--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> --- In email@example.com, "isenhart7"
> <isenhart7@> wrote:
> > Dear Pete,
> > I've been fortunate to have had very dedicated teachers.
> I've discovered that there are two types of happily satisfied
> parents - those that have truly had great Waldorf experiences, and
> those who are willing to overlook horrible experiences with
> all schools have their problems" mindset.
I would say that, yes there are problems everywhere. I wouldn't say
that I have "overlooked horrible experiences" though because I think-
oh it'd be just as bad someplace else-like this is the way it has to
be. Maybe I've worked through the mistakes and the mis-steps and the
wrong-doings-worked through them to glean what could be learned for
the sake of my own understanding and my own children's edification
and growth rather than the benefit of the whole.
I'll give you a innocuous example. In fifth grade or so my daughter
came home with the word "biggly" on her spelling list. Well, "bigly"
wasn't in her dictionary or in the family's big Webster's unabridged.
So we looked it up in a older two-volume unabridged that once
belonged to her grandparents. And there we found "bigly". Then we
talked about how English is a living language as opposed to a dead
one and what that means. I had her look up a few other words that
like "bigly" had fallen out of use, fe drey. And I told her the story
of the word quiz and had her look that up. In what dictionary, what
edition, what year did it show up?
Then later that week we happened to be up at the University Library
because the books she needed for another assignment could only be
found there(another contentious point for parents) and I had her look
bigly up in the OED. So all in all, I thought a lot was learned and I
assumed the whole time that the archaic word was intentional on the
teacher's part. But apparently it wasn't. And several parents put
their energy into berating the teacher as a result of bigly not being
a "real" word as it wasn't found in their dictionaries. This became a
big deal and was bigly a part of why this particular teacher's
contract wasn't renewed after the eighth grade.
> And so we have spiritually *stuck* people keeping up a pretense of
> being spiritual while doing everything in their power to control
> others around them, perhaps through deceit, but certainly including
> putting pressure on them in various ways (guilt, threat,
> ridicule/humiliation) in order to get what they want.
Well, I don't know-it seems like they'd be stuck but I wouldn't say
they would be carrying on a pretense. I think we differ here. I'm
saying that they very much desire to be on a spiritual path but
they're unable to take the first step. I'm not thinking they would be
themselves conscious or aware of this. So maybe, maybe Pete this
deceit, this lying that you see is at its heart denial. A lie we tell
ourselves first and then, yeah control the environment-the external-
to match the internal state of conflict. Well, that's what I read,
anyway-I see denied conflict, denied conflict, denied conflict in
what you are writing about your school-that problems are brought to
their attention and they are denied.
> > Well, if you understood my chart-you know $$$$$!!!
> I'll admit, I gave up on the chart.
That is so funny! Okay so you're saying deceptive practices and lying
advertising etc. I'm saying lack of discernment and active pursuit of
parents with means. I think where we agree, Pete, is that WS's should
be there for the people that want them, should recruit the parents
that want them, and should work to retain the parents that seek this
education for their children. So on my chart I used heart but we
could say desire or want-I think schools would be more effective by
marketing to those parents who have this desire-to have this type of
education for their children. Across the board socio-economically
with high heart forces or connection would be represented by the
entire top half of my chart. People with high heart and low resources
and people with high heart and high resources would be attracted by
The criteria, then the screen, the filter would be connection.
Instead what I have seen is a failure to discern that this parental
connection, desire, and drive is the thing that has kept schools
afloat all these years. This is my opinion anyway. But then, yeah,
I'm a parent. Now, what I have seen in at least one school is a
conscious move to target market to parents with resources. The
thinking here is that the school requires increasing resources so
that the marketing needs to be attracting a greater number of parents
with means. Now the criteria becomes $$$ and the school will attract
parents with high dollars if they are sucessful in their marketing.
Those parents, more able to afford the education will cover the
entire spectrum of low-high heart forces or connectedness to the
This is how I see it, Pete. The "right" dividing line is, in this
case the horizontal line. The "wrong" division is the vertical.
