Waldorf was Superman

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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.

I first heard about the doc Waiting for Superman a month back when I was sent the trailer - amazing. A few days later, the U.S. media blew up talking about this story. Online, I started to get Facebook invites about the flick. Twitter was buzzing about it, too. On the television, CNN, Dateline, Primetime, daytime talk shows, were screaming the words said in the emotional documentary. But it was when Oprah entered the growing camp of top-name supporters that the movie's name really blew up.


The poster for "Waiting For Superman" by Davis Guggenheim.
The poster for "Waiting For Superman" by Davis Guggenheim.

I call it the Power of Oprah.

In case you don't know much about Waiting for Superman, here's a little rundown about the flick courtesy of Internet Movie Database.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by Sundance Film Festival.

As I continue to hear about what could be a very sad future for many kids in America, I tend to feel thankful that I went to school in Canada, at a school like Waldorf. Some kids at the school couldn't afford to go there but there was always tuition assistance. Some kids couldn't get to school because they lived too far - they ended up boarding with others. We, like the extra-nice Canadians we are, always tried to help others make it, to get a better education in an unique schooling environment. It worked. I'm trying to spread awareness about Waiting for Superman and how to help out. The sad truth of what is going on abroad has hit home. In Canada.

This past Thanksgiving, I knew what I was thankful for. An education that I didn't need to win a lottery to get.

—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
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
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
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
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"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
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
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