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#1 of 186 Old 05-26-2005, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've wanted ds to go to Waldorf, but now i'm having really big second thoughts because of the experience we're having with one of the teachers right now. She's lied to me once, and it seems like every time ds's dad or i try to talk to her that she's very evasive and just wont give a straight answer about anything (re starting kindercottage in sept). There are a few things that are weirding me out right now, and i'm having serious doubts. I mean, really, if the teacher cant be honest and straightforward with the parents, then what kind of role model is she going to be for young impressionable children? I'm wondering if this is just our experience with this one person, or if all waldorf teachers are so evasive? There are so many things about waldorf that i love, but i'm getting really turned off by the secrecy and lack of communication.

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#2 of 186 Old 05-26-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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this is exactly what we experienced (no outright lies that I know of, but) - a general feeling of secrecy and evasiveness. When combined with the singsong gentle sweetness of a waldorf teacher, it's kind of creepy.

I do love so many things about waldorf, but we ruled it out long ago when my oldest was a preschooler. We did parents and tots and spent several years active at the school, but in the end, I couldn't drop them off there and walk away. Too many unknowns and weird gut feelings. :-(
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#3 of 186 Old 05-26-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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I have extensive experience with waldorf and my take would be that it is more likely to be the teacher rather than the entire waldorf movement. However, if you have uneasy feelings about the teacher or the school, then you probably should either back away or do more research.

Can you take the problems/questions up a level? Is there a "chair" or lead teacher for the preschool/kindergarten classes? A college chair for the school? An administrator? The admissions officer? If you don't raise your concerns and if no one else raises any concerns, then a teacher who is misbehaving can get away with whatever it is he/she is doing.

Good luck in figuring out the best way to go. Your child comes first, always.

Nana
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#4 of 186 Old 05-27-2005, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thx for the feedback.

there is an admin and an admissions person and i'd like to talk to both of them before i make any more decisions about this.

on a gut level, i'm really questioning whether or not waldorf is going to be a good fit for us now, and we're keeping other options open.

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#5 of 186 Old 05-27-2005, 03:27 AM
 
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I pulled my son out of Waldorf after almost 4 years for different reasons.
Waldorf did not suit my son's personality type or bring out the best in him.
His last teacher did not understand him and was not able to deal with him.
Looking back I regret sending him there at all.
However I can't say that the teachers were dishonest or evasive. The ones I encountered answered all my questions, so it is this particular teacher you are talking to who is that way.
I just can advise you if you have any strange or bad feelings about this teacher then don't for anything in this world leave your child with her!
Good Luck!
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#6 of 186 Old 05-27-2005, 04:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moss
thx for the feedback.

there is an admin and an admissions person and i'd like to talk to both of them before i make any more decisions about this.

on a gut level, i'm really questioning whether or not waldorf is going to be a good fit for us now, and we're keeping other options open.
My gut told me Waldorf wasn't for us either. You rarely go wrong listening to you r gut.
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#7 of 186 Old 05-27-2005, 08:56 AM
 
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Whatever you decide to do, please let the enrollment co-ordinator know your feelings about this teacher. The teacher doesn't sound like they are doing a good job and they will ultimately hurt the school in many ways.

Teachers have a huge impact on people's perceptions of a school or system of education. A bad Montessori teacher left me with a bad impression of Montessori for a long time. I wish now, that I had said something to the school.

Good luck in your search for a preschool. I hope you find something that is a good fit for you and your child.
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#8 of 186 Old 05-27-2005, 09:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by benjalo
this is exactly what we experienced (no outright lies that I know of, but) - a general feeling of secrecy and evasiveness. When combined with the singsong gentle sweetness of a waldorf teacher, it's kind of creepy.

I do love so many things about waldorf, but we ruled it out long ago when my oldest was a preschooler. We did parents and tots and spent several years active at the school, but in the end, I couldn't drop them off there and walk away. Too many unknowns and weird gut feelings. :-(
This was our experience also.

