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Working with Parents

Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 8:00 am - Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 5:30 pm

A 2-day workshop on “Developing and Sustaining Healthy Teacher-Parent Relationships” with Melissa Merkling of Housatonic Valley Waldorf School

Behind every child stands a parent… or two, or three, or four! As teachers we tend to focus on our students, sometimes forgetting the fact that our relationships with parents are every bit as important. In this professional development workshop for Waldorf teachers, we will explore the different facets of the teacher-parent relationship; discuss successful ways of sharing with parents the wonderful, challenging task of guiding their child through childhood; and do some hands-on activities to strengthen our powers of observation and compassion.

Topics we will cover include:

• Navigating the (often tricky) parent/friend divide
• Running effective and rewarding parent evenings
• Creating an atmosphere of trust and collaboration
• Writing tactful, informative year-end reports
• Establishing guidelines for healthy communication
• Preventing and managing crises


melissa-merklingMelissa Merkling is currently an Educational Support Coordinator and Extra Lesson teacher at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown, Connecticut, which she founded in 1989.  Melissa grew up in New York City and attended the Rudolf Steiner School from kindergarten through 12th grade.  After studying art at Bennington College and spending four years in Italy, she worked in television, edited a non-profit publication, and earned a Certificate in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College.  At Housatonic Valley she has held virtually every position, from Early Childhood and Grades teacher to Administrator, Enrollment Director, and College and Board member.  Melissa has attended and led anthroposophical classes and study groups for over twenty years.  She currently serves as a pedagogical mentor for students in Sunbridge’s Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program. She is also a professional editor and proofreader, and the mother of a grown son.

Your workshop also includes eurythmy with Elsa Macauley of Eurythmy Spring Valley

Workshop Schedule
Monday, June 26: Registration opens at 8am and concludes by 8:30am; Classes run 8:30am-5:30pm
Tuesday, June 27: Classes run 8:30am-5:30pm
An hour is given for lunch, with shorter breaks for morning and afternoon snacks

Workshop Fee
$335 (includes all materials and non-refundable $45 registration fee). Discounts may apply; see registration form for details.


Contact Admissions & Summer Series Coordinator Penelope-Myles Voss at summer@sunbridge.edu or 845-425-0055 x20

Sunbridge Institute reserves the right to cancel any offering at any time. If Sunbridge cancels, all registrants will be notified and will receive a full refund. If the registrant cancels, he or she will receive a full refund less the non-refundable registration fee.  Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary.


Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 8:00 am
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 5:30 pm
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Sunbridge Institute
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States