Click on the title of this post to see a photo of MaryJoe Walikainen, author of this post, and Max Rome, Grade 6. (Not pictured: Ava Rome, Grade 4; Ava and Max's father, Michael Rome)
In this series, we have been introducing you every week to a teacher, parent, or student who shares something about why they love Green Meadow and Waldorf Education. Today we hear from MaryJoe Walikainen, mother of Ava and Max in the Lower School.
I breathed such a sigh of relief when my kids began attending Green Meadow Waldorf School (GMWS) two years ago. In GMWS, I found the cohesion between school life and home life that I desired.
My kids shake hands and look in the eyes of their teachers at the beginning and ending of each class, every single day. They consistently feel what it’s like to sincerely connect with another and to be seen by another. This also conveys a sense that they matter and that they are accounted for.
During roll call each morning, my kids declare out loud that they are present. This is another representative example of a simple gesture touching upon a much deeper life skill. By saying they are present, they are connecting to themselves as well as acknowledging their place within the larger group, which leads to a sense of belonging as well as responsibility.
These basic abilities of connecting with oneself and with others can certainly be learned at home. However, GMWS not only acknowledges the importance of these skills and reinforces them, they run increasingly deep with each advancing grade in school. I don’t think the importance of these life skills can ever be underestimated.
I have so many examples of how much my kids have blossomed since attending GMWS and I haven’t even gotten past roll call. Suffice it to say, I sleep soundly knowing that my kids have a solid school foundation from which they garner courage and confidence as they grow into themselves. Providing them the ability to attend is one of the most important offerings I can make, not only for my individual children, but toward the realization of the greater world I envision.