You are not alone, moss. I hope you find a school and teacher you feel good about.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#9 of 186 Old 06-06-2005, 02:30 PM
 
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What specifically did she lie about?
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#10 of 186 Old 06-21-2005, 08:10 AM
 
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Moss,
Perhaps this site might help you get more information.


http://www.openwaldorf.com/
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#11 of 186 Old 06-21-2005, 08:21 AM
 
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We had a bad experience with our Waldorf scool being dishonest , about some problems and issues they were having on an administrative level. Alot of the teachers were quitting and there was alot of unrest. We did however love DS's teacher and still miss her. We pulled DS out , partly bc of the $$, also the unrest bc of the tuition assistance programs. We had to keep Ds back a grade, which has hurt his self esteem. I loved the idea of the W schools, just the reality of a lower to mid income family going there was undoable. So when it is the "school' being dishonest, not just the teacher, you have to wonder.

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#12 of 186 Old 07-23-2005, 12:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedK
We had a bad experience with our Waldorf scool being dishonest , about some problems and issues they were having on an administrative level. Alot of the teachers were quitting and there was alot of unrest. We did however love DS's teacher and still miss her. We pulled DS out , partly bc of the $$, also the unrest bc of the tuition assistance programs. We had to keep Ds back a grade, which has hurt his self esteem. I loved the idea of the W schools, just the reality of a lower to mid income family going there was undoable. So when it is the "school' being dishonest, not just the teacher, you have to wonder.
My experience, too, has been that an entire school can behave dishonestly. I don't agree with the comment a few posts above that it is an individual thing - I think it goes further into the philosophy itself and dishonesty is something that Steiner himself made available to the earliest Waldorf teachers because he understood that the general public would not accept Waldorf methods at face value. That's why we get answers like "Steiner is difficult" or "you should read more". In my 13 year Waldorf experience, I have encountered many dishonest teachers in Waldorf. One in particular was so dishonest that parents literally feared for their children's safety. I may be an odd case, but I often fear for my children's safety.

Some of this dishonesty comes automatically - teachers learn from their peers how to "handle" certain questions that parents keep asking (partly because they are never answered). "What's all this Lucifer and Ahriman stuff" - "Well, Steiner is difficult - you should join a study group if you want to learn about this - but, in any case, Anthroposophy is not taught in Waldorf schools." These are dishonest, rehearsed answers intended to placate parents for as long as possible. Then, typically, one of two things happen - parents either stop asking questions or they demand answers. Actually, a third option often happens - there is a crisis and the parents who had been fostering doubts about the school leave the school.

At at least one Waldorf school, there is a "communication's protocol" that says parents can only bring their questions/problems to the teacher directly. Parents are technically not allowed to communicate among themselves - so if a parent is experiencing strange behavior in a teacher, for example, they are likely to think they are the only one. When the teacher IS the problem, it makes it difficult to get anywhere.

Anyway, when parents start demanding answers, they may require special handling by the school (answers to the difficult questions are still not provided). The first thing they do is isolate the disgruntled parent. This is often done through the rumor or gossip mill that is common to all Waldorf schools that I know of. Sometimes, another parent or someone they trust will be enlisted to "help" them - or to calm them down. If that doesn't work, other methods increasing in discomfort for the family may be applied.

As a family enters Waldorf, they become part of a community. This seems very nice, but in reality it isolates families from the outside world. If a child has a birthday party, it is quietly expected that only Waldorf children will attend. And let's face it, Waldorf requires a lot of volunteering and between that and school plays, recitials, parent meetings, faires a festivals, seasonal events and sports activities, families are soon isolated from non-Waldorf friends because there is often little time for them. Sometimes, even family members and grandparents have been isolated or granted limited access to the children because of their non-Waldorf ideas. So after a year or two of Waldorf, many families have no life outside of Waldorf. And this harsh reality keeps them in Waldorf. When a problem is apparent, when a teacher or a school is dishonest, it isn't just a matter of walking out on a teacher or a school, you and your family walk out on an entire community - on all your children's friends, on all your own friends. The void left in one's family by leaving a Waldorf school is huge and leaving Waldorf is psychologically painful to everyone in the family. This is why so many people compare Waldorf environments to cults. It feels trapping in that way to many people.

