Originally Posted by mijumom
I really appreciate all of your candor. I was expecting "it's just great and here's why" and on the contrary I htink you've really given me an honest accurate picture of what our school is dealing with.
Thank Mothering and our moderators for providing a space where I feel safe to be frank and honest about both the good, and the bad.
I think waldorf schools could do a lot to overcome some of the teacher problems.
They could acknowledge the teacher shortage and discourage new schools from starting up--unless the schools are willing to develop long-range plans for growing their own teachers--budgeting money to send teachers to training courses, for example.
They could set up mentoring programs across the country. A retired teacher could mentor new teachers at several schools in an area and be paid by all of the schools based on hours provided. Having an experienced mentor to support, guide and advise would make a huge difference for the first couple of years of teaching.
Schools could suggest that parents donate to teacher training programs, which are always terribly short of money.
There is also a scholarship fund for teacher training at RSF. It needs to reach the $1 million level before it starts dispensing scholarships. I think it needs another $400,000 or so...
Schools need to think at a higher level. Due to the immense challenges of running a waldorf school, the global issues are overlooked, which adds to the immense challenges of running a waldorf school, which makes those same global issues get even worse, which adds to the immense challenges...
I'm quite conscious of these problems at the moment, because the school my granddaughter attends had a real hard time finding a first grade teacher. Both of the teachers they offered the position to decided they would rather teach in Maine at a school on the coast, better established, higher pay level, etc. Luckily, there was an experienced teacher in the community who decided she could take on the first grade, but it was a worrying experience.
I also meet once a year with seven anthroposophic adult education institutions, as part of my work with RSF (Rudolf Steiner Foundation) and each year I hear about their struggles.