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Approaching Grade Seven: Inspiration and Guidance for Your Year

Sunday, July 7, 2024 - Friday, July 12, 2024

Professional development for Waldorf teachers and home school parents. Read all about Summer Series 2024.

Taught remotely in real-time, this course offers you an invaluable opportunity to focus entirely on your upcoming seventh grade school year in five days brimming with presentations, discussions, and practical activities.

Under the guidance of an experienced class teacher, you’ll discover ways to enliven your teaching and learn how to approach the blocks so that they may meet the seventh grader in a meaningful and lively way. With the insights of anthroposophy, gleaned through a child development discussion focusing on your class’s age group, you will get to know the seventh grader as they explore new horizons both within and without.

Along with 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 topics for seventh graders—and their teachers—as:

  • Topics in language arts, including Wish, Wonder, and Surprise, and journal- and essay-writing
  • Topics in math, including prospective geometry and intro to algebra
  • Topics in history, including the Middle Ages through the Renaissance in Africa and Europe, and the Enlightenment through the American Civil War
  • Topics in geography, including biomes and explorers of the world
  • Topics in science, including mechanics, intro to chemistry, and human physiology
  • Plays, projects, community service, and trips
  • Block quizzes and assessments
  • Next steps in seventh grade pedagogy
  • Parent work and colleagueship

These subjects will be supported by explorations in art and music, giving you practical tools to take into your school year. In addition, you’ll gain many valuable opportunities for building connections among a community of parallel colleagues from across the country to carry with you throughout your teaching. And participation in an anthroposophical study undertaken in common with all Grades participants will help enable you to build bridges between colleagues and parents once you return to your school.

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 foundational background in Waldorf education.


Lead Instructor 

Rebecca Nelson currently teaches eighth grade at the Waldorf School of New Orleans, where she has taught since 2010 and is a middle school specialist. From 2007-2010, she took a class from sixth-eighth grade at Green Meadow Waldorf School. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she majored in English and anthropology, Rebecca discovered Waldorf education while studying Mayan archaeology at Tulane University, from which she earned an MA in anthropology. She also holds an MSEd in Waldorf elementary education from Sunbridge College. In spring 2024, Rebecca was selected as incoming director of Sunbridge’s Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program. 

Summer Series 2023 participants had this to say about their experience with Rebecca:

  • Rebecca Nelson was a fantastic instructor. She brought so much insight and information, but also gave us moments to share and discuss amongst each other. I also really appreciated the amount of information that was made available on Google Classroom.
  • Rebecca has been informed, open, and clear, and full of supportive documents and details. She created a strong, open community of rising seventh grade teachers in our week together.
  • She knows more about everything than I could ever hope to 😉 and explained it in a patient, positive and enthusiastic manner. Viva optimism and passion!!!!
  • Fantastic teacher and so respectful of participants. Great listener!
  • Rebecca’s experience and expertise is apparent in her ability to clearly present the material as well as encourage questions and discussion. She was super clear, strong in opinion when needed, and extremely open. She balanced bringing her own expertise and utilizing the wisdom of other course participants. Many course participants came with a lot of experience, and I watched over the week as seemingly all online stayed really engaged. I can’t remember a similar prep course that had so much true screen time, with all participants really present (including myself). Even for topics far outside of my need or interest, I remained engaged. This was largely due to Rebecca’s graceful authority and presentations of true value.
  • The DEIJ side of Rebecca’s work experience was incredibly exceptional. This is so important to me and I am so happy to see it executed so well.
  • I really appreciated the ability to chat with fellow teachers – sharing experiences, tips, support. I’ve been missing that greater picture. All the discussions of academics, curriculum, parent work, were very fruitful!
  • The discussions between us all were fantastic. I loved the diversity sessions.
  • The biggest highlight were all sessions with Rebecca. She is a fantastic teacher and facilitator. I also appreciated the input from other Waldorf teachers.
  • I found the blocks that were discussions where we were able to hear from our fellow teachers to be extremely helpful, as well as the more practical parts presented. The art sections were helpful and in-depth. The collaborative aspect overall was great.
  • Rebecca – so approachable and generous, ALL of the resources – invaluable
  • I really appreciated that we covered so many different areas (curriculum, parent work, etc.) and especially that there were two sections dedicated to DEIJ work.
  • Wonderfully experienced teacher who gives options, ideas, space for discussion, etc.
  • She has a warm and inviting personality. I’m hoping to take the 8th grade class from her next year, please!

Your course also includes sessions in art with Kelly Beekman, music with Katey Dolezal, chemistry with Amy Stemkoski, math with Olga Domokos, and physics with Rosana Portillo.



This course takes place July 7-12 in a synchronous online classroom. ALL TIMES LISTED ARE EASTERN (NY) TIME ZONE.

4:45 pm-4:55 pm: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance
5:00 pm-8:15 pm: First session (including break)
8:15 pm-8:45 pm: (Optional) Q&A, especially for those new to Waldorf teaching

Monday – Thursday
9:45 am-9:55 am: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance
Sessions run from 10:00 am through 4:45 pm, with time for breaks and lunch
(Optional) Physics/math/chemistry labs run from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

9:45 am-9:55 am: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance
Sessions run from 10:00 am through 1:45 pm, with a mid-morning break

NOTE: Most sessions are required in order to receive a certificate of attendance. Others are optional. A complete schedule will be sent two weeks before your course start date, along with a list of materials you will need to procure for use during your course. Participants should be prepared to work on course-related assignments outside of their regularly scheduled instructional sessions (including some that may be assigned in advance).


$615 includes all resource materials, pre-recorded music and movement lessons, yearlong access to your Grade Seven Google Classroom and Kelly Beekman’s art portal, and a $55 non-refundable registration fee.

25% discount for:

  • Students currently enrolled in a Sunbridge teacher education program
  • Sunbridge program graduates
  • Payments made in Canadian dollars

Accounts must be in good standing and discounts may not be combined. Qualification for discounts will be verified by Sunbridge staff.  



Please contact Barbara Vitale, admissions and summer coordinator, at [email protected] or 845-425-0055 x20

Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary. See registration form for refund policy.


Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States


Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States