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#13 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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Wow, Pete.

What you have said is true, and I must say, it was a relief to hear someone else verbalize what I have experienced myself. I was a founding parent, and eventually became a grades teacher in a Waldorf School. Imagine the hostility I met with when I was the one raising questions about a fellow teacher!!!

My punishment (which they actually called it) took an entire school year where I was forced to write a six page apology to the teacher, closely edited line by line by the faculty chair, or I would lose my job.

I was also required to take anger management classes (I never once yelled, threatened, lied, exagerrated, or used profanity)

and

told to write a letter to the Anthroposophical (Waldorf) Doctor who reported to the school that my child's teacher had harmed my son. I was forced in this closely edited letter to tell this doctor I was wrong and that I understood that I could have ruined the teacher's career by telling the doctor why I brought my child to him!

After I jumped through all of their hoops, they added one last requirement in April: my son would have to stay out of the school for his first grade year so they could further monitor my "probation".

At first I agreed (to buy time while I thought it through and my family got outside counseling for perspective: which we had lost a lot of while in the community). The last week of school I told them that punishing my son was not fair, and they told me, "Okay, then we are taking that as your resignation". I said it was not, and they told me too bad, they were viewing it that way NO MATTER WHAT I SAID.

They then sent out a letter to the community saying I was unable to work out returning to the school for family issues and I had thus resigned!

Talk about dishonest!

I am trained in Waldorf Ed. and still devoted to the curriculum, but agree the Anthroposophical Society in America (ASA) as well as the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America (AWSNA) has a lot of inner reflection and brutal honesty to face before the movement can thrive. The evasive teachers are just one symptom. Unfortunately, they do learn it from each other, unless someone like me comes in and sheds light on it. It happens not only in my school, but all over, and I hear about it in teacher training.

At that point the only thing to be done is the parents rallying and pulling an "Alabama Bus Boycott" until the teachers wake up and behave in a professional, mature manner. Fearing your child's class will fold is not an excuse. We have to rally for the GREATER good in the long run, which may have been the ultimate lesson in the first place.

Sincerely,

B.
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#14 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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Wow. . just WOW.


I am not yet ready to discuss my own experience with this subject, as it is still too fresh for me.


I just wanted to speak up and let those of you know who have experienced this in a Waldorf school that you are not alone. You are believed and supported.
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#15 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
Wow, Pete.

What you have said is true, and I must say, it was a relief to hear someone else verbalize what I have experienced myself. I was a founding parent, and eventually became a grades teacher in a Waldorf School. Imagine the hostility I met with when I was the one raising questions about a fellow teacher!!!
I don't have to imagine it - I've experienced it first hand. It can get very ugly.
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My punishment (which they actually called it) took an entire school year where I was forced to write a six page apology to the teacher, closely edited line by line by the faculty chair, or I would lose my job.
Little did you know your job was gone the minute you broke ranks.
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I was also required to take anger management classes (I never once yelled, threatened, lied, exagerrated, or used profanity)
But the fact that you had to take them works great in the gossip mill. It makes it look like you were the problem.
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and told to write a letter to the Anthroposophical (Waldorf) Doctor who reported to the school that my child's teacher had harmed my son. I was forced in this closely edited letter to tell this doctor I was wrong and that I understood that I could have ruined the teacher's career by telling the doctor why I brought my child to him!
It sounds incredible to people who haven't experienced it - but absolutely rings true with those who have. And I assume we're not talking about a Waldorf school in a third-world country here, right?
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After I jumped through all of their hoops, they added one last requirement in April: my son would have to stay out of the school for his first grade year so they could further monitor my "probation".
When I, a parent, complained about the school, they expelled one of my three kids and issued a letter stating that because of my activities on the internet, my child could not attend the school.
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At first I agreed (to buy time while I thought it through and my family got outside counseling for perspective: which we had lost a lot of while in the community). The last week of school I told them that punishing my son was not fair, and they told me, "Okay, then we are taking that as your resignation". I said it was not, and they told me too bad, they were viewing it that way NO MATTER WHAT I SAID.
Again AFTER you had jumped through all their hoops. Punishment, indeed.
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They then sent out a letter to the community saying I was unable to work out returning to the school for family issues and I had thus resigned!

