Monday, March 29, 2010
Where is Waldorf? Waldorf is where there is a community of people dedicated to the holistic wellness of our children and the world we live in. Two places I know of are East Bay Waldorf School and Davis Waldorf School, where in the former I am currently teaching, and the latter, I will be in the fall 2010 school year.
How I became so amazingly blessed to spend time with the faculty, students, and parents of both places is unfathomable! It seems the angels have been secretly watching over me as I went about my work. I accept their gift with humility, and gratitude.
This is not the kind of gift one receives like a gift certificate to a day spa!
It is more of the kind of gift like I have just been knighted. It is really cool and honorable, but you know you've got some serious work to do thereafter!
At East Bay Waldorf, I have been teaching sciences and math to the upper grades, with an economics block winding down the week after spring break. That same week, I am starting my new assignment at East Bay taking the children of class two through to the end of the school year! (Their wonderful teacher since first grade is blessed with a pregnancy, but is also experiencing some health-related concerns.) With nine weeks left, we will have time for a 4 week math block and a 4 week language arts block, and a week for review of recap of the year. I will reinforce their math skills and their reading and writing skills to prepare them for third grade. Overall, my goal is to maintain the joyfulness in their hearts and the reverence of their classroom, so that at whatever capacity they are at, they will meet their learning with love and enthusiasm.
At Davis Waldorf School, I will enter the fall 2010 school year as the sixth grade teacher. This will be a wonderful journey and hope to graduate the Class of 2013! I have many great ideas for the fall, and am looking forward to connecting with the children and parents in creating a synergistic flow of learning, doing, feeling, and being!
My new post has been recently announced to the parents of the children, and Kelly Brewer, the administrator at DWS, directed parents to visit my blogsite. I have attached links to previous blog posts that DWS parents might be interested in. Of course, you are welcome to read any of my postings and visit other blogsites as well!
Please visit the following links for highlights:
My motive force:
My Waldorf philosophy:
Upper grades curriculum:
Please feel free to email me at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Ricky has been with the Hristov-Csikany Fencing Club for about two and half years. He trains in the art of the sabre. There is a gradual and steady building of technique, skill, and strength in Ricky, and he does it with maturity and discipline. His fencing teachers always comment that he is a model student, ready and willing to learn. He is a smart fencer, according to his teachers, using a strategy with equal parts patience, skill, and composure.
In a club tournament that pitted him against his classmates, his hard work paid off. He earned First Place and brought home the gold medal.
So I am proud of Ricky that in his will forces exist the drive to do well, the discipline to carry it through, and the reverence to honor his relationships with his peers, his teachers, and the energy of the cosmos. Did I say I was proud of Ricky?
Friday, March 26, 2010
So, just a recap of the block, each major concept was brought each day in a sequential, fluid manner.
The elements - wood, water, fire, earth, and air- through the human condition, are NATURAL RESOURCES.
These translate, for the human, into RAW MATERIALS.
Raw materials offer SELF-SUSTAINABILITY.
Acknowledging our limitations, we turn to BARTER.
Essential to the function of exchange of goods is understanding that things have VALUE.
We also value convenience, so CURRENCY is invented, and value is assisgned as PRICE.
Knowing that someone else is willing to pay a price for a good leads to the fundamentals of ECONOMICS.
In economics, being a PRODUCER has its obvious appeal.
Being a producer is worthwhile if we generate PROFIT.
Having a business plan that projects a profit allows start-ups to get CAPITAL, and the bank will add its fee as INTEREST.
As a producer, now with money to buy materials, we begin MANUFACTURING and MARKETING our product.
This brings us to Grade Six Greetings, with cards featuring original artwork by the students of grade six. The students displayed teamwork, creativity, and natural business acumen!
We sold the cards at the school for $3, and on the first day, having produced over 90 cards, sold ALL of them! They were so proud of their efforts, and I was so impressed!
With one week after spring break to bring the block to a close, we will discuss SUPPLY and DEMAND, SERVICE-oriented businesses, and to bring the block to a complete circle, I want them to think and act globally, to honor the ELEMENTS, while pursuing our economic goals.
Enjoy the following pictures of the card assembly!
1. We created the artwork: pencil drawings, geometric forms, and abstract watercoloring.
2. I showed them a trick on how to fold cardstock perfectly - push the edges against a flat plane!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I had a request to render in wood an iconic image of Christianity. As I carved the poplar, and the form of a man carrying the cross began to emerge, I knew that this powerful moment I was depicting held much symbolic meaning for humankind. Through selfless love, Jesus carries the weight of mankind, and sacrifices himself for us. Can we bear the weight of our own mortality? Do we have the strength to free our souls by making earthly sacrifices? Whatever religious and spiritual beliefs we follow, love should guide us all, and our spirits will rise to meet the angels.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
At Syrendell in lovely Fair Oaks, my wife and I held a workshop where the vibrant hues of naturally-dyed fibers and watercolor paints gave brightness and joy to our day! Through our Syrendell Academy workshop held February 27, Jennifer taught handwork techniques in spinning and carding beautiful fibers and yarns in the morning. In the afternoon, I taught curriculum for the second grade, introduced the five spheres of Waldorf education, block crayon work, and wet-on-wet painting. Second grader Tristan had also attended the workshop and created nature-inspired crafts and a painting of his own! Thank you to those who graced us with their creative energy on a wonderful Saturday at Syrendell!
watercolor painting for the crow and the pitcher