yaeger (the head) about these very issues. He promised to bring them to the attention of the society at a conference last October and that he would contact AWSNA and give them the same information. I have never heard anything back from him on how it went, so don't really know if the Anthro. Society and Association of Waldorf Schools are in a place where they are willing to admit to themselves and deal with these weaknesses that trip them up and are creating hurt feelings in a wake behind them...

If anyone else has experiences like this to share, I am sure it would be helpful to more people than you realize...please feel free.

Peace,
post #97 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne
Hi. Just came across this thread and have read it all.I too have some questions. Our family are veterans of the waldorf preschool,kindergarden.and now grade school. I am specifically concerned about how adoption, ie having adopted your children is viewed? We always felt this was a treasured experience in our small preschool, but moving on to the grade school we've experienced some astoundingcomments by teachers, attributing certain behaviors to adoption, commenting on our feelings of entitlement as parents,etc. As many adoptive parents know,the circumstances surroundingthe child'sadoption can sometimes be less than desireable ,but we've occas. gotten the feeling that our children were seen to be working through something bad they did in a previous time, in order for them to have had a difficult beginning. This goes hand in hand with our noticing that the teachers seem to be experts on all matters. All said,for now the grade school experience is primarily positive , but would love input from some others on my concern. Thanks!
Hi Karne,
You have come up against the main belief underpinning Waldorf schools; that of the anthroposophical view of karma. In training for KG teaching we were taught that a knowledge of Anthroposophy would give a special insight into this and that the Waldorf education would by its nature promote healing on this level. My understanding is that RS claimed that it was the teacher's spiritual task to guide each child in this lifetime.

I have to say that although I did the training I don't feel that Waldorf teachers do have any special knowledge or ability in this respect but many teachers believe strongly that they do. In our case this led to one of our children being treated in an extremely hurtful way by the teacher which resulted in a terrible crisis in confidence.

Find out as much as you can about the way in which the teacher is viewing your child spiritually (this can be very difficult) as it will be affecting the decisions made and their treatment in the classroom. It may be that this is positive but you need the knowledge to decide that. By the way, as teachers we are taught to try to find everyday language rather than anthroposophical terminology when talking to parents. This can lead to the teacher meaning one thing and the parent hearing another. One example that springs to mind is KG teachers emphasizing the need for young children to be kept warm as they cannot do this for themselves, without saying that they need to keep their organs warm to ensure proper development and to enable them to fully incarnate. Although I realise some do tell all.

I am all for parents having the right to know what and why things are being done a certain way with their children so perhaps in this way I have not been a complete supporter of waldorf, although I was part of it for some nine years.

Maybe beansavi will be able to add more regarding the adoption issue.

This quote from Rudolf Steiner may say things more helpfully than I can. I hope it is okay to quote him as it is his education we are talking about. Sorry if I am breaking any rules!

Glad to hear things are going well for you otherwise.
Take care, Columbine


The Study of Man (p16)

“You will have to take over children for their education and instruction—children who will have received already (as you must remember) the education, or mis-education given them by their parents. Indeed our intentions will only be fully accomplished when we, as humanity, will have reached the stage where parents, too, will understand that special tasks are set for mankind to-day, even for the first years of the child’s education. But when we receive the children into the school we shall still be able to make up for many things which have been done wrongly, or left undone in the first years of the child’s life. For this we must fill ourselves with the consciousness through which alone we can truly teach and educate.”
post #98 of 801

thanks

Hi, and thanks for the replies! Because so many other aspects of the education are working well in our particular situation, it's confusing to run up against this idea that somehow your child is "pre-judged" for something we may or may not believer in (karma). Truthfully I'm not sure how our family feels about this, or whether we even understand enough to grapple with this issue, much less all of anthroposophy. I think I probably need to be clear about my hope that my children are seen as the individuals they are, capable, as we all are, of growth and change and maturation. It's my hope that someone's privately held belief won't present obstacles in the classroom, but from what I read, I'd better be aware of the possibilities. Hope this is the correct thread to post on-it's great to have a place for even these "out there" questions. Still love to hear if anyone has specific adoption related experience or advice.
post #99 of 801
Thread Starter 
I don't know any more about the adoption issue regarding Anthroposophy and it's perspective other than the following, which is based on my years of study in an Anthroposophical Study group, as well as my Waldorf teacher training and discussions with teachers and other Anthroposophists:

It is probably viewed in most cases by Anthroposophists as...

...the child/spirit having a destiny with both sets of parents. This manifested itself by the child having a heredity (physical incarnation connection and destiny) with the biological parents and a spiritual destiny with the adoptive parents.

In the Anthroposophical view, both sets of parents were needed to fulfill the child's destiny as well as her Karma. At some point the natural and adoptive parents as well as the child were related, in another lifetime: even both sets of parents are Karmically connected to each other in addition to being Karmically connected to the child.
post #100 of 801
Thanks-you've been helpful!
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