We hope you will consider supporting BACWTT this year on Giving Tuesday, the national day of giving to charities and non-profits. When you give to BACWTT, you have a direct and lasting impact, providing revenue in key areas that tuition alone cannot support.
On Tuesday, November 29th, please support the
Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training
As the end of the year approaches and you begin considering donations to your preferred charities, please keep BACWTT and the meaningful work we are doing in mind. As a nonprofit organization, we greatly depend upon the good will of donors to support our educational programs.
We are the only Waldorf and Anthroposophical adult training institute in Northern California that is a member of both AWSNA and WECAN and we are well known on this continent for providing highly engaging, thorough, and transformative programs.
Our core program, the three-year Waldorf teacher training, has not weakened or been compromised over the past few challenging years; in fact, we are stronger and clearer than ever about our task and approach. The Foundations Studies program, which was launched three years ago, continues to be a successful entry point for many students looking for the grounding and life direction that Anthroposophy offers.
We consider it our task to be creative and to adapt in response to the demands of our changing environment and times. In July 2022, we launched the Healing Through Art program, a three-year training in Anthroposophical artistic therapies that drew twenty-nine enthusiastic students from all over North America and overseas. During the last four years, Pamela Whitman and Ken Smith have been busily running short taster courses to prepare the ground and sow the seeds for this important, deepening work. Both Pamela and Ken experienced a profound need to create a program that would ensure that the knowledge and insights that they gained in their own trainings were not lost to the next generation, and that this vital work would continue its growth and development into the future.
Along with many others in the Waldorf movement, BACWTT is actively responding to the call for more diverse perspectives in the curriculum and is deeply committed to welcoming students of all backgrounds. We are particularly sensitive to the need for higher representation by African American students in our training, which will hopefully lead to higher representation of African American Waldorf teachers in our schools. To support this initiative, the Diversity Scholars Fund was created two years ago and has been successfully supporting two students so far.
We were fortunate to have Orland Bishop as our keynote speaker during the pandemic, and we continue each year to increase the diversity of voices among our faculty and presenters. Last year, we were able to bring Roman Vizcarra from Peru to share his Indigenous Andean perspectives. Roman is one of the founders of Kusi Kawsay, a Waldorf-inspired Andean school, and speaks deeply about the way the Waldorf approach is supportive to his culture and their children’s sense of self-respect and place in the world. He is also able to be open and frank about the challenges and blind spots that still need to be addressed. Roman spent two weekends with our training students, and also visited and shared his experiences with the children and faculties of many local Waldorf schools.
Last week, we ran our third Early Childhood Waldorf Teachers Conference for the Northern California and Nevada regions. This conference grew out of one that was held for many years at Rudolf Steiner College. With a deep appreciation for all that was engendered through colleagues at RSC, Diane David and Anna Rainville felt that it was necessary to pick up the torch and ensure that our local Early Childhood teachers and programs were being properly supported.
This year’s conference focused on how Early Childhood teachers could deepen their work and embody the qualities needed by the young child in the face of the additional stresses and strains, anxieties, and disillusionment that have arisen over the past few years. There is a very real risk of burnout among all teachers at this time and our keynote speakers, Holly Koteen-Soule and Barbara Klocek, sought ways to meet this.
BACWTT is now preparing for the Northern California Waldorf Teachers Conference in February 2023. Elan will continuing theme of deepening our work and protecting and enlivening ourselves. He will connect us with the current efforts of the pedagogical section, touching on themes of “the night” and “meditation” to support teachers in strengthening their relationship with the wellsprings of inspiration and professional vitality.
BACWTT is able to serve our region by presenting the larger themes living in the Waldorf movement across the continent and the globe. This year, our conferences are connecting with the World Teachers’ Conference at the Goetheanum in April 2023, “Affirming – Nurturing – Trusting, an Education for Today and Tomorrow.”
Last but not least, BACWTT has also spent the past year renovating a building at the Wildcat Canyon Community School in El Sobrante. We are very grateful for all the help, the donations of both money and time, and for the partnership with WCCS. We now have a home space that is more representative of who we are. As soon as visitors enter the building, they are able to sense that we have put great effort into embodying our ideals. They see and feel the enlivening effect of using natural materials, natural lighting, and the artistic shaping of the spaces.
This building project expresses something more than just the creation of a new teaching and office space. It manifests something very important for us at BACWTT. It is a physical expression of the same thing that is living in our discussions and themes of our conferences—how can we best meet the changes in the human constitution, which are being rapidly reshaped by modern technology?
How shall we mitigate the effects of our times, which increasingly make it difficult to incarnate into the real, physical world? What do we need to do to balance out the increasing effects of being online and the value attached to virtual experiences?
A core value of Waldorf education and Anthroposophy is how we take hold and shape the physical world around us–how we engage the senses through the artistic shaping and coloring of spaces. Rudolf Steiner placed great emphasis on the importance of the arts and architecture for both children and adults; the way things are formed, in turn, form us. There is a deep love for the world that comes to expression in our physical creations when we instill our efforts with the enlightened and ennobled thoughts that are the core of Waldorf education and Anthroposophy.
When we engage in these physical arts, we embody more than the physical; we also develop the possibility for spirit to express itself in matter. This warmed through engagement with the physical world is another expression of what takes place, much more mysteriously, in the healthy incarnation of the child—and continues throughout a human life.
I hope that these descriptions have given you a clearer sense of the ways in which BACWTT is active in our mission and engaged with the serious questions of our times. Since our founding in 2001, we have sought to work out of the deep resources of Anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Through our continuing efforts and new endeavors—the Waldorf Teacher Training, Foundation Studies, Healing Through Art, two annual conferences, summer professional development courses, as well as our engagement in DEI work and our building renovation project—we hope that you may recognize BACWTT as an organization worthy of your support.
Kenneth Smith, Director
You may now make a donation using our secure online donation form. The form includes many new features that allow you to choose a specific fund, make a matching employer gift, and more! Click the blue “Donate Now” button below to access the form or visit the Donate page of our website.