Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. -John Steinbeck
Waldorf education recognizes the immense value of daily artistic work and intentionally weaves a variety of artistic methods, such as painting, movement, modeling, handwork, and song, into lessons. These endeavors are meant to engage the whole child and to sharpen two very important human skills: the ability to shape, or see, and the ability to perceive, or distinguish. When practiced over time, something very special emerges in students: the ability to shape and perceive new ways of looking at the world.
These methods can deepen a student’s knowledge of subject matter, strengthen recall, and inspire innovative work. They allow students to engage deeply in the learning process and transform internal intention into external results. Daily artistic instruction helps students to form sensory and intellectual connections across a variety of subjects. This skill, highly valued in our culture and known as “interdisciplinary thinking,” lends to a truly holistic way of looking at the world and contributing effectively.
When art, of any medium, is defined as the value of creating, initiating, and unfolding, then teachers, through their work in cultivating imaginations and awakening within each student a personal unfolding, can be described as artists. Along with the creative projects they bring to students, Waldorf teachers utilize another, perhaps less common but no less important, practice in their artistic pursuits: development of the self. Rudolf Steiner wrote, “You will not be good teachers if you focus only on what you do and not upon who you are,” which has led to the ideal of being worthy of imitation. Teachers strive towards the embodiment of all they hope to cultivate in the child: an ever-present calm, compassionate ways of being, truthfulness, consistent kindness, and curiosity. They understand that if we want children to grow to be creative, resilient, lifelong learners, we must encourage ourselves to be the same. Gandhi said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world,” and teachers take this seriously through ongoing inner work of self-development, not only to become more aware individuals, but to become better teachers, and models, for their students.
Ultimately, when educators choose to honor the arts in the day-to-day, both inwardly and through curriculum, they show their students that artistic creation, in all its forms, has profound personal and societal value and relevance.
First Grade Play
Bike Ave B!
#BikeAveB is an initiative of East Village parents and neighbors aimed at bringing a two-way bike lane to our school’s main thoroughfare, Ave B. Despite being a narrow avenue, Ave B allows two-way travel for cars, but has no dedicated lanes for bicycles. Trucks and commercial vehicles have no curbside loading zones and often double-park in order to make deliveries to the dozens of small businesses along Ave B. Additionally, the closure of the East River bike path as part of the upcoming East River Coastal Resiliency plan will increase pedestrian use of Ave B for many years.
We need a safe, two-way protected bike lane on Avenue B, complete with pedestrian safety improvements!
To learn more and easily sign your name to the #BikeAveB petition, please take a moment to click below.
We know many of our families travel from far distances to arrive at school in the morning, and that commuting delays can sometimes lead to late arrival. Please take a moment to look over our official late policies and procedures below in case you ever find yourself running behind:
GRADES 1, 2, & 3:
Arrival time is 8:15am. Students may freely enter the classroom to join morning activities. At 8:30am main lesson begins, and the door will be closed. If you will arrive after 8:30am please give us a call to let us know you are running behind. If your child will be absent, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (you can copy your teacher if you wish) or call 212-533-1820.
Willow & Juniper Classes:
Kindergarten classroom doors open for students at 8:20am. Morning activities officially begin at 8:30am. If you will arrive after 8:30am, please give us a call to let us know you are running behind. If your child will be absent, please email email@example.com (you can copy your teacher if you wish) or call 212-533-1820.
Enroll Now for Summer
With eight weeks of school left until the last day of school on June 21st, it’s time to enroll for our summer program. Our program this year will run from July 8 to August 23, and you can customize your child’s schedule by choosing your preferred pick-up time (1pm or 3pm), as well as enrolling for only the weeks you need. Click below to learn more.
NEXT Parent Evening
Whole School Parent Evening
Wednesday, May 1
SAVE THE DATE
School Closed- Spring Break
Friday, April 19 - Friday, April 26
Eurythmy Mini-Session (for Parents)
Monday, April 29
A quick 15-minute eurythmy session with Brigida to start your week.
Monday Book Club
Book: Developing the Self Through the Inner Work Path in the Light of Anthroposophy by Lisa Romero
Monday, April 29
Friday, May 3
Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.
Whole School Community Meeting
Saturday, May 11
Friday, May 17
El Jardin Garden
Saturday, May 18
Tuesday, June 4
Details coming soon...
We hope for all parents to attend our
New Amsterdam School Community Meeting
Saturday, May 11
10:00am - 12:00pm
Join fellow parents, teachers, and board members to learn about how New Amsterdam functions as a threefold organization, how decisions are made in different realms, what our specific priorities are in the next year for policy development, and how you can make a difference by participating in the life of the school. We hope to offer a garden tour at the close of the event. Bring your lunch and have a picnic! Childcare will be provided from 10am to 12pm. Childcare donations are welcome by not expected.
RSVP For Childcare
Yoga FOR AGES 3-7!
SATURDAY MOVEMENT + MINDFULNESS
Saturdays 11:00AM - 12:00PM
(May 4, 11, June 1, 8) ($80, 3 CLASSES)
Led by Danyelle Vilmenay, 3-7 year-old students flow through an imaginative journey of interactive storytelling and renewing yoga poses while practicing peaceful movements, calming techniques, and gratitude. At the end of every class, students use fine motor skills to create beautiful origami art, which promotes hands-on focus and mimics nature.
Seeking Yearbook Creators!
Our yearbooks of past years came about through the collective vision of parent volunteers who joined together, gathered photos, and designed the books. We’d love to print a 2018-2019 yearbook, and are seeking parent photographers (professional and amateur alike!) who can pop into classrooms or join the kids at the park to shoot images. If you are interested in helping out with photography and/or design, please email Belle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Summer waldorf courses
for Teachers and Parents
Did you know that your Amazon purchases could be raising funds for our school? Shop through Amazon Smile to easily help our school:
1. Go to smile.amazon.com
2. Choose New Amsterdam School as your selected charity
3. Shop as normal and a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to our school!