Is this normal? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was talking with a friend of mine who sends her son to the Waldorf School near here and she told me that her son (Just turned 5 in January) has been coming home saying that another little boy in the class tells him that he wants to kill him . He has also come home saying that this boy gets the rest of the class not to play with him.

I asked her if she spoke with the teacher about it and she said yes and that the teacher is not really doing anything about it. The mother of the other child has also complained about my friend and her son to the teacher.

I was just surprised when she was telling me this because it has always been my impression that bullying is something that is not tolerated and dealt with in the Waldorf environment.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
#2 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 01:42 AM
 
raksmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: by the Rideau River
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is just some of the stuff I (or should I say my son) have been going through the last 2 years which is just one of many reasons why I finally pulled him out a few months ago.
My son was going wild in the Kindergarten class. He was telling me about other kids hitting him or saying mean things to him, but he was doing it too and other parents complained to the teacher about him a well. It was terrible!

Of course in theory bulling is not allowed in Waldorf schools. However because they let the children have so much unstructured free play I think allot gets by the teachers unnoticed.
Another thing is they let my son get away with bad behaviour.Often he had no idea he had done any thing wrong!
This is not only my experience but other parents as well.
I can't say though if that is so in every Waldorf school because allot of it depends on how vigilant the individual teacher is.
raksmama is offline  
#3 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 01:48 AM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That should not be tolerated in any school....period! :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
#4 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 04:42 PM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This has not been my experience at our school. Whenever we have had a problem, the teachers have kept a closer eye on things and made sure that the situation did not continue. Your friend should keep talking to the teacher about it and asking what she can do to help with her son. Is it possible for her to talk with the other mother? As crazy as it seems, a playdate together at one or the other's house might help a lot.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#5 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
This has not been my experience at our school. Whenever we have had a problem, the teachers have kept a closer eye on things and made sure that the situation did not continue. Your friend should keep talking to the teacher about it and asking what she can do to help with her son. Is it possible for her to talk with the other mother? As crazy as it seems, a playdate together at one or the other's house might help a lot.

My friend has actually tried prior to this recent incident to set up a play date with them. She even said to the mother that she believes they could get past their differences if they spent time one on one together. The other mother was not interested.

I will advise her to keep discussing the situation with the teacher. She is also thinking of requesting her son be switched to a different teacher next year since their are 4 classes for that grade. Besides the issue with this other child she is thinking that this may not be the right teacher for her son.

Thank you for all your feedback ladies. I was at a loss as to what to tell her because I do not have any personal experience with Waldorf.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
#6 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 10:55 PM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,626
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
She should also be able to take the problem to a higher authority if she is not getting anywhere with the teacher. How this works depends on the school.

Some schools have a "lead" teacher or "chair" at each level. At the Chicago Waldorf School there was a chair for early childhood, one for the grades and one for the HS. If a question wasn't satisfactorily answered by the teacher the talking to the chair would be the next step.

The parent's handbook should have a section on problem resolution. If it doesn't, talk to the school administrator or to the college chair.

Hope she can get this sorted out quickly. It sounds like a terrible situation.
Nana
Deborah is online now  
#7 of 47 Old 07-01-2005, 03:03 AM
 
janellesmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I am not at all surprised that the teacher didn't do anything. Anthroposophists believe in karma. If a child is being bullied, it is because of his or her karma, and they don't want to interfere.
janellesmommy is offline  
#8 of 47 Old 07-01-2005, 03:10 AM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by janellesmommy
I am not at all surprised that the teacher didn't do anything. Anthroposophists believe in karma. If a child is being bullied, it is because of his or her karma, and they don't want to interfere.
What is suppose to happen then? :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
#9 of 47 Old 07-01-2005, 08:52 AM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by janellesmommy
I am not at all surprised that the teacher didn't do anything. Anthroposophists believe in karma. If a child is being bullied, it is because of his or her karma, and they don't want to interfere.

