The Bay School is one of 900 Waldorf schools worldwide that interpret the teaching of Rudolf Steiner. In establishing the first Waldorf School in 1919, Steiner began an educational movement that follows distinct developmental phases to address the needs of the growing child. A prolific theorist, Steiner wrote extensively on many subjects, and today, students of his broad philosophy are called Anthroposophists, after a term coined by Steiner himself.
The Bay School curriculum embraces Steiner’s understanding of child development by offering an education that is not simply studied but experienced. Through this manner of education, teachers engender in their students an inner enthusiasm for learning and work, healthy self-awareness, and appreciation for all that surrounds them. Our work centers on the conviction that the human being has a threefold nature: thinking, feeling, willing; to ensure the full unfolding of the child each of the three capacities must be acknowledged and nurtured.
Practically speaking, this vision is made real by a faculty, specially trained, often very experienced in the disciplines they teach, who are dedicated to the Waldorf pedagogy. Their patience, expertise and constancy produce a motivated, well-educated and secure student body. Teachers strive to present themselves as strong role models, men and women worthy of imitation and trust. The children witness adults who are committed to their wellbeing as well as the world around them. Respect, consideration, thoughtfulness and kindness are essential components of how we teach. Gratitude and compassion combine with academic rigor and an emphasis on the arts to reveal those truly human capacities that will serve the students well their entire lives.
Students respond strongly to their teachers’ dedication and clear standards. As children endeavor and share in a safe, encouraging learning environment, they are guided not to compete against each other but to recognize and champion one another’s strengths and abilities. They also discover their own capacity to produce beautiful work and find satisfaction in the process.
The Bay School campus itself is very well cared for, yet another way of demonstrating respect for all we have and mirroring the curriculum’s principles. Furthermore, our Waldorf teaching extends to parents as well: the school community is embraced through conversation, parent forums, study groups, and festivals.
Lifelong students themselves, Bay School teachers regularly study Steiner’s teachings as a faculty and attend Anthroposophic workshops for professional development. The Director and other delegates participate in semi-annual regional AWSNA Conferences. This faculty work helps keep the Waldorf pedagogy both dynamic and well understood by our families and friends.
For more information on Waldorf education we recommend a visit to whywaldorfworks.org.