Becoming a Waldorf Teacher

Waldorf Teacher Education

Waldorf teacher education
Waldorf teacher education

The curriculum of becoming a Waldorf teacher in Canada and the United States varies from school to school, but here is what an education program typically looks.

Waldorf Teacher Education Program

The full-time Waldorf Teacher Education Program is a two-year, September-May course of study. It prepares teachers for Waldorf kindergarten, grade or high school classes. Considerable time is spent developing skills in music, painting, drawing, speech and language. Seven weeks of observation and practice teaching are arranged at Waldorf schools in the United States and Canada. This two-year program begins with the Foundation Year.

Also read:

First Year: The Foundation Year

The emphasis is on exploring the ideas and endeavors of Rudolf Steiner, particularly the view of the human being that forms the basis of Waldorf education. A significant part of the program is spent on developing artistic and imaginative capacities. The year also includes courses on the evolution of consciousness, spiritual streams in American literature, and observation in Waldorf classrooms.

Second Year: Pedagogical Studies

The focus is on the Waldorf curriculum, child development, practical classroom activities, inner development and acquiring skills in music, painting, drawing, speech and language. The daily schedule includes seminars, lectures and practice sessions in the arts.

Sample Courses:

  • Learning and Child Development
  • Steiner’s Philosophy, Pedagogical and Basic Books
  • Psychology of Adolescence
  • The Art of Teaching: Languages, History
  • The Art of Classroom Management
  • Mathematics, Science, and Humanities
  • Puppetry and Festivals for the Young Child
  • The Curriculum Related to the Stages of Childhood
  • Speech, Eurythmy, Music
  • Painting, Drawing, Crafts
  • Remedial Education

All students participate in a core curriculum, but there are three discrete areas of specialization leading to diplomas:

Early Childhood

The goal is to protect the magic and wonder of childhood and thereby nurture the young child’s physical, emotional and mental health. In the nursery/kindergarten, creative play and healthy work activities provide the basis for enthusiastic learning, intellectual growth, self esteem and social responsibility

Grades 1 – 8

Ideally, the teacher of all the main subjects stays with a class from first through eighth grade. This class teacher, who provides stability and guidance for the class, has the opportunity to help children unfold their individual gifts and the excitement and challenge of working with a new curriculum each year.

High School

Prerequisites for the teacher are a strong academic background in specific subject areas and enthusiasm for working with the challenges of adolescence. The rigorous and comprehensive high school curriculum leads the teenager into worldwide perspectives and direct contact with the practical life of our day. This specialization includes two three-week summer sessions.