Talk about dishonest!
LOL! Yes, the letters they issue would be hilarious if they weren't so dishonest.
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I am trained in Waldorf Ed. and still devoted to the curriculum, but agree the Anthroposophical Society in America (ASA) as well as the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America (AWSNA) has a lot of inner reflection and brutal honesty to face before the movement can thrive. The evasive teachers are just one symptom. Unfortunately, they do learn it from each other, unless someone like me comes in and sheds light on it. It happens not only in my school, but all over, and I hear about it in teacher training.
Yes, by no means is this an isolated incident.
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At that point the only thing to be done is the parents rallying and pulling an "Alabama Bus Boycott" until the teachers wake up and behave in a professional, mature manner. Fearing your child's class will fold is not an excuse. We have to rally for the GREATER good in the long run, which may have been the ultimate lesson in the first place.
The more people that have the courage to speak out, the better, overall, it will be for Waldorf. There is NOTHING acceptable about this all-too-common behavior. They need to be exposed EVERY time something like this happens. And, frankly, I'm not so sure it wouldn't be beneficial to name names (but I won't). Parents should know exactly which schools are involved in this type of behavior. Silence on the part of the victims just breeds more victims.

Pete
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#16 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
It sounds incredible to people who haven't experienced it - but absolutely rings true with those who have. And I assume we're not talking about a Waldorf school in a third-world country here, right?

. . . . . . .

The more people that have the courage to speak out, the better, overall, it will be for Waldorf. There is NOTHING acceptable about this all-too-common behavior. They need to be exposed EVERY time something like this happens. And, frankly, I'm not so sure it wouldn't be beneficial to name names (but I won't). Parents should know exactly which schools are involved in this type of behavior. Silence on the part of the victims just breeds more victims.

Pete
Thank you for saying this.


I totally agree. There is a dire need for communication amongst a group that perpetuates mystery and quietly (or sometimes not) advocates unresolved conflict.

It is the responsibility of those who are aware to stand up and tell their stories. Otherwise, they are just passive participants contributing to the problem.
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#17 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
As a family enters Waldorf, they become part of a community. This seems very nice, but in reality it isolates families from the outside world. If a child has a birthday party, it is quietly expected that only Waldorf children will attend. And let's face it, Waldorf requires a lot of volunteering and between that and school plays, recitials, parent meetings, faires a festivals, seasonal events and sports activities, families are soon isolated from non-Waldorf friends because there is often little time for them. Sometimes, even family members and grandparents have been isolated or granted limited access to the children because of their non-Waldorf ideas. So after a year or two of Waldorf, many families have no life outside of Waldorf. And this harsh reality keeps them in Waldorf. When a problem is apparent, when a teacher or a school is dishonest, it isn't just a matter of walking out on a teacher or a school, you and your family walk out on an entire community - on all your children's friends, on all your own friends. The void left in one's family by leaving a Waldorf school is huge and leaving Waldorf is psychologically painful to everyone in the family. This is why so many people compare Waldorf environments to cults. It feels trapping in that way to many people.Pete
Well. I went to a Waldorf school for 9 years, and my sibs went k-12. I suppose you could call us a "Waldorf family." I have some good things to say about Waldorf education as it was practiced at this particular school. I also have many issues with my experience there, and my own kids are not going to a WS (for various reasons) This, however, was not one of my issues. And Pete, this take on things seems really extreme!

