The Bulletin

The Gift of Teacher Development

As part of last year’s Year of the Teacher fundraising at the CWS Gala, new funds have been established to support CWS Faculty’s educational development.

High School Art Teacher, David Dozier, reflects on the value of his recent Professional Development Workshops

“Since I teach full time for CWS, and also teach on Saturdays for Arcturus half the year, I don’t have much down time for my own artwork (except during faculty meetings when as a habit I’ll admit that I sometimes draw ‘stealth portraits’ of my colleagues).  I rely mostly on the summer months for my artistic development, usually working outdoors on landscapes in oil and pastel.

Landscapes are wonderful, but working from the human form is the cornerstone of drawing, painting and sculpture. It’s been over two years since I was able to work from the human model on a regular basis. Through the gift of the Teacher Development funds, I attended an eight-week workshop at the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio in Chicago over the summer. It allowed me to reconnect to the special and sustained process of working on drawing of a live professional model, who held the same pose for a total of 24 hours! Thanks to this fund, I will be able to take more workshops this year to develop my teaching experience and hone my artistic skills.

"As a teacher it’s essential not only that I grow, and that I am developing my own skills, but that I can work in a situation where I can feel as challenged as the high school students must feel when I set an assignment before them."

< One of David’s portrait drawings from the workshop

Portrait drawing is taught in the ninth grade during the Black & White drawing block. Since art isn’t an elective at CWS—but a core block—I need to remember what a challenge it can be for our students to draw. Some of them come to me convinced that, ‘…they could never draw like that!’ or, ‘…I’m the worst artist in my class.’ I’m happy to report that when someone learns to do something they previously believed to be unobtainable, it builds self-confidence in a unique way.

I want to thank the many parents in our school community who made this summer workshop possible for me through their generous contributions to Teacher Development funds in last Spring’s Gala. Should you want to learn more about the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio, please visit their website for course descriptions and their history.”

Submitted by: David A. Dozier, High School Art Teacher

Building Intentional Community Targets Bullying

The Building Intentional Community (BIC) Committee invites families to discuss teasing with their children as a proactive way of bullying prevention.  Anna Carlson’s recent article in Chicago Parent magazine provides a useful sidebar of tools and tips to dicuss teasing and bullying with your children… (read the entire article at its source). Here are some excerpts:

Judy Freedman, author of Easing the Teasing: Helping your child cope with name calling, ridicule & verbal bullying, says, “Although kids cannot control the actions or words of the teasers, they can learn to control their reactions to the tease.”  If kids learn how to handle teasing early on, it will prevent bullying in the future. In the article, Freedman offers 10 Strategies to ‘Tame the Teasing.’

“In many situations, if kids are empowered with these strategies, the teasing stops,” Freedman says. Practicing these strategies at home will help the children feel confident in using them in actual social situations. Also its important to support your child’s self-empowerment, otherwise, “When children are being teased and their parents step in and solve the problem for them, children get the disempowering message that they aren’t strong enough to solve the problem themselves.”

Parents play an important role in teasing prevention. Freedman reminds parents that kids look to them for guidance and imitate their behavior. It’s important to make sure teasing is not allowed in the home and to discuss teasing with your kids.
“Just like you might talk about drug prevention and safety tips, parents need to talk about bullying prevention,” Freedman says. “It may not happen to [your child], but explain, ‘This is what teasing is, what bullying is.’”

Submitted by: Hazel Archer Ginsberg, BIC parent member

Celebrating the Early Childhood Harvest Festival

Braving the cool, wet weather last weekend, my two-year-old daughter and I attended the Early Childhood Fall Festival as guests this past weekend. Upon arriving, we were greeted with warm smiles and lots of joyous laughter. My daughter gleefully lined up among Waldorf school children to make beautiful banner flags for the upcoming Michelmas Assembly. Judging from the active turnout, the rain didn’t hold anyone back, nor did it spoil any moods.

Susan Bruck, Early Childhood faculty member, has been participating in the Fall Festival for over 11 years. She explained that in celebration of Rudolf Steiner’s 150th birthday, the Early Childhood program gifted 150 flags strung into banners for the assembly. Children proudly stamped leaves and various patterns on linen cloth and selected fall foliage to weave among the flags for decoration. As the banners took shape, they were stunning to see strung among the bushes to dry.
In between bites of apple cake, corn muffins and cider, parents and staff swapped summer stories strengthening the already vibrant and diverse community. Fathers tossed around balls with children in the parking lot next to the school. The littlest kids colored with sidewalk chalk and all wiggled to violin music and song as provided by Felipe Tobar (EC teacher, Nancy Matson’s son-in-law) . It was a wonderful kickoff for a new school year and fall season; one the children fully enjoyed and that I think Rudolf Steiner would be most proud of.

Submitted by: Lori Browder, CWS Marketing Volunteer

Welcome New Waldorf Students

We are delighted to welcome 53 new students and their families to the Chicago Waldorf School.

