Elementary Teacher Education

Director: Jana Hawley, MSEd

SBSP14-7409 Jana dashingThe Sunbridge Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program is an integrated program of coursework, independent study, and practical work in the classroom, consisting of mentored or practice teaching and classroom observation. Over the course of three summers and three school years, with a three-week session each summer and a week-long session each fall and spring, you’ll acquire a practical, artistic, and philosophical foundation for teaching in a Waldorf grades 1-8 classroom. Fully recognized by AWSNA (the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America), the Sunbridge Elementary Teacher Education program provides the education necessary to teach in a Waldorf school in North America, and culminates in a Waldorf Teacher Education diploma.

This program next enrolls July 2017 (Summer 2017 intensive dates: July 10-28.) Applications are available here.

Specialized focus now available

Combine coursework from one of our summer intensives in specialized subject teaching with your Elementary Teacher Education program studies, and graduate with a diploma in Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education with a concentration in either Music or World Language teaching. For more information on this opportunity, contact our Director of Education, Anna Silber at asilber@sunbridge.edu / 845-425-0055 x10.

SBSP14-7385 Barry

This program is all-encompassing: spiritual, intellectual, and inspiring!
– Sunbridge Elementary Teacher Education student

The Program Experience

Waldorf teacher education at Sunbridge Institute is a unique experience. Our goal is to help guide you in your development—first as a person and then as a teacher. Through thoughtful dialogue, assigned reading, and guidance, you’ll have the opportunity to develop a contemplative inner practice that will enhance your teaching and help you acquire the capacities intrinsic to the lifelong, transformative path of becoming a Waldorf teacher. Through course work and observation, you’ll come to know why Waldorf teachers do what they do, and out of this understanding you’ll come to learn what you need to do. This way of educating—developing your capacities rather than just learning from a preset menu—will give you the means to teach out of yourself and, in turn, will help you to develop the unique capacities of your own students.

SBSP14-7543 Steve tablesWe provide you with plenty of tools for your Waldorf teaching, offering countless suggestions for curriculum and supplying you with plenty of materials. We also offer you lots of support through opportunities in both Sunbridge classrooms and in Waldorf school settings. Plus, as a student in our Elementary Teacher Education program, you’ll get to experience what your students will—learning how to play the recorder, practice eurythmy (a form of  movement expressing music or the spoken word), sing, paint, draw, sculpt, and practice handwork, among many other activities. These experiences will offer you meaningful insights into the role of the arts in Waldorf Education.
NM-SBSU13-5956 George w classThrough an ever-evolving exploration of Rudolf Steiner’s insights into child development (reading Rudolf Steiner’s works directly, rather than relying on secondary sources), studying Waldorf curriculum, methods, and the work of the Waldorf teacher, discovering the anthroposophical underpinnings of Waldorf Education, and developing vibrant artistic capacities alongside your self-created contemplative practice, you’ll acquire the foundations—and the credentials—you’ll need for teaching in Waldorf schools.

NM-SBSU13-4163 WETE CircleI get so much from my conversations with the other students; it is another aspect of my education here. I appreciate everyone so much.
– Sunbridge Elementary Teacher Education student

The Sunbridge Diploma

Completion of or enrollment in a Waldorf teacher training program is generally a prerequisite of employment for Waldorf class teachers. Sunbridge Institute’s Elementary Teacher Education program offers a full teacher training.

Please note that our diplomas are not academic degrees, as they reflect clock hours, not credits. Due to fluctuations and variations from state-to-state in the US regarding requirements for  teaching credentials, it is important to research your state’s regulations regarding requirements to be licensed to teach in a private or public school.

Program Components


Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program is divided into nine terms:

First Year Second Year Third Year
Summer Three Weeks Three Weeks Three Weeks
Fall One Week One Week  One Week
Spring One Week One Week  One Week

The program curriculum consists of class time in courses in the following areas: basic Waldorf pedagogy and child development, subject curriculum and methods, inner development of the teacher, fundamentals for the teacher, anthroposophy, and artistic development.


Besides attending 15 weeks of on-campus classes, every course has assignments to complete while on campus or at home before the end of that term.

Practical Work in the Classroom

Mentored Teaching
This program carries a requirement for practical experience working in a  Waldorf classroom. If you’re currently a practicing Waldorf class or subject teacher—as typically about a third of our entering students are—as part of your tuition you’ll receive a two-day visit in your classroom setting from a Sunbridge mentor during each year of the program. Ideally, this mentor will remain the same for the length of the program. In addition to the mentored teaching, five days of observation in a Waldorf classroom (other than your own) over the course of your training is assigned.

Student Teaching
If you’re not currently teaching in a Waldorf school,  you will be required to fulfill five days observing in a Waldorf classroom in your first year.  An essential component of your training in each of years two and three will be to complete four weeks of student teaching in a Waldorf school.


This program enrolls every summer.  The next cohort enters July 2017.  Please visit our Admissions page for information on how to apply.

2017-2018 Academic Calendar

Summer 2017 Intensive

Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 28

Fall 2017 Intensive

Monday, November 6 – Friday, November 10

Spring 2018 Intensive

Monday, March 5 – Friday, March 9

Please see our Teacher Education Program Overview for more information on Waldorf teacher education at Sunbridge Institute.

Learn more about Waldorf education.

If you have any questions, please contact us or call Penelope-Myles Voss, our Admissions and Summer Series Coordinator, at 845-425-0055 x20.


Please Note: Sunbridge Institute Waldorf Teacher Education programs are recognized by AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, and are licensed by BPSS, the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision of the New York State Education Department. These programs do not lead to New York State teaching certification.

Due to fluctuations and variations from state-to-state in the US regarding requirements for  teaching credentials, it is important to research your state’s regulations regarding requirements to be licensed to teach in a private or public school.