What would Steiner do?

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The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus. Shane Alexander wrote a series of similar posts for Our Kids.

A body, in effect, is only part and parcel of another body, but the self, the 'I' of man exists in and by itself alone — 'I am I.'


I was out for beer the other week with an old high school friend. While on the patio to grab some fresh air, my friend asked me a question.

Do I think I'm a Waldorfian? Post Waldorf.

I asked him what he meant.

He asked if I ever thought that I fit the stereotypical Waldorf format of what a Waldorfian kid should be.

I wondered for a bit.

I had to say Yes. I think I am. No. Wait. I know I am.

I felt like a music artist who had to admit to himself he makes pop music. It was hard to conceive. But it's true.

We weren't talking about how we fit in the physical Waldorf get-up, but how we are spiritually. Does our spiritual beliefs system go along with the ones that Waldorf taught us years ago?

As a kid, you refuse to be or sound or think like your parents. It makes you feel old. It makes you realize that you are becoming something you never thought you would. Just like That Pop Star. However, you have that moment, when you realize that you just said something that your mom told you years ago. Or that you just made a track that you know 11-year-olds will love and you'll start having day autograph sessions at huge malls.

This is kinda the same thing. It's not that the values that were instilled into you were bad or wrong, it's just that it's a sign that you're growing up and maturing and realizing it's time to be wise, and, well, grown up.

When I left Waldorf, I did take some words of wisdom from the round school and never thought I'd look back. But when confronted with the worst situations, or trying to figure something out, I found the answer. Later I would realize that it's something that Steiner would do, too.

WWSD for short.

So what am I talking about in regards to what exactly Waldorf instilled into me at such an innocent age? It taught me that the soul and self is the greatest gift you'll ever receive - and to cherish it. They taught me that individualism is gold. I learned about love and appreciation for nature. Waldorf guided me to always think for myself and question what others bring onto you. The round school also showed me that mass media is not always to be trusted and there's other ways to have fun rather than using electronic sticks and surfing the interweb. But it was the philosophies that surround these belief pools that help guide me everyday.

Do I wonder What Would Steiner Do? Yes. I do. And now I'm old enough to be proud of it.

—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
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
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
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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