Where Imagination Outshines Memorization

Spring 2012 School Evaluation Results

Dear Sunrise Waldorf School,
I want to thank all of you for making my recent visit to your school such a pleasant one.  All of the parents I met were so welcoming and interested in Waldorf education.  It was great to have such a strong turn out for my lecture on a Wednesday evening in the middle of your busy work week.
Your teachers embody the enthusiasm of a pioneering Waldorf school and their classes are bright and engaged.  Perhaps the single greatest memory I came away with was the shining smiles of the children as they greeted their teachers in the morning.  Their obvious pleasure at being there and the energy they brought as they entered the classroom for main lesson was really all I needed to see to know that your school is bringing a healthy, vibrant education.  The children were welcoming to me and very engaging.  Certainly not a shy group!  I also had the opportunity to watch two grades practice for their class plays and was very impressed with both the quality of the acting and the competency of the direction from the teachers.  Class plays are always a good sign of how a class has taken to the year’s curriculum and these children’s depth of engagement was obvious.  I only wish I could have seen the final product with full costumes and props.  I’m sure it was tremendous.
The most important experience for me was to perceive the level of commitment to their work that your faculty and staff bring.  Every person I met carries a passion for teaching and education that is palpable.  I was deeply impressed with the quality of the people you have in the classroom.  The founder of Waldorf education, Rudolf Steiner, was insistent that the most important thing about teaching is who we are.  Skills can be learned and experience will be gained but the quality and character of a teacher cannot be taught.  The people you have found to teach in your school is  remarkable and is a foundation on which a great school can be built.  That you are able to reach into your own community to find and develop teachers is even more impressive.  Finding a person like Claudia, the rising third grade’s new teacher, is a great example.  To find a person with her level of education, her deep connection to the local community and her complete commitment to education as a driving force in her life, is incredible.  People like this do not grow on trees and your school is filled with them.  Your students are very lucky to be surrounded by such strong and passionate teachers.
I look forward to meeting more of you in the future as I work with your faculty, board and administration in the process of developing your school.  I feel honored to be invited into such a wonderful community.  Thanks again for making me feel so welcome.

Whitney MacDonald, M. Ed.

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