> OK, but here's one that isn't dumb, that our Waldorf school didn't
> follow - Teachers and administrators may not distribute or
> medication to a child for whom it was not intended. While this is a
> very good saftey measure, and an excellent law, it only pertains to
> public school teachers. Private Waldorf schools are not bound by
> law. In our school, "calming" medication intended for a particular
> child was distributed to other children - with the intention of
> calming them down. When this was reported to the police, they said
> there was nothing they could do because it was a private school. If
> safety is truly an issue with parents, they should look at these
> of safety issues.
Yeah, I'm just thinking that the whole public/independent school
difference is a loaded issue that you don't need to tackle. Most, not
all, private schools do have these policies in place. They have done
policy review. They have adopted what makes sense. I was thinking
that a comparison of a lack of policy on your school's part say to
other private schools in your area would be an eye-opener. It has
been here and has resulted in a lot of positive policy formation.
Very slow though.
> > > > Well, what's my point? I think it'd be highly ironic, Diana,
> > the
> > > > independent school market gets increasingly competitive if
> > non-
> > > > Waldorf schools adapt and thus survive at the "expense" of
> > > > Waldorf schools who pioneered the curriculum all these years.
> > >
> > > If they take the good part of Waldorf and get rid of the ugly
> > > (Anthroposophy), then this would be a good thing. I still
> > there
> > > should be Waldorf/Anthroposophy centers too, but I think there
> > lots
> > > of room for a school that brings Waldorf without the dogma of
> > > Anthroposophy (and the dogmatic teachers that go along with it).
> > I was thinking it's the separation that's may be causing the
> > disintergration in the first place. It seems to me with all the
> > concern about lying that you are pointing to a lack of integrity
> > dis-integration. Maybe I say this more for the enneagram people
> > there. Integration, health, light versus disintegration, illness,
> > shadow? No?
> The true nature of a private Waldorf school is an interconnectedness
> with Anthroposophy. If Waldorf schools didn't deceive parents about
> this connection, then the people who didn't wanted their children
> immersed in Anthroposophy during their school years would avoid
I would say if WS's marketed and screened for a parental connection
in the first place there would be far less conflict of the type you
have been describing.
Of course, for many parents who discover Waldorf, the issue
> is not as much the Anthroposophy as it is they lying and deception
> lack of safety standards. Many parents, particularly fathers but
> mothers as well, who enter the Waldorf kindergarten with their
> express that they get an uncomfortable feeling - that everything
> as it appears. Some can't see past the wood and silk, but others
> observe the teachers and notice, for example, that children with a
> simple question are redirected instead of having their question
> answered. Many parents don't want to put their kids in an
> where their curiosity is squelched. There are, of course, many
> parents who know what Anthroposophy is and want this kind of
> environment for their children. For them, Waldorf schools should
> > But I think we're talking about two different settings perhaps.
> > may be talking about say-a charter versus an anthroposophically-
> > school.
> Yes, but not necessarily. I think a new, independent, private
> system could emerge that provides the Waldorf feel without the
> Anthroposophy. A school with emphasis on art without the "spiritual
> significance" attached to what the children paint. A school where
> is as OK to play with dinosaurs and trucks as it is to play with
> gnomes and dragons. Such a school would have no trouble attracting
I think you would like Rachael Kessler's work on "Soul in Education".
You could check it out on the web. Her organization, Passageways is
working with the Poudre school district here in Colorado to bring
Soul in Education to Ft. Collins public school children. This is
pilot program and huge research project, as I understand it.
> > So here you could have a situation where the curriculum is
> > adapted and the methods applied to the extent that they can be
> > common sense and the teachers connection to their work and their
> > students is paramount.
> > I was talking about Waldorf School teachers who may not "give a
> > as Diana put it and how that could be. I was thinking of some
> > wounded individuals whose pride, I guess it would be, would
> > them from taking the necessary first inner step on a spiritual
> > that they are outwardly very committed to. Again, with
> > this would be a real possibility because Steiner GAVE us so much
> > he asked us to confirm with our own work.
> Steiner's path is a difficult one, to be sure. Many teachers, at
> end of the day, just aren't up to it. And, yes, because they are
> unwilling to confirm through exercises, the validity of Steiner's
> work, their pride stands in the way of their spiritual
I'm thinking they are doing "it"-they are extremely dedicated. What
is "it" is the question.