For one thing, not all Waldorf teachers are anthroposophists and for another, even if they do believe in karma, most no longer follow this line of reasoning. Our Kindergarten teachers seemed to believe in karma (never came out an said they specifically did) and they never let this sort of bullying go on. They believed in teaching kids manners and that everyone should be treated nicely and fairly. One of their most common sayings to the children is "All doors are open" meaning that no one is allowed to exclude another child from playing with them or their group.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#10 of 47 Old 07-01-2005, 05:37 PM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,626
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
I agree with Rhonwyn. I have about 40 years of experience with waldorf, as a student, parent, administrator and now grandparent and I've never once had a teacher use karma as a reason to abstain from interfering with bullying or any other problem between children.

When I was going to public schools I was regularly bullied. No teacher ever noticed, much less interfered. This was in the 50s and 60s and I believe there wasn't much awareness among teachers. In gym class bullying was even encouraged. Gym class was an opportunity for the rest of the kids to pick on the brainy kids.

When I was 14 I moved to a waldorf school. In the two years I spent there I was never once bullied or harassed. In the 13 years my daughter spent in two waldorf schools she had one problem with teasing, in HS. The kids involved ended up leaving the school.

So the teachers in this particular situation may be incompetent, but I doubt if a belief in karma plays into the problem at all. It is just another club to attack waldorf. It is effective to raise a concern about bullying in a waldorf school in exactly the same way it would be raised in any other school. First by talking to the teacher and then, if that doesn't quickly resolve the problem, going up to the next level of authority. In some schools that would be the chair, sometimes in a larger school the "level" chair, sometimes the college chair, sometimes the administrator. Who to go to should be explained in the parent handbook, and if it isn't, that is another concern to raise.

Deborah (Nana)
Deborah is online now  
#11 of 47 Old 07-05-2005, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wanted to give all of you ladies an update since you were so helpful with my question.

I saw my friend briefly over the week-end and asked her how her meeting went with the chair. She did not want to get into it. She still wants to switch teachers for her son and told me she needs to write a letter. When I asked her if she got any resolution she said that they need to have another meeting. All she really said about the experience was that they really did not seem to care as it was the end of the school year. She felt they were more interested in summer break then discussing her child.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
#12 of 47 Old 07-16-2005, 02:12 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kewb
I wanted to give all of you ladies an update since you were so helpful with my question.

I saw my friend briefly over the week-end and asked her how her meeting went with the chair. She did not want to get into it. She still wants to switch teachers for her son and told me she needs to write a letter. When I asked her if she got any resolution she said that they need to have another meeting. All she really said about the experience was that they really did not seem to care as it was the end of the school year. She felt they were more interested in summer break then discussing her child.
It has been my experience that, depending on the teacher, bullying is allowed for some time to run its course. I sincerely believe this is based on the Anthroposophical belief in karma and a reasoning that says the students have karma together that needs to be worked out. The extent to which this is allowed to continue, varies from teacher to teacher and school to school - but it happens and it is my understanding that it is fairly common.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#13 of 47 Old 07-19-2005, 08:50 AM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
It has been my experience that, depending on the teacher, bullying is allowed for some time to run its course. I sincerely believe this is based on the Anthroposophical belief in karma and a reasoning that says the students have karma together that needs to be worked out. The extent to which this is allowed to continue, varies from teacher to teacher and school to school - but it happens and it is my understanding that it is fairly common.

Pete

From my experience, it is not common. Our school, in particular, has had several Waldorf speakers come and address the issue of bullying. How to recognize it and how to handle it. At every single workshop I have attended, not once has karma been used as an excuse to allow bullying to continue.

