Hi my name is Shane and I'm a Waldorfian

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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.


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
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Toronto, Ontario
Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
 
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"Waldorf education is 'schooling with heart'. Students and parents love our smaller class sizes, strong teacher relationships, incredible curriculum, unique opportunities and arts-infused academics!" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $21,700 to $24,700
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Waldorf Academy 21700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Calgary, Alberta
 
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"Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and engaging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 9 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $3,890 to $14,850
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Calgary Waldorf School 3890 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
 
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"Redefining high school education: A micro-school that merges the best of homeschooling and private school. Developing wisdom, wonder and well-being. Classical & experiential, conservative, experiences, nature & God." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; Waldorf
  • $16,000 to $20,000
  • Day school
  • 60 students
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Willowbrook Heights 16000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
 
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"Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $14,360 to $19,360
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Halton Waldorf School 14360 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Thornhill, Ontario
Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
 
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"Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $18,000 to $24,000
  • Day school
  • 360 students
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Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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