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Hi my name is Shane and I'm a Waldorfian

The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus, Shane Alexander. To learn about the difference between Waldorf and Montessori schools, read our comparison guide. You can also read our guide to Waldorf preschools.

Hello. My name is Shane Alexander. I'm new here, so I thought I would give a quick introduction of who I am. Born in North York, Ontario I grew up in the public school system. Went to elementary school at Boradlands Public School. Acquired enough knowledge - well, as much knowledge you need by the end of grade 6 - to further my studies in Junior High. During my grade 6 year, my family moved from North York to York Region which left us with a decision. Do we lie to the North York Board of Education and give them a fake address so I can continue my studies with my friends at Windfields Junior High or do we go a separate route with my education. We chose the later. Read more


List of Waldorf schools

 
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  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $18,000 to $21,000

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,800 to $14,620

Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario offers a licensed preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 to 12. It’s average class size is 15 to 21 students.

  • Day
  • Waldorf

Halton Waldorf School 8800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $20,000 to $35,000

We uphold and pursue a pragmatic, balanced education with an emphasis on art, sports and music to cultivate talents to lead the new century.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • Waldorf

Dewey Institute 20000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Coed
  • Whistler, British Columbia
    Spruce Grove Way/Kirkpatrick Way
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,938 to $16,423

WWS is a dedicated Waldorf school in Whistler, B.C. offering early years education all the way up to grade 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf

Whistler Waldorf School 8938 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
    Lynn Valley Rd./St. Christophers Rd.
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,500 to $14,170

Vancouver Waldorf School offers programs from pre-school through to grade 12 in North Vancouver, BC. Its average class size is 12 to 25 students.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Waldorf

Vancouver Waldorf School 8500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $5,040 to $19,950

Waldorf Academy offers programs from childcare to grade eight in downtown Toronto. Its average class size is 18 students.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Waldorf Academy 5040 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed

I hated the idea.

I remember that early summer morning when I caught my parents having a phone conference with my soon-to-be teacher who I would later know as my lower school advisor. I did anything I could so the phone convo would go sour which would make her think of not granting me an interview to come into the school.

Didn't work.

The following week, I showed up to this round school somewhere in the forest in the north end of Thornhill, Ontario. We talked to my soon-to-be-teacher - oops. I mean, advisor, and then she made me draw a picture and do simple math questions. Easy, I thought. I didn't give it my all thinking that she would look at my work and think I wasn't qualified for this strange looking round school. The following day we got the news.

I got accepted.

Fast forward to September 1990. Got there and fell in love on the first day. I fell in love with my classmates. The atmosphere. The teaching structure. The stuff we learned about. It was so different from what I learned in the public school system. I was learning about Greek architecture, art, woodworking, handweaving, and what's this thing they called eurhythmy? The end of day came, and my Mom was there waiting to take me home. She asked me as we walked down the stairs on the way to the parking lot, if I liked my day.

I told her I would stay.

Not that I had a choice in the matter.

Be it as it may, I ended up staying at the round school for seven years. In those years, I experienced the typical growing pains that every kid does, I gained a whole new appreciation for things I don't think I would've if I were placed in the public school system, my view on the world changed dramatically and I found and fed the creative energy that was living inside of me all this time but chose to ignore due to my previous environment.

Waldorf teaches individual thought. It teaches arts. It teaches knowledge of self. These three things have made me the adult I am today and helped shaped the process how I look onto the world. Now, that I'm an uncle, I would love it to have my two nieces and my nephew to attend TWS. It's education that will stick with you for life since it's a lifestyle, in a way.

It's a lifestyle I wish more kids were able to enjoy.

I will try to convey my thoughts on my past Waldorf years on here along with my thoughts with the current educational system in Ontario. I would love to get your experiences if you attended a Waldorf school. How were your experiences? I would love to get your feedback on my article and would like to answer any of your questions.

You can e-mail me at [email protected]

Till then.

Stay true.

—Shane Alexander

Series: Waldorf Schools

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