The Impact of Your Support

When you donate to the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, your generosity impacts our school at every level. The quality of our programming, the professional development of our teachers, and the overall experience of each of our students is made possible by contributions like yours.

At the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, we take great pride in our faculty. At its core, a Waldorf education enables children to grow up feeling confident in themselves and their space in the world, so they can approach life with enthusiasm and openness, and find beauty everywhere. Our teachers are engaged in bringing up the adults we need in our world, and they bring passion and enthusiasm to campus every day.

With support from our Annual Fund donors we are able to offer all of our faculty the opportunity to attend training and professional development seminars at a range of institutions and in a wide array of subjects. Here, a few of our teachers share insights they gained attending courses:

Zdenka Gottwaldova
Teacher, Primrose Kindergarten
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» I used my professional development money for WECAN certification training. I spent 3 weeks in training. Now I am WECAN certified. I spent my personal money on online training in non-violent communications and classroom organization.

What insights can you share from your training?» I gained a deeper understanding of child development from an Anthroposophical point of view, and an understanding of the need for simplicity in my teaching.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» I became a Waldorf teacher to serve the families and their children and to help them to support their child’s development.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» When I see a twinkle in children’s eyes and when parents share thoughts of appreciation and respect.

What is your favorite event at the school?» I love most the Garden of Light. It is so beautiful to see the awe in the children faces.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» I love all the people who work at our school.  They are such wonderful people who care for the children.[/read]

Jerilyn Burke
Teacher, Oak Tree Kindergarten
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» I took a course at the Rudolf Steiner Training Centre Toronto.

What insights can you share from your training?» Understanding human development is key to becoming a good teacher.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» It is a calling!

What makes you happy as a teacher?» The twinkle in the children’s eyes

What is your favorite event at the school?» The Lantern Walk, for the community and reverence, and the reminder the let your inner light shine.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» The community is down to earth, open, and friendly.[/read]

Jennifer Persinotti
Teacher, 6th Grade Teacher
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» I attended the AWSNA Summer Conference, which focused on the 2nd core principal of the organization. It was titled Social Justice: Exploring Place, Race, Class and Gender in Waldorf education.

What insights can you share from your training?» That while we have much work to do, we, as a school and community are on the right track, asking the right questions, and committing to the important work of our time.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» I feel that there is no better path forward for our children and our future.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» Seeing my students connect what they know to what they are learning and find awe in the world.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» The faculty, staff, students, and families are committed to creating a space where everyone belongs and where Waldorf education can rise to meet the challenges of today.[/read]

Hillary Burdette
Teacher, 8th Grade
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» Preparing for Grade 8 at the Sunbridge Institute.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» To be in another helping profession for children.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» Connecting with the students.

What is your favorite event at the school?» The Garden of Light, because of the reverence.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» It is a warm, loving, safe place for my child to go to school.[/read]

Eniko Imredy
Teacher, 4th Grade
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» I completed a course on waldorfessentials.com.

What insights can you share from your training?» Even thought I taught 4th grade in the past, there is always something new that I can bring to the curriculum and to the students.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» I became disillusioned with public school education.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» Happy children and happy parents.

What is your favorite event at the school?» I love most the Garden of Light, and its feeling of reverence.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» the wonderful campus and supportive parents.[/read]

Roxanne Anthony
Teacher, Snowdrop Nursery
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Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» I wanted to serve a community of parents who need to put their young ones into care—to create a place that is like a cozy home—so the parents can feel their child is in a good place.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» Serving and facilitating for the children and parents so that early childhood can be a beautiful experience for them.

What is your favorite event at the school?» Garden of Light—out of the darkness comes light—the metaphor of birth and the struggles of being human speaks to me.[/read]

Amanda Rogers-Petro
Teacher, Music
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What professional development training did you attend this year?» Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education.

What insights can you share from your training?» Kindness, humor and open-heartedness are as vital as subject knowledge in teaching.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» The warm, humane vision of the developing child inspired me.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» When I see the joy of music making on the faces of my students.

What is your favorite event at the school?» The concerts! Because I love seeing the pride on the faces of the students as they share the culmination of their work in music class, and I love the joy that fills the room

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» of the children![/read]

Treacy Gallagher
Teacher, Games and Movement
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Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» Because I love the idea of being able to teach “physical education” in a way that teaches all children a love of movement regardless of whether they are “athletic” or not.

What makes you happy as a teacher?» Working with children, especially those who aren’t “naturally athletic,” and supporting their mastery of some physical challenge and learning to love movement. And observing children who have mastered something learn how to teach others.

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Joy Itiola
Teacher, First Grade
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What training did you attend this summer? » I took a first grade readiness course and an early grades literacy course. Both of these were located at the beautiful campus of the Center of Anthroposophy located in New Hampshire. After these trainings I traveled to Upstate New York where I participated in my last Grades summer intensive at the Sunbridge Institute.

Share a key take away from your training » Confidence, Competence, and Creativity. In the work we do as Waldorf educators our goal is to hand off these three gifts to the children who have chosen us to educate and love them.

Why did you become a Waldorf teacher?» I was a student of Waldorf education for 7 years of my life. My time as a student challenged me to become more aware of who I am as a loving and creative individual. I’ve decided that I’d like to impart the gifts of confidence and creativity to others, just like my class teachers did for me.

I love the Waldorf School of Philadelphia because» There is an aroma of progressive thinking here that I can’t get enough of. As a new member of this community I’m so excited to see how the school is truly striving to take Waldorf education into the future.

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