Waldorf School of New Orleans invests in its faculty by offering professional development in Waldorf education, not just for its class teachers but for our subject teachers as well. It's one of the many ways we ensure a quality education for your child as well as an adherence to Waldorf principles. This effort is what keeps us true to our roots. That is why three of our specialty teachers are working hard to polish their already well developed skill sets.
Spanish Teacher Alicia Miller-Sherman will be attending Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association conference at Highland Hall Waldorf School in North Ridge, CA, February 16-19. This conference offers a wide array of workshops to help teachers. Señora Alicia will be focusing on sample lessons for Grades 1-8 as well as development for the written language, how to develop grammar, and class management.
Math Teacher Nigel Wilson completed a 20-hour professional development workshop in 6th Grade Math, taught by Jamie York, Waldorf expert in math.
"The course helped me learn about the pacing of math curriculum in grades 4 through 8 as well as the importance of 'sleep,' that is teaching a concept and letting it go without expecting mastery the first time around, then reawakening the concept a year later and testing for mastery at that point.
I have redesigned the curriculum for the spring to reflect what I learned about pacing. Prior to taking the course I was trying to fit too much into each month and this may have hurt students' understanding and confidence. As a result of me taking the class students will have much more opportunity to practice in class. There will be more group work, because one of the most important skills for students to learn in math class is how to explain their reasoning. I have observed that many are more willing to explain their thinking to their peers in the context of small group work than they are in the context of an at-the-board presentation."
Movement Teacher Lila Campbell has been focused on becoming certified in Spacial Dynamics at the Spacial Dynamics institute in New York. The Level I training she is currently seeking takes a total of 5 years. We sat down with her to learn more about her efforts.
What is the purpose of this certification?
Spacial Dynamics encompasses the core best practices for Movement Teachers in Waldorf Schools. It is a recognized form of movement therapy and does aid in Extra Lesson work as well. Having graduated from a Waldorf School and earned a Masters in Physical Education, the purpose of this work for me is to be able to bring to our students the very best practices for Movement Education that is fully informed by science as well as Waldorf pedagogy and philosophy. This training gives me the knowledge, hands on techniques, and information needed to educate the whole child in movement at our school.
Spacial Dynamics instruction includes hands-on techniques, physical exercises, games, sports, circus arts, and much much more.
What are some of the highlights you've learned so far?
I really appreciate learning best practices for students across the grades. I have really enjoyed learning new hand clapping, string and balance games for younger students. For middle grades I have increased my knowledge of integrating imagery into lessons as well as practical student management techniques that allow students to remain immersed in the game. For upper grades I am thrilled to be bringing Fencing with Staves to the students this spring. I learned techniques for that instruction this past fall at my training session in Ann Arbor at The Ann Arbor Waldorf School.
How will students benefit from your new knowledge?
This training is all about study, understanding, and knowledge of the development of human beings in movement. What separates Movement Education from Physical Education is the knowledge that each individual child is not defined by their movement "ability", but rather that we can bring movement to each child that aligns with their entire being. Movement Education considers the whole child, and Spacial Dynamics has helped me to be able to benefit each of my students individually through a larger understanding of of this practice.
Is there anything more families should know about this Spatial Dynamics?
Spacial Dynamics is not only for Movement Educators! Anyone can benefit from the study, and I encourage anyone who may be interested to seek out more on the topic.