I can only speak for the Kindergarten classes and the two classes my children are a part of, but in none of them was bullying allowed to continue. There was some letting the children work things out but when situations came to the point where it was obvious that this was not working, the teachers or parents around, stepped in. A no blame policy of working with the receiver and the giver, has worked very well in the Kindergarten classes and the 2 grade school classes I have directly observed. The 'all doors are open' policy the Kindergarten teachers, whom our family was with for 5 years between two children, worked very well. I won't say everything was sweetness and light, but when problems arose, they were adressed and not allowed to fester.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#14 of 47 Old 07-19-2005, 09:27 AM
 
pioneermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: many places in my mind
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With all respect, from my view, I do believe that far too much is allowed/accepted under the Anthroposophical umbrella of karma.
pioneermama is offline  
#15 of 47 Old 07-19-2005, 03:18 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneermama
With all respect, from my view, I do believe that far too much is allowed/accepted under the Anthroposophical umbrella of karma.
I can relate a personal experience here. I came to pick up my son from class one afternoon and turned the corner in time to witness him swing his backpack at (and hit) another, much larger boy. I started to step in but the teacher was there (a teacher I dearly love, BTW) and she let it go. The bigger boy was a little stunned by it, but was OK. I pulled the teacher aside and asked what that was all about. She said the bigger boy had been pestering my boy all week. What I witnessed was a response to an ongoing situation - one that resolved itself at that point. I'm not sure I would have let it work itself out in this way (based on the behavior my son had to adopt to protect himself) but I let it go. It's not that I don't believe in "boys will be boys", but I would have drawn the line earlier.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#16 of 47 Old 07-19-2005, 05:15 PM
 
sphinx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: with the spiders from mars
Posts: 564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My dd was a victim this past year in preschool of a "Queen Bee" bully who did the same thing - divided up all the girls, told each one whom they could play with and what they could play, hovered, manipulated, bullied and harrassed the kids, mostly the girls. The teachers said they did believe there was karma at work, but that they would guide my dd to help her come into her own strength so she could meet the challenge, but as far as I can tell, they just forgot all about it and let it continue. In the class next door there is a boy bully who had similar tactics.

The mothers of three girls in our class all compared notes and we all had the same experiences with the teachers’ noncommittal attitude. Five boys in the other class dropped out last year due to that same boy because essentially the parents were told that the boy had to work it out and the teachers were not going to do anything to stop him.

On the other hand, the preschool dd went to in the U.S. from 2002-2004 was totally different, where the teacher was very proactive in stopping the dominant kids from bullying. She was also much more culturally aware and less traditionally Waldorf than the teachers here (Eastern Europe). So I think it really is individual on the part of the teacher and whether the school community is progressive or more orthodox.
sphinx is offline  
#17 of 47 Old 07-21-2005, 08:56 AM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Again, I can only speak for our school, but at our school there is recognition that bullying is not a good thing and it is not allowed to go on with karma as the excuse. The children are encouraged to work things out but with guidance from the teacher or other adults. As the children get older, many of this situations are handled in class meetings with the children policing themselves.

I will say that rough play is allowed but is watched closely to make sure that it is okay with all parties. If someone didn't want to be a part of it, the class was expected to let that party not participate without any reprecussions. My son has been on the receiving end of rough play (wrestling on the ground) but he is not usually the instigator. His teacher (in private) has asked him repeatedly if he was okay with it. He always said 'Yes, it is fun!'. She was concerned that he was just saying that to be part of the group so she came to us and talked about it, seeking to make sure that he really was okay with it. We talked with him and because we know our son, we were able to confirm that he really was okay with it and actually enjoyed it. The wrestling lasted maybe a couple of months before the boys moved on to something else. It seemed to be something that they needed to do to get it out of their system. I was glad that the teacher kept a very close eye on it but allowed it to continue. I believe it was a release for them after summer until they could settle down in school and without the wrestling, many of the boys would have had discipline issues in the classroom.

