Dear Families and Friends,
Thank you for attending Wednesday evening’s Community Town Hall! We appreciate your flexibility in switching gears so quickly upon discovering we had a Zoom Meeting limit of 100, which was excluding waiting attendees. In the end, nearly 200 people were in attendance and we spent 137 minutes together (plus the time it took to switch gears). Attached to this message is the Google Slide Deck used during the presentation and below is the “word cloud” generated by the opening polling question: “In one or more words, what convinced you to be a member of the Waldorf School of Orange County?”
As teachers, our focus is on providing an education that meets the individual needs of your child. In a practical description, our preparation goes beyond just preparing a daily lesson for the entire class, but truly observing, probing, asking — both directly and indirectly — what does Hannah need, what do Johnny and Sara need. What story does Alex need to hear to inspire and encourage him to go home and completely recreate the Main Lesson Book page we did in class—of his own accord—from the will of his inner nature? Hearing the biography of Joan of Arc, which child in the class will be filled with the inner seed or spark that they too have something to bring to the world—some inspiration, some gift, some offering! Which “mouse” in the class will truly feel their inner strength surge upon hearing the tale of the mouse rescuing the Lion—the king of all the animals? The list goes on—day by day—tale by tale—subject by subject.
The essential question is who are you (imagine the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland) and how can we teachers help you become that human being you’re striving to become. The answers are as individual as the questions. And our work is to ask the right questions—keep asking them, listen—listen openly and intently, without preconceived ideas, and continuously prepare ourselves to be filled with the inspiration to meet the unique puzzle of each child—each human becoming.
How does this relate to the Town Hall and the work we are doing as a school to traverse this new and unnavigated terrain? Well, just like the many explorers who have come before us, we are stepping forward with courage and a conviction that there is something new to discover, something new to learn. Our community Town Hall was the first “contextual grounding” if you will—a first conversation characterizing what work lay before us, what mountains we have to climb—and if we are paying attention, what breath-taking vistas lie at the peak. It also revealed that, as a school, we haven’t been asking all the right questions—we haven’t been having the essential conversations to know—from every family—what ails thee, what do you need to remain a valued, honored and cherished member of our community.
To begin this work:
- We will first meet with families of the youngest students by continuing the conversation on Monday, June 8th at 6:30 pm. Families will receive a separate Zoom meeting invitation.
- Subsequent individual conversations with each of these families will follow.
- We will continue by having conversations with every WSOC student’s family over the course of the summer.
“A healthy social life is found only when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.”
–Rudolf Steiner, Founder, Waldorf Education
WSOC Return to School Committee