Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training – An Overview
Our Teacher Training is a three-year, part-time program that begins each Fall. Courses run on weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays) from mid-September through mid-May at the Wildcat Canyon Community School (formerly the East Bay Waldorf School), and then daily from mid-June through mid-July at the Marin Waldorf School.
During the weekend sessions, students are expected to complete assignments and read study material during the week. During the summer sessions, students enter a full-time, Monday through Friday concentrated study that focuses upon an intensive, multifaceted artistic process.
Our program provides an in-depth study of Anthroposophy (the philosophical foundation of Waldorf education), intensive experience with the arts as a path of self-development, and in-depth understanding and practice of the integrated art and science of Waldorf pedagogy.
Throughout the three years, students are encouraged to embark upon new adult learning processes, overcome old habits and obstacles, and rediscover their inner potential. The path to becoming a Waldorf teacher requires a willingness to grow, awaken, and transform through self-knowledge. 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 and teach out of an inner freedom.
Classes engage students through many different learning modalities – lectures, study of texts, artistic activity, discussion, collaboration and project presentations, conversations with teachers and mentors, and active involvement in Waldorf classrooms. Each of these contribute to a lively and sociable learning culture.
As adult learners, we have the opportunity to develop empathy for the challenges children face everyday.
“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
Our Teacher Training community aims to practice what it preaches. The way we manage our program, teach our courses, and share community life is in itself a preparation for working in a Waldorf school.
Students and teachers meet weekly for Town Meeting each Friday night to start the weekend together with a verse and leading thought. During 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 students and faculty, as well as guest lecturers and artists.
Our students range in age from early 20s to early 60s and come from all walks of life, including information technology, parenting, construction, medicine, childcare, law, firefighting, psychiatry, massage, and journalism.
Graduation, which is held on the last Saturday of the Summer session, is attended by our extended community of students, faculty, alumni, and friends, and is an especially festive occasion when we celebrate the completion of the student’s three-year journey.
Graduates often form lasting bonds with one another through the shared experiences of the Teacher Training.
“The three years I spent in the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training led me into a career that I love. Most people gasp when I tell them I teach middle school, but my understanding of the developing human being allows me to observe my students in awe of their emerging capabilities and to enjoy the metamorphosis of puberty. Through my training experience, I also gained the benefit of learning to see people, both children and adults, for who they truly are and to appreciate individuality.”
-Katherine Arconati, Middle School Math Teacher, Marin Waldorf School