One of the reasons I like Waldorf, is that they let the kids climb trees, etc and stretch themselves physically.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#18 of 47 Old 07-21-2005, 12:14 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's sometimes a fine line between being authoritative and bullying. Waldorf teachers tend to have problems with independent-thinking children. My personal experience has been that Waldorf teachers can become the bullies. In my child's class, the teacher had lost favor with (the respect of) the children - at least half the class hated her (and she deserved it IMO). One child was more vocal than the other children and the teacher chose to make things difficult on her - making her run laps in the hot sun and giving her dirty looks when nobody was looking. In one case the teacher came into the girl's restroom and seeing a huge mess that the child had nothing to do with, forced her and her friend to clean up the entire restroom. After the teacher was finally fired (after months of the other teachers circling the wagons around her) the girl was seen laughing in the hallway (I'm told about something unrelated) and it was assumed by another teacher that the children were discussing the firing of their teacher. The child was told she would have to work the entire day in the garden (Southern California in June = 90-100 degrees). A parent stepped in and stopped the punishment. I feel strongly that bullying of children extends to teachers and administrators.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#19 of 47 Old 07-21-2005, 03:29 PM
 
pioneermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: many places in my mind
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
She said the bigger boy had been pestering my boy all week. What I witnessed was a response to an ongoing situation - one that resolved itself at that point.
Pete,

From my view, I do not understand why the bigger child would be allowed to pester your child in an ongoing manner for a week without a teacher addressing it in some positive way before your child felt he had to swing his backpack at the bigger boy?

My two cents: There are several different takes on karma and how it works. The Anthroposophical view is but one.

I have checked into (visited, stayed, observed) four different Waldorf schools and participated along with my dd in one playgroup. In the three school visits I witnessed varying degrees of bullying and aggression and there was no teacher intervention.

I think it is potentially dangerous to have a policy of non-interference in the name of karma.
pioneermama is offline  
#20 of 47 Old 07-21-2005, 04:04 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneermama
Pete,

From my view, I do not understand why the bigger child would be allowed to pester your child in an ongoing manner for a week without a teacher addressing it in some positive way before your child felt he had to swing his backpack at the bigger boy?
I can kind of understand it I suppose. One kid does a little pestering - a little shove here, a little punch there. The other kid says "knock it off" and the first kid stops for a while. Then starts up again - maybe a little more forceful - and so on. I can see this happening and building up over the course of a week. Again, I would have stepped in sooner.

Quote:
My two cents: There are several different takes on karma and how it works. The Anthroposophical view is but one.
Oh, yes! Absolutely. One cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater - karma, as provided in the wisdom traditions, is not karma as provided in Anthroposophy.
Quote:
I have checked into (visited, stayed, observed) four different Waldorf schools and participated along with my dd in one playgroup. In the three school visits I witnessed varying degrees of bullying and aggression and there was no teacher intervention.

I think it is potentially dangerous to have a policy of non-interference in the name of karma.
And, again, I don't know if it is a "policy" per se, or just a practice that is deemed acceptable by some teachers. Teachers (most teachers) believe (are taught) that every child in their class is there because of a karmic connection with the teacher and the class.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#21 of 47 Old 07-22-2005, 12:05 PM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
There's sometimes a fine line between being authoritative and bullying. Waldorf teachers tend to have problems with independent-thinking children. My personal experience has been that Waldorf teachers can become the bullies. In my child's class, the teacher had lost favor with (the respect of) the children - at least half the class hated her (and she deserved it IMO). One child was more vocal than the other children and the teacher chose to make things difficult on her - making her run laps in the hot sun and giving her dirty looks when nobody was looking. In one case the teacher came into the girl's restroom and seeing a huge mess that the child had nothing to do with, forced her and her friend to clean up the entire restroom. After the teacher was finally fired (after months of the other teachers circling the wagons around her) the girl was seen laughing in the hallway (I'm told about something unrelated) and it was assumed by another teacher that the children were discussing the firing of their teacher. The child was told she would have to work the entire day in the garden (Southern California in June = 90-100 degrees). A parent stepped in and stopped the punishment. I feel strongly that bullying of children extends to teachers and administrators.

