Professional development for Waldorf teachers and homeschool parents
This course offers you an invaluable opportunity to focus entirely on your upcoming first grade school year in full five days brimming with discussions, presentations, practical activities, and the arts.
Under the guidance of a master class teacher, you’ll discover ways to enliven your teaching and learn how to approach the blocks so that they may meet the first grader in a lively and meaningful way. With the insights of anthroposophy, gleaned through a daily look at child development focusing on your class’s age group, you will get to know the first grader as they cross the bridge into elementary school. There will be time and space to consider and hone your skills in such practical matters as main lesson books, block planning, projects and activities, and classroom management.
Your course will include such key first grade topics as:
- Finding and telling the right fairy tales and nature stories for your class
- Introducing the first steps of literacy
- Qualities of numbers and the four processes in arithmetic
- Teaching form drawing, painting, drawing, modeling, and singing
In addition to inspiration and guidance which will support your teaching throughout the year, you’ll gain many invaluable opportunities for building connections among a community of parallel colleagues from across the country, to carry with you into your teaching.
Handouts relevant to your week will be provided to you upon your arrival on campus. Grade-specific resource materials useful for your year, including poems, songs, stories, and main lesson book ideas, will be provided to you electronically.
NOTE: This course is taught with the expectation that you have a background in Waldorf Education.
Karen Atkinson is a class teacher at River Valley Waldorf School. A longtime Waldorf educator, Karen has taught at several Waldorf schools since 1995, including Monadnock Waldorf School, the Waldorf School of Princeton, and Green Meadow Waldorf School. Prior to moving into grades teaching, she was a Waldorf early childhood educator for many years. In addition to teaching, Karen has served as a mentor and consultant for over two decades, is the Leadership Council Representative for AWSNA’s Mid-Atlantic region, and formerly served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative for WECAN. Karen received her undergraduate degree in liberal arts, with a focus in education, from Vermont College and her Waldorf teaching certification in both elementary and early childhood education from Antioch New England Graduate School. She is currently engaged in an active research project that aims to cultivate and support teachers as the Waldorf movement grows beyond 100 years. When not in the classroom, Karen can be found out in nature; she supports local and organic farms and enjoys preparing health-giving meals for her family and friends.
Students who took a Summer Series grades course previously with Karen had this to say:
~ The class was held well. Karen’s presence and ideas were inspiring
~ Karen is clearly a master teacher with many insights not only as class teacher but also as a AWSNA member rep and school governance administrator
~ Karen was such an inspiration. I could not have asked for a better role model this week.
~ Karen clearly thought through this class with great care. She brought inspiration, love, ideas, and practical applications
~ She taught this course with grace, skill, and masterful attention and care. What a fabulous week! I couldn’t have hoped for more
Your course includes painting with Brigitte Bley-Swinston of Green Meadow Waldorf School, music with Jana Hawley of Sunbridge Institute and Green Meadow Waldorf School, and movement with Will Crane.
As a grades teacher, you may also be interested in our workshops on Chalkboard Drawing for Class Teachers or Literacy in the Early Grades. If you have not had formal teacher training and want to learn more about the foundations and fundamentals of Waldorf Education, you may also be interested in our introductory Waldorf Weekend. Each of these 2-day workshops begins the Friday evening immediately preceding your grades course and runs through Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, June 30: Optional campus tour: 5:30-6pm; check-in registration: 6-7pm; orientation and your first class: 7-9pm
Monday, July 1-July 4: Classes begin each day between 8-8:30am and run through 5:30-6pm, with time for lunch and short mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks.
Friday, July 5: Classes begin between 8-8:30am and end between 12-1pm, with a mid-morning break.
$860 includes all materials and non-refundable $75 registration fee
Three Discount Options (Choose One! Discounts may not be combined.)
1. Friends and Family (Personal Discount): Currently enrolled Sunbridge program students receive a 30% discount and Sunbridge program graduates receive a 15% discount off one or more registrations. Discount instructions will appear on your registration form after you answer questions about your Sunbridge background in the Participant Profile section. Accounts must be in good standing.
2. Take Two and Save (Personal Discount): 10% discounts on subsequent registrations (of equal or lesser value) will automatically appear on your registration form when selecting more than one title. (Exception: Waldorf Weekend, which offers an $85 discount when selected as a subsequent registration.)
3. Send More/Save More (School Discount): Schools paying for five or more registrations will receive discounts in increasing amounts.
Make 5 registrations, receive 5% off the total cost
Make 6 registrations, receive 6% off the total cost
Make 7 registrations, receive 7% off the total cost
Make 8 registrations, receive 8% off the total cost
Make 9 registrations, receive 9% off the total cost
Make 10 or more registrations, receive 10% off the total cost
NOTE: When choosing this option, please be sure to check off “Invoice my School” on your registration form. To qualify for the Send More/Save More discount, registrations must be made by July 14.
Please contact our summer office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-425-0055 x20
Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary. See registration form for refund policy.