My school was/is one of the oldest, most established WS in the country. It has an extensive Anthroposophical community associated with it. And there were definitely families who made the school their main community. My family wasn't one of those families. Pressure only to invite Waldorf kids to a birthday party?! I never heard of such a thing. After a year or two of Waldorf, my family was doing the same old things we always did: skiing in the winter, road trips in the summer, trips to the library, going to Quaker Meeting, visiting grandparents, yadda yadda ya. We had plenty of life outside of Waldorf, and so did everyone I know.

And as for the families I knew who were more involved, it was usually the mother, who took on lots of volunteer work. You'll find mothers like that at any school. The only kids I knew who were anything like what you describe were the kids who came from the anthroposophical community near the school. They were the minority of students, and coming from that community, with anthropop parents, naturally they were going to make the community their focus. Not that I agree with such an insulated environment for a kid, but this pressure on regular families that you speak of is just confounding to me. I left my WS after 9th grade. Doing that wasn't psychologically painful to anyone in my family!

I've said before on these boards and I'll say it again: Don't judge all Waldorf schools by what you hear about one person's experience (and it sounds like Pete had a rotten time). Investigate the individual school.
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#18 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama
Well. I went to a Waldorf school for 9 years, and my sibs went k-12. I suppose you could call us a "Waldorf family." I have some good things to say about Waldorf education as it was practiced at this particular school. I also have many issues with my experience there, and my own kids are not going to a WS (for various reasons) This, however, was not one of my issues. And Pete, this take on things seems really extreme!
I think so too. It IS extreme - true, but extreme.
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My school was/is one of the oldest, most established WS in the country.
Mine too. Sometimes the older, more established schools are less progressive than the newer schools. There is no correlation between age and effectiveness that I've noticed.
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It has an extensive Anthroposophical community associated with it. And there were definitely families who made the school their main community. My family wasn't one of those families. Pressure only to invite Waldorf kids to a birthday party?! I never heard of such a thing.
And I never said such a thing - I said "expectation" - and that is absolutely true in my experience. Parents don't expect or appreciate when other non-Waldorf children attend birthday parties and things because they bring TV or other influences into conversations. I've seen this many times.
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After a year or two of Waldorf, my family was doing the same old things we always did: skiing in the winter, road trips in the summer, trips to the library, going to Quaker Meeting, visiting grandparents, yadda yadda ya. We had plenty of life outside of Waldorf, and so did everyone I know.
OK. And are you saying that I'm implying there were rules against this? I'm saying it is easy for families to become over-involved in Waldorf school activities. Not every family does, but many do.
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And as for the families I knew who were more involved, it was usually the mother, who took on lots of volunteer work. You'll find mothers like that at any school.
I wouldn't say that at all. I saw both mothers and fathers participating and volunteering for almost everything.
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The only kids I knew who were anything like what you describe were the kids who came from the anthroposophical community near the school. They were the minority of students, and coming from that community, with anthropop parents, naturally they were going to make the community their focus. Not that I agree with such an insulated environment for a kid, but this pressure on regular families that you speak of is just confounding to me.
I'll always be the first to admit everyone's experience is different - and absolutely, every school is different or similar in various ways. And, as I said, if you haven't experienced what I have described, it WILL sound astounding, unbelievable to you.
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I left my WS after 9th grade. Doing that wasn't psychologically painful to anyone in my family!
It doesn't sound like you were as entrenched in Waldorf as most of the families I have experienced.
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I've said before on these boards and I'll say it again: Don't judge all Waldorf schools by what you hear about one person's experience (and it sounds like Pete had a rotten time). Investigate the individual school.
Absolutely! Not all Waldorf schools are the same. I absolutely agree - investigate the individual school THOROUGHLY!!! And as I've said, be 100% sure Waldorf is for you before you sign on the dotted line.