Pete

Well, if that is the behavior of the teachers at your school, then I would say that your school has problems. I will agree with you that Waldorf schools do tend to hang on to things too long while they are trying to fix them. Sometimes a swift break is better than a long drawn out process - kind of like removing a band aid. I have seen this happen with teachers that should be removed and students that should be removed. There is this overwhelming need to save them or fix them when sometimes it is just not possible in the given situation and what is really needed is a whole new perspective.

I will also say that having the same teacher for 8 years can either be a blessing or a curse depending on the dynamics between the teacher and student or students.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#22 of 47 Old 07-22-2005, 12:34 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Well, if that is the behavior of the teachers at your school, then I would say that your school has problems.
I would agree with that. This is one reason I am so vocal in my criticisms.
Quote:
I will agree with you that Waldorf schools do tend to hang on to things too long while they are trying to fix them. Sometimes a swift break is better than a long drawn out process - kind of like removing a band aid. I have seen this happen with teachers that should be removed and students that should be removed. There is this overwhelming need to save them or fix them when sometimes it is just not possible in the given situation and what is really needed is a whole new perspective.
It's a very strange dynamic. When the problem is in the students, the school deals with it swiftly. When the problem is in the teachers, the school doesn't deal with it until it becomes a crisis. A case of a child selling marijuana to another child was dealt with swiftly - an immediate suspension and subsequent expulsion. A case of a teacher hitting a child was covered up, different explanations of the behavior (in conflict with each other) were provided - ending in a fabricated story that the teacher had lost her voice that day and was trying to get the child's attention (this after an explanation that the teacher had yelled at the child repeatedly and the child ignored her). Just enough smoke was provided by the school to give an acceptable explanation of what occurred and to obfuscate the situation. As a result, I am told the teacher will still be working at the school but not teaching. The process by which a fabricated story is dispensed by various persons throughout the school has worked fairly well in the past so they continue to use it. Yes, I would say the school has problems - and it is exactly the behavior of these schools - when it becomes known - that ALL Waldorf schools must overcome. It behooves Waldorf (or AWSNA) to put pressure on these problematic schools to change this type of behavior for the benefit of Waldorf schools everywhere.
Quote:
I will also say that having the same teacher for 8 years can either be a blessing or a curse depending on the dynamics between the teacher and student or students.
Again, we agree.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#23 of 47 Old 07-22-2005, 01:57 PM
 
pioneermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: many places in my mind
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
JMTC - We set the bar for acceptable behavior in society by what it is that we tolerate and what it is that we challenge. If we want a different type of society, a more respectful way of relating to one another say, and a society that transforms aggressor/victim dynamics into the light aspect of those twin archetypes, then we need to learn how to communicate differently with one another. I feel that it is the job of schools to foster good conflict resolution skills between children because it is a social setting. Of course, it is the parents' job first.

I feel that a set protocol for conflict resolution must be part of the teachers training and that all schools who sign up with the national organization should adhere to such standards.

I appreciate much about the Waldorf philosophy, but I feel that it needs a change to match our present day circumstances and what it is that we wish for our world now and in the future.
pioneermama is offline  
#24 of 47 Old 07-23-2005, 11:19 AM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneermama
JMTC - We set the bar for acceptable behavior in society by what it is that we tolerate and what it is that we challenge. If we want a different type of society, a more respectful way of relating to one another say, and a society that transforms aggressor/victim dynamics into the light aspect of those twin archetypes, then we need to learn how to communicate differently with one another. It is the job of schools to foster good conflict resolution skills between children. Of course, this is the parents' job first.
And let's not forget that conflicts at the school may not always involve children directly. I'm told there are teachers at my kid's school who haven't spoken to each other for years. I've seen administrators and teachers gang up on a teacher and falsify testimony to have that teacher fired (they even rehearsed what they were going to say) because he wouldn't let the bullying teachers run roughshod over his ideas. When they had a meeting and the entire faculty confronted the parents about the teacher, even with the fabricated testimony, the parents almost unanimously (I think one parent bought into the scam) stood up in support of the teacher (how often do you find a teacher with that type of support). Didn't matter, he was fired. That, I suppose, is one type of conflict resolution.

