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#31 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bremen, yes, he will be in Kindergarten when the school year starts. The impression I got from my friend is that the Kindergarten teacher is the one he will have through 8th grade. I will have to ask her. I do know she said there are 4 Kindergarten classes.

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#32 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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I've never heard of a kindergarten teacher (in a waldorf school) becoming a grade school teacher and going on with the same class. Very odd. Kindergarten teachers occasionally (very rarely) become grades teachers, but it would be odd for the teacher to take the kindergarten and then the first grade. I've been involved with four different schools at this point, as a student, parent, staff member and grandparent.

Nana
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#33 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah
I've never heard of a kindergarten teacher (in a waldorf school) becoming a grade school teacher and going on with the same class. Very odd. Kindergarten teachers occasionally (very rarely) become grades teachers, but it would be odd for the teacher to take the kindergarten and then the first grade. I've been involved with four different schools at this point, as a student, parent, staff member and grandparent.

Nana
A former kindergarten teacher picked up one of my kid's class starting in the 4th grade - after several other teachers had tried and left. It happens - but, I agree, it's rare.

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#34 of 47 Old 07-25-2005, 11:04 AM
 
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Nana:

"I've never heard of a kindergarten teacher (in a waldorf school) becoming a grade school teacher and going on with the same class. Very odd. Kindergarten teachers occasionally (very rarely) become grades teachers, but it would be odd for the teacher to take the kindergarten and then the first grade. I've been involved with four different schools at this point, as a student, parent, staff member and grandparent."

It happened at our waldorf school too - the kindergarten teacher going on with the class. It was an unusual situation, and some people felt it wasn't a good idea. It is rare but it does happen. This teacher was trained as a grades teacher and I recall there beinga lot of discussion about how terribly different the kindergarteners are from grade school kids, and how a grades-trained teacher would interact all wrong with the younger kids. It has to do with Steiner's 7-year stages - you are supposed to talk to kids past age 7 in a very different way than with younger kids. The "feeling life" comes into play at around age 7, whereas earlier you really don't "talk" to kids at all, in the way most of us might understand it. They are just supposed to imitate, and the kindergarten teacher (ideally) minimizes "talking to" them in favor of smiling and singing a lot, or answering questions in rhyme.


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#35 of 47 Old 07-25-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chloe1961
Nana:

It happened at our waldorf school too - the kindergarten teacher going on with the class. It was an unusual situation, and some people felt it wasn't a good idea. It is rare but it does happen. This teacher was trained as a grades teacher and I recall there beinga lot of discussion about how terribly different the kindergarteners are from grade school kids, and how a grades-trained teacher would interact all wrong with the younger kids. It has to do with Steiner's 7-year stages - you are supposed to talk to kids past age 7 in a very different way than with younger kids. The "feeling life" comes into play at around age 7, whereas earlier you really don't "talk" to kids at all, in the way most of us might understand it. They are just supposed to imitate, and the kindergarten teacher (ideally) minimizes "talking to" them in favor of smiling and singing a lot, or answering questions in rhyme.

Chloe
Yes, I certainly couldn't imagine a grades teacher moving down to the kindergarten. It is literally two different worlds. At our particular school, the areas are kept completely separated (long walk up-hill to the grade school - that's why I say "down"). I also had a hard time imagining the kindergarten teacher moving up to the grades, but in this particular case, the kids had already been through quite alot by the 4th grade. They had already lost a beloved teacher due to school leadership politics, had an interim teacher, followed by a horrible teacher whose son presented... er... challenges to the children and parents of the school. Poor leadership and cover-ups kept her in place far too long. After losing half the class due to parents reaching the proverbial "last straw" and pulling their kids out (some went to a near-by school started by the first teacher who was ousted for political reasons), a "re-structuring" of the school (no real substantive changes - new committees but mostly the same old faces - but at least it sounded nice) took place. The remaining parents insisted in getting involved in the new teacher choice and the kids in that particular grade benefitted from the gentleness of the kindergarten teacher who took over the class. Unfortunately, she wasn't as strong on academics as some parents liked (she was a kindergarten teacher after all) and, after the only multi-year period of stability the class had experienced, she has been removed and replaced by the 5th teacher in seven years for that class. The "leadership team" of the school has already interfered with the class and put kids in harm's way, and I just can't wait to see what fresh hell these kids will face next year (not through the new teacher, necessarily, but through the school leadership that wants to suddenly meddle with the class). Talk about your low expectations

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#36 of 47 Old 07-25-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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my senior year calculus teacher was a former kindergarten teacher. she held the number "e" in her hand, and told stories about it. it was rather unusual. she was so intelligent, and overall a good teacher, but once someone teaches waldorf kindergarten, they keep it in their voice and behaviours.
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#37 of 47 Old 07-26-2005, 08:41 AM
 
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In general, a Kindergarten teacher for a child is not considered suitable as a grades teacher for the same child because the relationship is so different between a child and their Kindergarten teacher and a child and their grade school teacher. My children love and cherish their Kindergarten teachers and call them by their first names. They have a very different relationship with their their class teachers whom they call by Mr. or Ms. so and so. They respect their class teacher but they don't love and cherish them like they do their Kindergarten teacher. Our Kindergarten teachers have been teachers for a long time and the older children (middle schoolers) still run up and hug their former Kindergarten teachers.

