WALDORF PARENTS SPEAK
For Waldorf education’s centennial this month, parents and supporters share what the educational pedagogy means to them…
New Date: Sunday, Oct 20. Guta is organizing the New Amsterdam Family Outing Club’s first adventure out of the city on October 20. Stay tuned for more details.
As autumn winds begin to blow and the days begin to shorten, we come to the first festival of the school year celebrated in Waldorf schools: Michaelmas. Pronounced MI-kel-miss and celebrated on the 29th of September each year, Michaelmas is the day of St. Michael, an Archangel in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and a symbolic figure of courage for people of all faiths and spiritual paths. Steiner saw Michael as the archangel of our time: a figure calling for us to look beyond blood allegiances, race, and nationalism to a picture of consciously chosen and cultivated social relations working out of truth and for a common good, creating what is necessary in service to humanity as a whole, not only to our own family, race, nation, etc. Waldorf’s celebration of this day stems not from any religious pretext, but from the intention to cultivate and honor the traits that Archangel St. Micheal historically represented across cultures: strength, courage, and will.
Michaelmas marks the shift in seasons when we feel an impulse to turn inward after the expansiveness of summer, and a calling to gather our strength and fortitude to face the colder season ahead. Falling within days of the autumn equinox when daylight hours begin to wane in the northern hemisphere, Michaelmas marks the end of the harvest season and aligns with our natural instinct to prepare for the months when nothing will grow outside. We put our gardens to bed, insulate our homes, and pull out our sweaters and mittens. Inside ourselves, we also take inventory of what is needed to face the short days and long nights ahead. Are we ready? We take time to ponder our own inner challenges and to cultivate the courage needed to progress on our individual paths of self development. Do we have the inner resources to nurture ourselves, our families, and our communities through the coming cold and darkness? We begin to gather our strength.
We celebrate at school and home with harvest-themed foods: apple cider, freshly baked bread, and homemade soup, thanking mother nature for the earth’s harvests that will sustain us through the chill of winter. We tell colorful stories of light versus dark, of courage versus fear, to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering. Archangel Michael challenges us to do what we know to be true, not because it benefits us or our kin, but because it is moral and right. This rather uncompromising perspective requires great inner strength to overcome parts of ourselves that desire comfort and the illusion of safety at the expense of truth. We tell the ancient tale of St. George and the Dragon, in which St. George uses the sword of justice and courage given to him by Archangel St. Michael to tame and conquer the fiery beast. Can we face our own darkness with courage and light, and tame our own dragons of uncertainty, fear, and doubt that may arise when we are no longer nurtured by the sun’s external warmth? What inner gifts might we each summon to help bring balance to ourselves and our loved ones throughout the new season ahead? On Michaelmas we are reminded that as days grow shorter, we can actively cultivate the strength needed for our inner light to shine brighter.
The elementary grades’ trip uptown to the Waldorf100 street fair…
Parent Craft Morning
Thursday, Sept 26
Knit, crochet, and sew with Ms. Kaori. All skill levels welcome, no experience necessary.
Friday, Sept 27
Free coffee downstairs!
Michaelmas Sunday Family Gathering
Sunday, Sept 29
Hosted by Anthroposophy NYC at 138 West 15th street.
Monday, Sept 30 + Tuesday, Oct 1
Garden Work Day
Sunday, Sept 29 at El Jardin
save the date:
Whole School Community Meeting
Saturday, Oct 5
Wednesday, Oct 9
Monday, Oct 14
Indigenous Peoples' Day / Columbus Day
Family Outing Club
Sunday, Oct 20
Friday, Nov 1
Professional Development Day
Autumn Parent Evening
Wednesday, Oct 23
138 West 15th Street
“Independent Walkers”: If you choose to give your child permission to walk to and from school alone, please write a note for your class teacher stating so. This includes students who walk together from 62 Ave B to the new space in the mornings after dropping off siblings.
The Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine is offering the following three webinars to share anthroposophical approaches to common childhood health concerns. Online registration is required; optional donations are appreciated.
Nov 13, 2019, 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST
Jan 15, 2020, 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST
Mar 11, 2020, 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST
Parenting & emotional health
Kim John Payne, one of our school’s faculty mentors and author of Simplicity Parenting and Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst: Practical Compassion in Parenting created this free online workshop to help listeners discover how to become more calm and confident parents, and have deeper connections with their children. The sessions are video/audio based, so you can listen at times that work best for you.