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#19 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
I'll always be the first to admit everyone's experience is different - and absolutely, every school is different or similar in various ways. And, as I said, if you haven't experienced what I have described, it WILL sound astounding, unbelievable to you.



Pete

If I may. . it seems that Pete has definately shown that his perspective does not reflect 'people' in any general sense of the word; that his feeling of outrage is so because he has personally experienced outrageous behavior in his Waldorf community. That said, I don't think he'd feel compelled to single out Waldorf education if he saw that 'everyone' around him behaved this way, regardless of involvement with Waldorf.

He is able to differentiate between what is cultural social norm and the way they're acting in his Waldorf community, and it's through this comparison that he's coming to these conclusions. His conclusions are no less real or valid than anyone's whose had a smoother sail in their own Waldorf community, and he's not alone in his experience.
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#20 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 08:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama
Well. I went to a Waldorf school for 9 years, and my sibs went k-12. I suppose you could call us a "Waldorf family."
I forgot to ask, out of curiosity, and if you don't mind saying so, how did you all do? Did you all go to college, graduate college? Did you feel adequately prepared for college? What kind of careers did you end up in? Did Waldorf prepare you for your careers? Just curious - I'd love to think I have misconceptions about this. Thanks!

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#21 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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Wow guys... I really appreciate everyone's support. After three years this is the first time I've put it all out there... for many reasons. No, the school is not in a third world country.

As a trained Waldorf teacher AND Anthroposophist ( to this day I belong to ASA) I have to say I am able to see all of the good sides to Waldorf as well, and my training had caused me to meet "Waldorfians" from all over the U.S. and world. Of course I can see the good Waldorf does every day. This thread was about very real concerns, which are just as relevant and real.

Waldorf has established its own reputation all by itself... both good and bad.

I think what you, Pete, and the others are saying is fair and true, and we all need and deserve a safe place to hash it out and get our heads straight. I think this forum is the perfect place for that... :

Thank you once again so so much for believing my family and myself and for making this a safe, healing place for these discussions, vent sessions (healthy), supportive virtual coffee house chats, etc...... Thank you, too, for sharing the "other side" of the Waldorf story, too, to help us maintain balance respectfully.

Again "Thank you" is not enough....

Most sincerely,
B.
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#22 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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Sorry, I'm a little "slow" today.

After re-reading one of the posts I realize it was perfectly relevant to speak "about" the other person to the group in defense and understanding that his views are real and legitimate. Thus, I edited my request that we not do that out of my original message...

This "slowness" is a very real side effect of dealing with the Waldorf dysfunsctional side: I get a bit hazy and burnt out when I talk about it. I guess it's a defense mechanism...

Thanks again, everybody.
Bea
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#23 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
I get a bit hazy and burnt out when I talk about it. I guess it's a defense mechanism...

Maybe a defense mechanism to protect your self from your own self-doubt!


I say that because a lack of validation from others, when dealing with a controversial situation such as this, can often lead us to question ourselves; our perceptions, our reactions, our beliefs. We might be tempted to comply with external pressures to belittle our own cause.

That is why it is imperative that we speak up here. By speaking our truths we are affirming each other's truths and helping each other gain clarity and, more importantly, confidence in our own intuition.
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#24 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 10:16 PM
 
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I know the situation Beansavi went through firsthand, and it was unexcuseable...the closed mouth policy that was so pervasive throughout the school didn't end among the faculty/board *vs* the parents.

I had an awful experirnce of humiliation when asking for financial assistance. I was sent an insulting letter, telling me that my husband should do better in supporting the family (we both work) when i raised a little cain about the tone and approach they had taken, even tried to calmly discuss it with the TA committee, I was sent a letter telling me that if i talked about my situation to *anyone* in or outside of the school, we would be excluded from the school, kicked out of the fold so to speak.