Also, I would say that much of the political stuff talked about here can be found at other private schools and to a lesser or different extent at public schools. My sister-in-law is a teacher in a public school and the office politics she talks about are hair raising. I also observed similar things happening at the Catholic High School I attended. It is dissappointing seeing it happen at a Waldorf school because I seem to expect so much more from them, but the faculty are human beings too and as such, often do not live up to their potential. The faculty should be respected for their accomplishments but not placed on pedestals. My dd's teacher is a returning teacher who is worshipped by a lot of the parents. He keeps telling our class that he is human and that he will make mistakes. He is a great guy but I don't expect him to be perfect.
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#38 of 47 Old 07-26-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Please forgive me but I have only skimmed the posts in this thread. I did want to share our experience though

my son was being bullied by another boy in his class. The teacher was so respectful when we brought it to her attention and said that she had begun to notice this as well. She made it a point of checking in with us regularly to see how our son was doing and to let us know what she had seen that day. She also did help our son come into his own as far as stating his needs and telling the other child how he felt. By the end of the year it was still a bit of a problem but the teacher was always watchful and was so supportive and reinforcing of my son when he finally told the other child "NO" and "PLEASE STOP". She would also intervene in the situation as necessary. It was the best situation I could have hoped for given what my son was going through (which could happen at any school). The teacher was just so attentive, supportive and loving toward my son through the whole experience.

Also, the administrator was aware of the situation and came to me to check in and see if i needed any further support and to see of i was ok with how our teacher was handeling things. I didn't have to go to her she came to me, which i thought was a veruy open and honest thing to do....she didn't try to sweep it under the rug in any way.

I must also say we attend a Waldorf Start Up/Inspired School...maybe this is the difference? But, our teacher just finished the teacher training so she was still educated in the same way. We were her first class and i must say i was a bit worried about that in the beginning...but she was a wonderful teacher in this and many other ways
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#39 of 47 Old 07-26-2005, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If my friend had your experience with bullying I never would have asked this question in the first place.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#40 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 10:51 AM
 
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kewb: I'm sorry, I just felt that I could add an experience that showed that not all waldorf schools are the same. I see that a previous poster stated that as well. I thought that sharing our experience might show that other Waldorf schools do support children in this type of situation in an appropriate and helpful way. A lot of posts were stating that Waldorf teachers deal with these types of situations as the "karma" of the children and do not intervene thereby creating a difficult situation for the children and their parents. I just felt that I could add a different view point and maybe that way assist you, your friend, or anyone else wondering about or experiencing these things.

I'm sorry that I offended you and was unhelpful to you. I hope your friend has much success with her situation.
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#41 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Earth Angel
I'm sorry, I just felt that I could add an experience that showed that not all waldorf schools are the same.
I’m not sure why you would feel the need to apologize. The question indirectly asked at the beginning of this thread was: “Is bullying something that isn’t tolerated and is dealt with in the Waldorf environment?” And you simply appear to be sharing your experiences in that regard.

My experience: it’s really a question having to do with the individual teacher. Yes, it’s correct to say bullying is something that isn’t tolerated, absolutely. On the other hand, the ability of each teacher to effectively deal with problems of bullying, is another thing altogether.

And no: the karma issue has nothing to do with any of this. As Rhonwyn correctly pointed out: “even if [teachers] do believe in karma, most no longer follow this line of reasoning.” And besides, the notion that teachers would fail to take active responsibility for a child’s well-being, is twisting the notion of karma in an entirely erroneous direction. I attribute that to that fact that, as a metaphysical (occult) term, it can generate negativity and even fear.
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#42 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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I’m not sure why you would feel the need to apologize.
This is why....This is the response I received from the OP

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If my friend had your experience with bullying I never would have asked this question in the first place.
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#43 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Earth Angel
This is why....This is the response I received from the OP
I'm not sure I would read too much into that. Personally, I read it as - wow, that's great and completely different than my friend experienced. We should all remember that we don't often hear about the many, many situations that were handled well. Our kids don't come home (usually) and tell us they almost got in a fight but the teacher swiftly intervened and handled the incident perfectly. We tend to hear more negative than positive.

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#44 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
And no: the karma issue has nothing to do with any of this. As Rhonwyn correctly pointed out: “even if [teachers] do believe in karma, most no longer follow this line of reasoning.” And besides, the notion that teachers would fail to take active responsibility for a child’s well-being, is twisting the notion of karma in an entirely erroneous direction. I attribute that to that fact that, as a metaphysical (occult) term, it can generate negativity and even fear.
I think this may be going a bit too far in the opposite direction. Karma is definitely one of the staples of Anthroposophy. I've even been told by teachers on more than one occasion, when asking about a bullying situation, that karma between the students was at play. So, no, I don't think teachers no longer follow this line of reasoning, but I think they are becoming more careful about verbalizing this to parents.

And this is an interesting sub-topic, because as a parent who was a strong supporter of Waldorf at one time (my ex and her family were Anthroposophists and Waldorf teachers), teachers were more comfortable, perhaps, verbalizing this sort of thing with me. There may be, and I'm pretty sure I'm right about this, a completely different language used with non-anthroposophist parents. So whether or not the current trend is to point to karma or not, it is rather obvious that karma is huge in the thinking of Anthroposophists and even in Waldorf teacher training materials.

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#45 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did not mean what I said in bad way. Please do not apologize. What I meant (and should have taken the time to explain) was that if she was experiencing that kind of positive resolution to the bullying then I never would have come here to ask.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#46 of 47 Old 07-27-2005, 01:03 PM
 
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Thanks for the clarification kewb

I just read it with a different tone I guess....sometimes this is a difficult to medium.
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#47 of 47 Old 07-31-2005, 08:07 AM
 
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That is where the emoticons come in handy. .


They can depict emotions brilliantly, considering the fact that we can't see each other's facial expressions nor hear inflections inherent in vocal conversations.
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