Lisa Miccio, Kindergarten teacher and Early Childhood Chair, shares a lovely glimpse into a morning in our Kindergarten.
To experience all that our Early Childhood Program has to offer, please join us for A Morning in the Nursery/Kindergarten on February 4 or March 5. To register, contact Barbara Mann at email@example.com.
Yesterday, our train puffed its way up the Farm Road and arrived at Durea Farm by 9:00am. The departure from our usual Monday destination was due to a surprise message Mrs. Miccio received from Mrs. Grieder. Apparently Little Brown Hen, believing Spring was on the way, hatched ten baby chicks out in the snow! Fortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Grieder were working on the Farm on Saturday, and they scooped up the baby chicks, and the mama hen, and brought them all into a cozy nest inside Mrs. Grieder's classroom. We were able to go inside to visit the chicks and the mama hen, and hear their story from Mrs. Grieder. As we gathered around their nest, the baby chicks pecked at the chick feed and dipped their beaks into the water. But after their "snack" they suddenly disappeared beneath the mama hen's wings.
While we quietly watched each little chick tuck beneath the mother hen's wings, I was struck by how much I feel like a mother hen. I am grateful that in our Waldorf early childhood classes, we have opportunities to create learning environments that allow each child to stretch her/his wings, whether the stretch involves physically stretching one's capacities to scale a big boulder, or socially stretching to the next level of maturity to share a favorite play prop. These self-directed moments are balanced by teacher-led, artistic moments like circle, story, drawing and painting. In these experiences, the early childhood children move towards their teachers like chicks flocking to a mother hen, and they are guided under the protection of her "wings". Sometimes, when they have ventured far afield in their developmental journeys, they may return to the nest seeking warmth and reassurance that "all is well in the world". In our youngest children this may appear as tears for no apparent reason, or a request for a band-aid or tissue, or a leaning into the teacher for physical comfort. For our six-year-olds it is often their desire to be the teacher's partner on the return walk.
Parent and Child Room (Lower School Building) For parents of toddlers to teens
Join us at Green Meadow Waldorf School as we join forces with the Soul of Discipline for our three-evening course
The Soul of Discipline Course provides the Simplicity Parenting approach to warm, firm, and calm guidance. It offers practical tools and skills to last a lifetime, helping parents implement discipline that’s respectful and effective.
Together with other parents, you will learn a loving way of providing limits and boundaries that will give your child a feeling of safety, trust, and orientation.
There will be inspiring discussions, sharing of both wonderful and difficult situations at home, exercises to deepen your understanding of discipline, and planning and implementing small, doable changes.
This course is for parents who are looking for long-term skills to work with children’s challenging or defiant behavior.
Parent & Child toddler class (for ages 2-3, Fridays beginning January 8) opening now to younger children. Please contact Early Childhood Admissions Coordinator Barbara Mann for details: 845.356.2514 x326. More details here.
Take a look!Green Meadow’s Early Childhood programs foster the foundations of academic excellence. Our Early Childhood teachers provide the young child with a warm, beautiful, loving, home-like environment, which is protective and secure, where the day unfolds in a predictable, regular way. The children are given a range of activities and the structure they need to prepare for the next phase of school life.
Based on extensive research, Dr. Stevenson’s work explores how schools are often places where racial conflicts remain hidden, at the expense of a healthy school climate and the wellbeing of students of color.
Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division, in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
This article shows the kind of interdisiplinary thinking that Waldorf students are developing throughout their education. And the photo below shows our Fifth Graders helping our First Graders learn to knit. (Photo courtesy of First Grade teacher Mellie Lonnemann.)
Outside of my window, the third, fourth, and fifth graders are learning a Hebrew folk dance as they prepare for the Michaelmas festival that will be held next Tuesday. There has been a dragon practicing its ability to be menacing, dance music being learned by an orchestra, and shooting stars learning how to run in and out of a spiral.
These moments are special in any community; these places where time is absolutely present, and yet can spill so easily into the past and the future. During the Rose Ceremony, for instance, a senior presents a rose to a first grader; this is a unique moment for both students, and for those who are watching in the audience. But, simultaneously, there is a parallel world of prediction and memory, as the first grader wonders perhaps to whom he will give his rose in twelfth grade? And the twelfth grader remembers who gave a rose to her years before. The entire school community is woven in these threads of past and future, with the strong, bright thread of the present running through.
One day, the shooting stars will be the dragon, and the dragon looks back with nostalgia at the flight of the shooting stars.
The story of Michael and the dragon is one that has lived very strongly in the Waldorf schools since their foundation. The feast day is not one that is widely celebrated – Michaelmas is something that I only came across in Victorian novels – but the symbolism of the story is what draws the interest of the teachers of the school.
In the story that the school is working with in their play, a dragon has come into a community and is causing havoc: eating sheep and burning crops. The people don’t know what to do, and ask for help. Michael answers with inspiration, sending heavenly iron down to the people to form weapons to fight the dragon. The nobles confront the dragon and subdue it. It will begin a new employment of helping to grind corn and be useful in the community.
It is easy to imagine the story on a personal level, or even on a community level. What are our dragons? How does this dragon destroy or make difficult what we wish to accomplish in our lives? And what does it mean to not destroy the dragon, but to defeat it, to transform its energy into positive good in our lives?
And there is something about inspiration. Michael does not defeat the dragon, but sends the inspiration and courage to the people to join together and subdue it through their own initiative. Sometimes, when faced with a problem, if we take a moment to ask for help from a friend or colleague, if we step out of the problem for a moment to see it from a different angle, inspiration comes that helps to solve the problem.
The Michaelmas celebration will be at 2:10 this coming Tuesday on the Whitetop. I hope to see you there!
Lower School Chair
Photo courtesy of Fernando Lopez
on Friday September 25, 2015