And let's also not forget the conflicts between parents and teachers or parents and the school administrators are also within the dynamic of the school. Some of the worst bullying at Waldorf schools is directed at the parents. This can take the form of the subtle "we know better than you" or very agressive disinformation, defamation, slander, threats and more. This type of thing has happened to dozens of people I know of.

So when it comes to setting the bar at what we are willing to tolerate, and what we will challenge, maybe we should be challenging more and tolerating less.

Quote:
I feel that a set protocol for conflict resolution must be part of the teachers training and that all schools who sign up with the national organization should adhere to such standards.
Waldorf teachers don't sign up with any national organization and there are literally no standards or requirements for being a Waldorf teacher. It's not as if they have to comply with state standards. There is a Waldorf teacher training program but teachers may teach without having taken this course.
Quote:
I appreacite much about the Waldorf philosophy, but I feel that it needs a change to match our present day circumstances and what it is that we wish for our world now and in the future.
Hear hear... Maybe raising the bar is in order.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#25 of 47 Old 07-23-2005, 01:00 PM
 
canndw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really hate getting into petty arguments on this board, but a couple of things here need addressing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
And let's not forget that conflicts at the school may not always involve children directly. I'm told there are teachers at my kid's school who haven't spoken to each other for years.
...
And let's also not forget the conflicts between parents and teachers or parents and the school administrators are also within the dynamic of the school. Some of the worst bullying at Waldorf schools is directed at the parents.
I'm sure, Pete, that it was just lack of time that caused you to omit describing the "parent bullying teacher or staff member" dynamic, right? You know, the parent who tries to get his/her kid out of a consequence, who attributes all academic problems to teacher incompetence (as opposed to, say, lack of homework diligence, or excessive time devoted to outside activities), who gets insulted when the office calls about required forms or late fees, who thinks rules are for everybody else, who sometimes tells the teacher or school staff member "Listen, I pay your salary -- you work for ME". Completeness requires that you acknowledge this, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
Waldorf teachers don't sign up with any national organization and there are literally no standards or requirements for being a Waldorf teacher. It's not as if they have to comply with state standards.
An AWSNA school does report the educational background (waldorf and otherwise) to the Association. But, as independent school, it really is the individual school's responsibility to hire the proper staff -- just like any other private school.

The second sentence is untrue. Individual states can place whatever requirements they want on private school teachers. Some have few or no requirements, other may have more.

Here, teachers are required to have bachelors degrees from accredited universities. This causes issues with teachers from overseas (we have three). One teacher here had to go through a lot of bureaucracy just to justify her degree from McGill University in Montreal, a reputable institution by any measure.

David
canndw is offline  
#26 of 47 Old 07-23-2005, 02:56 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,824
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Per Cynthia (the board administrator), MDC will not host debate about a particular school in which the identity can be inferred, even if not stated directly.

Personal debate that is off topic is also disrespectful to the OP who usually has different intentions for the thread.

It is not part of the mission and purpose of MDC.

Members wishing to debate the merits and downfalls of a particular school will need to do this by PM.


Thank you.

