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