> So what we have is people who are doing the reading, perhaps, but
> doing the work - and these people are very proud and controlling.
> result is what we witness in Waldorf, teachers who are interested in
> nothing other than controlling other parents, teachers and
> administrators with "Steiner said" and all the while not really
> understanding what Steiner *meant*. Certainly, anyone who chooses
> Anthroposophy as a spiritual path must *do the work* - otherwise,
> > > > Because
> > > > its not after all the smartest who survive or the most
> > its
> > > > the most adaptive. And Waldorf schools apparently have
> > > > learn, the way I hear it told here, there, and everwhere at
> > times,
> > > > about safety, responsibility, accountability, governance, and
> > > > leadership. Because we have arrived, we are it, the pinnacle,
> > > > peak. In all facets of school life? Well where can you go
> > from
> > > > there?
> > >
> > > I sense sarcasm here <G>.
> > No, it's a real question. The striving human being thing...
> OK, so you're suggesting that Waldorf schools are the most adaptive
> schools? And that's why they survive? I would suggest to you that
> Waldorf schools absolutely *don't* addapt - that they remain stuck
> turn-of-the-century ideas about child development. They seem to
> "thrive" because they are a religious endevour and as such, people
> feel they have a responsibility to make Waldorf schools everywhere.
> I'm not sure, at all, that the numbers of Waldorf schools world-wide
> are accurate - I haven't a clue who counts them, but every year
> seems to be a hundred more added to the number without any mention
> who they are. So I'm taking the number of Waldorf schools with a
> grain of salt, as well as the idea that they are proliferating.
Well, first the number of schools are proliferating-mushrooming if
you're looking at a figure that now includes early childhood
education. Secondly, no I'm not saying WS's are the most adaptive-I'm
saying that we ought to be more adaptive if we want to survuve in an
increasingly competetive market. There are changes underfoot in
public and private education. I'm just saying you know if you've
reached the summit-where can you go-you can fall into decline or you
can sit down and teach others that reach you. There may be some
schools-some teachers that think they have arrived and are waiting
for others to find them. And, again, given currect educational trends
this is true in some aspects but certainly not across the board.-Val
> Safety, responsibility, accountability, governance, and
> leadership are all areas in our school where there are serious
> problems. Safety, I've already talked about. Responsibility/
> accountability, we've discussed (circling the wagons).
> Governance... the school required a complete reorganization because
> the College of Teachers QUIT. There was too much bickering and
> controlling among the teachers that they disbanded rather than put
> with each other any longer. Leadership? More problems - the
> leadership of the school was inept. The head administrator was a
> disaster, leading the school into crisis after crisis. So a
> professional Waldorf governance expert was brought in to reorganize
> the school. He created several panels, we thought to try to wrest
> control away from the controllers. Unfortunately, he put the same
> controlling people back in positions of control. And by dispersing
> single position over a panel, what he did was take away
> accountability. Now, it's an panel of 5 or 7 or 9 that is
> for everything that goes wrong at the school. Nobody loses their
> over anything, no matter how bad.
> > Waldorf schools have survived for some time
> > > by deceit. Even dodo birds survived for some period of time.
> > > popularity of the internet has sounded the death knell of
> > > deceit (I pray). The exposure of the practice of deceiving
> > is
> > > going to hurt Waldorf - and it already has. More scrutiny on
> > Waldorf
> > > schools will ensue and some day John Stossle will be reporting
> > the
> > > phenomenon.
> > Or one could look at it as they've survived this long by the
> > God, or divine intervention, or because of their really good
> Oh, I don't think their karma is all that good. Maybe someone else
> might think so, but I'm pretty sure their karma has caught up with
> > Could be but then I'd say-gee must not be too far along on their
> > journey (let alone having arrived) because then you know what
> > have going for them, Pete? Instant Karma-just like the song says.
> OK, so instant karma? Crisis after crisis, year after year, 25% of
> the student body leaving in disgust every year. That's instant
> > Again, IMO, this is never going to happen-the investigative
> > in this country anyway.
> Who knows - maybe if we're lucky, the light will shine on Waldorf,
> huge reforms will take place - and some day Waldorf will be a good