 
lauren is offline  
#27 of 47 Old 07-23-2005, 02:57 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by canndw
I really hate getting into petty arguments on this board, but a couple of things here need addressing...
I'm sorry you see these issues as petty, David. They are part of the dynamic at many, many Waldorf schools. Also, I don't consider these things as "arguments" but discussions. I don't think either one of us are here to argue with anyone.
Quote:
I'm sure, Pete, that it was just lack of time that caused you to omit describing the "parent bullying teacher or staff member" dynamic, right?
No, I've got plenty of time today. It never occurred to me to include it because it is not within my experience that a parent can bully a staff member at a Waldorf school. In my experience, parents in the situation of disagreeing or confronting a teacher or staff member face a solid front of teachers and staff members who will, without regard for the facts, support their own. Without question, the parent will end up being bullied. Perhaps your experience is different.
Quote:
You know, the parent who tries to get his/her kid out of a consequence,
Yep, been there. When the consequence is unwarranted, too harsh or applied to the wrong person, this gets a little touchy. Certainly you wouldn't consider it bullying to ask that consequences be fairly applied and to the right children.
Quote:
who attributes all academic problems to teacher incompetence (as opposed to, say, lack of homework diligence, or excessive time devoted to outside activities),
I have never encountered this - and it doesn't make sense. In my experience, parents who monitor their child's progress and are concerned with academic problems to the point where they would vocalize these problems are exactly the ones who are diligentent in ensuring the child does their homework before outside activities are allowed. Parents who don't care about homework are not typically parents who complain about academics. However, parents who complain about academics ARE parents who are very concerned about teacher incompetence. And, of course, it isn't always teacher incompetence that is at fault - it is frequently the ill-conceived child development indications of Steiner and a Waldorf curriculum that undervalues academics which most often contribute to parental concerns about academic progress in their children.
Quote:
who gets insulted when the office calls about required forms or late fees, who thinks rules are for everybody else, who sometimes tells the teacher or school staff member "Listen, I pay your salary -- you work for ME".

Completeness requires that you acknowledge this, too.
Again, I've never heard of any of these so it would be impossible for me to acknowledge them but I appreciate that you have brought up these issues to round out the discussion.
Quote:
An AWSNA school does report the educational background (waldorf and otherwise) to the Association. But, as independent school, it really is the individual school's responsibility to hire the proper staff -- just like any other private school.
I don't disagree with this. Parents should examine the credentials of the teachers at the school they are interested in attending.
Quote:
The second sentence is untrue. Individual states can place whatever requirements they want on private school teachers. Some have few or no requirements, other may have more.
Yes, I agree this would vary from state to state. Another responsibility for parents, perhaps. In my state, apparently no requirements are in place. In California Waldorf schools, teachers have been teaching without even having attended a college - let alone attaining a degree of any sort. And I'm not talking just after-school help, or specialty teachers, but grade teachers.
Quote:
Here, teachers are required to have bachelors degrees from accredited universities. This causes issues with teachers from overseas (we have three). One teacher here had to go through a lot of bureaucracy just to justify her degree from McGill University in Montreal, a reputable institution by any measure.
Again, at some schools, there are no such requirements - and no concern about credentials by the school. Teachers are expected to go through the Waldorf teacher training program - that's about all the qualifications they need.

Pete
Pete is offline  
#28 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am amzed that my question on bullying is the cause for such robust discussion. Everyones respones have given me some directions to point my friend in and I am sure will be helpful in her decision on moving her son to a different teacher. I will be asking her if she knows the teacher turn-over at the school.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
#29 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 03:17 PM
 
bremen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Reinickendorf
Posts: 633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i hear so much here of "waldorf schools are like this" and "in Waldorf schools they do it this way", but in my experience, every waldorf schools is so different. in my school, a child caught smoking marijuana on a school bus was not reprimanded. my computer programming teacher was not a teacher of any kind. he was the ballroom dancing partner of my fine arts teacher's daughter. i really feel that much of the information in this thread deals specifically with the schoold that each of us are experienced with. sometimes saying the way things are handled in waldorf schools can be as broad as saying the way things are handled in public schools
bremen is offline  
#30 of 47 Old 07-24-2005, 03:27 PM
 
bremen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Reinickendorf
Posts: 633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
kewb- you said your friend's son is 5. will he still be in kindergarten in the fall? it is not considerred as major to change the kindergarten class of a child as it is to chnge their class when they are older. in the schools i am familiar with, there are several kindergarten classes, but only 1 class per grade after that. changing her child's class, i hope will not be too difficult, i hope. but even in the worst situation, the child will only be with this teacher for kindergarten. i have never heard of a teacher teaching kindergarten and lowerschool.
bremen is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off