We had several schools to pick from also. We interviewed in two. My husband was more confident with the teachers at the one we chose. I liked everybody-
: ---but I saw my son respond just a little more to one than the other. I didn't really feel this as such a weighty decision because I was more than ready to pull my son out if it wasn't working well. And here we are still 15 years later.
I can honestly say after all these years there's only a handful of parents I've ever talked with that later thought it was a mistake to choose the school, though I'm still in contact with many, many who left for various reasons. Families tend to stay while it is good for their child or circumstances, and move on when it isn't or if circumstances change. But that's my real life--on the internet is where I've heard the conflicts people have had from elsewhere.
My "Waldorf full disclosure" would look like this:
1. Each school is different (yeah it's almost a Waldorf mantra) but so is each class. There is definitely a distinct personality of each class based on who the teacher is, who the children are, and who the parents are.
2. Each child is a unique individual. And each student is unique. So warning--contrary to that well-worn rumor that "every student's work looks just like the next"? Not at all so. Some students' work looks like it should be published in a book. Other students' work looks like they hurried through it because their minds were elsewhere, and some reflects the reality that not all of us are gifted expressing ourselves and what we know on paper. And parents ooh-and-ahh and go Wow! when they see the body of work done by other students besides their own because It is Not All the Same. Everyone's work is very different, and as others have described, it is manifested more and more as the students progress in the grades.
3. Parents are parents--even in Waldorf schools. Odds are they will be the most judgmental individuals you encounter in a Waldorf school--not Waldorf teachers. You know the psst-psst-psst parking lot one-upsmanship etcetera. In a Waldorf school it might have a Waldorfy flavored theme to the psst-psst-psst but otherwise, but in every other respect, it's the same old same old.
4. Uhh---Waldorf parents are given much to do.......coincidentally, that's why I'm cutting off here because I have something else I have to do