The Sebastopol Charter School is dedicated to bringing curriculum inspired by the core principles of Public Waldorf education to its students. Everything we do is based on this goal, so it is essential that all members of our community commit to learning about this education. In their daily and weekly work, the faculty studies pedagogy inspired by the principles of Public Waldorf Education and strives to bring it in new and deeper ways to their students. The administration works in a way that supports this process, and indeed studies and practices methods of working in order to lead the school in a unified and appropriate manner.
It is our hope that parents will also strive to continue to read, learn, and grow in their support for this education. Having a child in our school is not an experience that can ripen fully if there is not support for the education at home as well. So many of the policies and programs at the school can only be successful with parent understanding of the deeper underpinnings of the education. All the things the school asks of families have been deeply considered and thought through – they are not random policies generated to be a burden. Rather, they are designed carefully to provide a solid basis for educational success.
We encourage parents to read, study, ask questions, and gain a continually deeper understanding of our pedagogy. The subject is complex and can involve just about every facet of family life. Some parents read articles to help them when they have questions and they attend class meetings regularly. Others extend this quest for understanding by going as far as taking a full teacher training course. Whatever path parents choose, we ask they join the faculty and administration in constantly striving to learn and understand the child’s experience in a deeper way. Here are some resources you may find helpful:
- You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, by Rahima Baldwin. A classic parenting guide, especially for families of pre-school aged children.
- Waldorf Education, a Family Guide, by Pamela Johnson Fenner. An older, but stalwart beginner’s guide, answering commonly asked questions. Highly recommended for new parents.
- Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out, by Jack Petrash. Insights from a very experienced class teacher and father. Great outline of the key ideas behind the curriculum.
- Waldorf Schools: Volume I and II, edited by Ruth Pusch. A readable collection of articles on a variety of topics.
- School as a Journey: the Eight-Year Odyssey of a Waldorf Teacher and His Class, by Torin Finser. A lovely overview of the “grades” experience as seen through a class teacher’s eyes, with lots of helpful insights on child development. Has a wonderful appendix that helps anyone interested go further into their reading.