Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate Program

Our three-year Teacher Training Program leads to certification in Waldorf teaching with a specialization at either pre-school, kindergarten, grades, or high school levels.

“As an experienced teacher, I was interested in the teacher training to learn ‘Waldorf techniques.’ When I attended the information evening, I was intrigued to learn that there was an extensive artistic component as well as a deep emphasis on human development, not just child development, but looking at the way people grow and develop over an entire life time.

- Christine Margetic, Marin Waldorf School

The school year begins in September and ends in July. Classes are part-time September-May, meeting for 30 weekends, from 7:15-10:00pm on Fridays and 8:00am-12:30pm on Saturdays (third year students stay until 3:00pm on Saturdays).

In addition to the weekend classes, we hold full-time classes each summer, Monday-Friday, for four weeks. Students and faculty come together and immerse themselves in the arts – from sculpture, painting and speech to eurythmy, geometry and music.

Weekend and Summer Sessions take place at the East Bay Waldorf School.

Practical experience with the curriculum in the classroom is also a key component of this teacher training program.

Please see more detailed descriptions of the specific classes in the First Year, Second Year, and Third Year.

Successful participation in both the part-time weekend and the full-time summer sessions is necessary for completion of the certificate program.

Becoming a Waldorf Teacher

Waldorf schools seek to foster self-reliance and individuality in every child through imaginative play in kindergarten, and enthusiastic hands-on engagement with an increasing academic focus throughout the later grades. To nurture the tender, nascent individuality of the child, Waldorf teachers must bring their own creativity and sense of self to bear – the “teacher as artist.”

“Teacher as Artist” means that the teacher works with the growing child. When the teacher employs a sensibility trained through the arts, the teacher can meet the developing, evolving child. The teacher who is striving toward an objective relationship to one’s self and the world can bring more objectivity to his or her relationship with the school child. In this way the child’s unique potential can be supported.

“At the beginning, when I would ask my questions about teaching, the answers were not about teaching. The answers were about myself, understanding myself, understanding the human being…”

-Kristine Deason, class teacher, Marin Waldorf School

Throughout the three-year teacher training program, the adult student is encouraged to discover latent capacities through the study of anthroposophy and the arts. The focus is on transformation and self knowledge. Opportunities for in-class project presentations, personal conversations with teachers and mentors, active involvement in Waldorf classrooms, and collaborative work with colleagues all contribute to a process of self-development and personal deepening.

Applied arts classes involve active participation. Each student is provided with his/her own materials for the entire class. The full-time, four-week summer intensive session enables a student to grow and change in ways that would be difficult in a less concentrated setting. Working intensively in the arts engages students in the artistic process and lets them experience a multi-faceted, integrated approach to learning. It also develops empathy for the challenges many children face in learning new skills. The focus of the applied arts classes is as much on process and active engagement as on the final artistic product.

Community life

Our students range in age from early 20′s to early 60′s and come from all walks of life, including information technology, parenting, construction, medicine, childcare, law, firefighting, psychiatry, massage, journalism. Whatever the age or background, our goal is to provide students with a practical basis for self-development, so that when they stand in the classroom they will not get in their own way, but will be able to perceive each child truly.

The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training generally enrolls between 45 and 55 students in the 3 years of study.

Students and teachers meet for Town Meeting each Friday night to start the weekend together. During the Saturday morning Snack Break we gather to enjoy food and each other’s company while sharing insights and ideas about our current studies. During seasonal assemblies we share work from our classes and enjoy presentations and performances by faculty as well as guest lecturers and performers. Graduation, on the Saturday following our 4-week summer session, is a particularly festive day attended by our extended community of students, faculty, alumni and friends. Our annual newsletter, the Golden Gate, is produced by students each fall. Each class has a secretary, and our library and bookstore are also student-run. Students in a class often form lasting bonds with one another through the shared experience of the teacher training.

The Faculty

The core of our weekend faculty consists of local Bay Area Waldorf teachers who bring the riches of their week’s work with children into the weekend program with the adults. Our summer faculty is comprised of an international array of artists and lead teachers from around the world, many of whom have worked with our Director, Dorit Winter, for over twelve years. These long-term collegial relationships add depth and continuity to our program. When faculty are asked what brings them back year after year, they often reference the inspiration of working with the clearly visible transformation of students as they move from the First to the Second and then to Third Year of the program.

> continue to the First Year of the Program

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