I know these are different issues and i know all schools aren't the same, in fact the older ones are more likely to have it all figured out, it's the secrecy that is like a deadly virus that invades the whole system. It hasn't done much in the way of increasing my support of the Waldorf communities. There is no excuse for such secrecy, there is no excuse for sending out letters of a threatening nature, there is no excuse for the punishment Beansavi went through.

I quieted down bc i wanted my son to get through third grade,( which i was told was a good transition point into more mainstream schooling and he still had to repeat a grade...i later learn that it is fifth grade but that is beside the point) In other words, i sacrificed my values for my sons best interest, and in that same case would do it all over again for him, but why??why should i have to be quiet and dumb myself down??

Why should Beansavi have to jump through all of those hoops just for her kids, only to be fired anyway?...they were trying to drive her out all along and when it didn't work, they kept raising the stakes (that isn't very GD)

Sorry for the rant, it's just that i know the situation first hand and am angry at how my friend was treated, not to mention how i (and others that i haven't mentioned) have been treated. I feel now like i've lost my community. I was a committed WS parent, and would've moved to get DS through 8th grade and high school. I felt very bitter, but have now moved on and watch as the school goes through more sh&*t. I truly wish the best for them, and i hope upon all hopes that most WSs don't operate in this manner.

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#25 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedK
I quieted down bc i wanted my son to get through third grade,( which i was told was a good transition point into more mainstream schooling and he still had to repeat a grade...i later learn that it is fifth grade but that is beside the point) In other words, i sacrificed my values for my sons best interest, and in that same case would do it all over again for him, but why??why should i have to be quiet and dumb myself down??

Wow. I've had the exact same experience. And I just recently pulled the plug. We're going to homeschool - never going back to the WS. It's sad, but liberating at the same time. And I feel more dignity by honoring my truth. (My oldest is entering 5th grade and my youngest is entering his 2nd year of kindergarten. I didn't know that about the timing, but I'm grateful to hear that it is considered a good time to transition.)





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Originally Posted by BelovedK
I feel now like i've lost my community. I was a committed WS parent, and would've moved to get DS through 8th grade and high school. I felt very bitter, but have now moved on and watch as the school goes through more sh&*t. I truly wish the best for them, and i hope upon all hopes that most WSs don't operate in this manner.


Unfortunately, I'm learning that this problem is not exclusive to our local Waldorf school.
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#26 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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I forgot to ask, out of curiosity, and if you don't mind saying so, how did you all do? Did you all go to college, graduate college? Did you feel adequately prepared for college? What kind of careers did you end up in? Did Waldorf prepare you for your careers? Just curious - I'd love to think I have misconceptions about this. Thanks!

Pete
I don't mind. All of us have done very well. My brother and I graduated from college; he is an artist and computer maven, I was a HS English teacher (public) for many years and am currently a writer and sahm. My sister has 2 years of college and is co-founder of the Utilikilts Company in Seattle. She's also a musician and writer.

We were all adequately prepared for college, in part I think because we grew up as voracious readers in a house with no tv (something my parents decided before sending us to a Waldorf school, by the way). And also because we went to an academically excellent high school. I know of few people who feel that their elementary/high school education "prepared" them for their careers, myself included, so I can't really address that. I think that what prepared us best for the careers we have was our innate interests, graduate education, and life experience - for example, it was as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Morocco that I first realized I had a knack for teaching.

As we agree, there are all different kinds of WS atmospheres. But I want to stress again, that at mine there was no expectation that non-Waldorf kids wouldn't be a social events, etc. Most of the students at my school were from very mainstream families. Not having a tv made my sibs and I real freaks! There's everyone talking at recess about the Fonz (ok, I'm dating myself!) and I'm wondering who the heck this character is...
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#27 of 186 Old 07-24-2005, 11:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by May May
It's sad, but liberating at the same time. And I feel more dignity by honoring my truth.










Unfortunately, I'm learning that this problem is not exclusive to our local Waldorf school.
I feel the exact same way.
Isn't that sad??? It seems that the schools need to evolve the administrative structure to even meet the expectations of Steiner who never intended the WS or Anthroposophy to be static, it was intended to evolve with the times. Unfortunately they are losing some great families and teachers.

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#28 of 186 Old 07-25-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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Thank you so much for this. It sounds like you were each very successful. It helps to know that there really are some good Waldorf schools out there. And, everyone should take note. Each person's experience with Waldorf really, really depends on the individual school, and on the participant's preparedness and expectations.

Pete

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama
I don't mind. All of us have done very well. My brother and I graduated from college; he is an artist and computer maven, I was a HS English teacher (public) for many years and am currently a writer and sahm. My sister has 2 years of college and is co-founder of the Utilikilts Company in Seattle. She's also a musician and writer.

We were all adequately prepared for college, in part I think because we grew up as voracious readers in a house with no tv (something my parents decided before sending us to a Waldorf school, by the way). And also because we went to an academically excellent high school. I know of few people who feel that their elementary/high school education "prepared" them for their careers, myself included, so I can't really address that. I think that what prepared us best for the careers we have was our innate interests, graduate education, and life experience - for example, it was as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Morocco that I first realized I had a knack for teaching.

As we agree, there are all different kinds of WS atmospheres. But I want to stress again, that at mine there was no expectation that non-Waldorf kids wouldn't be a social events, etc. Most of the students at my school were from very mainstream families. Not having a tv made my sibs and I real freaks! There's everyone talking at recess about the Fonz (ok, I'm dating myself!) and I'm wondering who the heck this character is...
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#29 of 186 Old 07-25-2005, 01:00 AM
 
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Really really interesting thread!
I am excited to keep reading. My children aren't school age yet, but we were pretty much "set" on Waldorf education for them.. It's nice to get to see the "whole picture"
Thanks to all of you who have posted so far
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#30 of 186 Old 07-25-2005, 01:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
As a trained Waldorf teacher AND Anthroposophist ( to this day I belong to ASA) I have to say I am able to see all of the good sides to Waldorf as well, and my training had caused me to meet "Waldorfians" from all over the U.S. and world. Of course I can see the good Waldorf does every day. This thread was about very real concerns, which are just as relevant and real.
And I agree. Waldorf schools have a lot to offer - if they, some of them, would just stop the silly controlling nonsense that they seem to enjoy practicing. You should never have been put through what you went through. And the entire process had absolutely NOTHING to do with Waldorf education OR Anthroposophy in the pure sense. But, unfortunately, Waldorf education, as an ideal, is not Waldorf education as a reality (in some schools at least) and there are frequently those dogmatic, controlling, selfish people that do such great harm to what would otherwise be a good school system with the potential for greatness.
Quote:
Waldorf has established its own reputation all by itself... both good and bad.

I think what you, Pete, and the others are saying is fair and true, and we all need and deserve a safe place to hash it out and get our heads straight. I think this forum is the perfect place for that... :
I'm happy to hash things out here if the moderators will permit it. I think there is tremendous potential for good here - from what I can tell, this thread has been viewed over 500 times already.
Quote:
Thank you once again so so much for believing my family and myself and for making this a safe, healing place for these discussions, vent sessions (healthy), supportive virtual coffee house chats, etc...... Thank you, too, for sharing the "other side" of the Waldorf story, too, to help us maintain balance respectfully.

Again "Thank you" is not enough....
There is no need to thank me. I should be thanking you for having the courage to come forward. I've been publicly and privately discussing Waldorf for several years now. I have been thanked dozens of times by people who, only after having read my posts, realized they weren't the only ones to experience such things. So many times, people have terrible experiences at the hands of very hurtful people at Waldorf schools and keep it all inside. Best to let it out - and by doing so, you help the next person let it out too.

Pete
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