Early Childhood Classes — Ms. Matson’s Sunflowers Isabella Assirati, Kelsie Boyce, Anna Hanson, Marni Kaplan, Mica Zumann Ms. Donkel’s Sweet Peas Eoin Belcore-Walkden, Maxwell McCallum, Leo Salach, Leo Stover Ms. Votanek’s Rose Garden Zoe Fencil, Elena Lauhon, Nikolas Moliski, Luke Montzka, Maxim Nikitin, Kai Preus, Fiona Sheridan, Caroline Stanek Ms. Culbert’s Bluebells Georgia Bagwell, Alexandre Banks, Aidan Causevic, Sasha Hirsch-Arnett, Carter McIntosh, Luca Mele, Joel Montgomery, Xavier Probst, Nanuka Schirmer, Makayla Studie, Alexander Vrajitoru GRADE 1 — Ms. Moskowitz Candelaria Aguilar, Rio Kadono, Zoe Russo, Isabel Soriano, Eve Thiry GRADE 3 — Ms. Poole Ivan Mann, Jonas Zumann
GRADE 4 — Ms. Shortridge Curran O’Brien, Ozell Richardson GRADE 5 — Ms. Hartz Julian Avar Campopiano, Lucas Zumann GRADE 6 — Ms. Sullivan Savitri Mann GRADE 8 — Mr. Trevillion Kyra Gleason GRADE 9 Mr. Gleichauf & Mr. Wilson Anyah Akanni, Lauren Dubendorf, Joe Hartz, Isaiah Hasselquist, Bianca Moreno, Jonathan Normolle, Auset Muhammad, Sam Sendelbach GRADE 10 — Mr. Dozier & Ms. Everhart Lindsay Thompson, Joe Wendy GRADE 11 — Ms. Huckabay & Sr. Correa Natalie Good, Laura Luna, Yarden Solomon (welcome back!)

We are grateful to all the new parents and parent ambassadors who participated in the welcome event on September 6th. If you were unable to attend please stop by the Admissions Office to pick up your Welcome packet.

On behalf of all the teachers and staff, thank you for choosing the Chicago Waldorf School and best wishes for a wonderful school year!

Submitted by the Admissions Department:  Lisa Payton & Jennifer Zielinski
Illustrations graciously provided by 6th grader, Maci Modean Greenberg

A Tour for Insight Into the College Application Process

CWS College Counselor, Diane Meinke, recently returned from a three-day counselor tour to Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges in Maine. Counselors obtain behind the scenes information about individual college admissions offices during such tours. High school counselors are invited to a tour when the college believes that the high school has good potential to provide future enrollees.

These three colleges are quite selective. Their advice to students includes: demonstrate that you have pushed yourself in some way beyond what is typical in your high school, and demonstrate willingness to be proactive in learning, seeking help and engaging with others in purposeful activity. In addition, students should pay attention to the quality of the short supplemental essay as it is read carefully by multiple people.

Demonstrate that you have pushed yourself in some way beyond what is typical in your high school…

Bates College has a unique program which is the first of its kind in the country. There are 2 deans of multicultural affairs who alternate, spending one year in admissions and one year in multicultural affairs. This allows the dean who has recruited and established relationships with incoming students to stay with them during their first year in order to support their adjustment to college life. Bates was one of the first colleges to become test-optional (1984) and their experience has been very positive. There has been no decline in student achievement since adopting the policy and they have achieved much greater diversity in the student body.

A new initiative at Bowdoin College provides funding for unpaid student internships anywhere in the world. Bowdoin doesn’t want to see students pass up worthwhile internship experiences due to financial concerns. Bowdoin is also test-optional, though they report that 80-85% of applicants do send test scores. When students don’t send them, they assured us that they don’t speculate about the reasons for not sending them; they simply review the applicant with the information provided.

Colby College has a unique physical arrangement in which classrooms are situated next to professor’s offices. This facilitates communication and allows students to feel that they have easier access to their professors. Colby does require the SAT or ACT, and at this point, they have no plans to become test-optional.

One of the most satisfying aspects of a college tour is the ability to talk with students. These dicussions allow high school counselors to get a sense of the type of student who would be happy there. Each campus has its own distinct personality.  Students who will experience a “good fit” with the school will share at least some of the traits of the student body, though most colleges celebrate differences among students. Should your student wish to discuss the subjective feel of these colleges to determine whether it is a possible fit for them, Diane is available for consultation during lunch periods and after school. Contact Ms. Meinke to set-up an appointment.

CWS Parent is Protecting Public Transportation

Living in Chicago has many perks. One of our best treasures is the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). It not only provides an efficient mode of travel, it connects communities and enriches lives. Chicago Waldorf School parent and Director of CTA, Forrest Claypool, was recently featured in an article in Grid Chicago unveiling plans to rehab 100 CTA stations over the next year.

“While it’s not a library, a CTA station is an anchor in a community, [the Mayor] said. It touches a neighborhood like almost nothing else in that neighborhood.”

Working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Claypool has worked hard to make city budget cuts and simultaneously support CTA station improvements because of the positive effects cleaner, brighter stations in good repair can have in the community. Grid Chicago highlights Claypool’s contributions throughout the article and describes how public transportation can equate to more employment, less crime and a cleaner environment. To read the full article and to see if your CTA station will be part of the clean up, please check out the source at Grid Chicago.

Janet Oliver Workshop-The Eight Primary Reflexes

Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6

A former Montessori Pre-school teacher, with a Masters in Human Development and over a decade of clinical experience, Janet Oliver will present a workshop on the eight primary reflexes and their development and integration. Primary reflexes are instinctual movement patterns which help us to survive. These include the finger grasp reflux of a newborn or the startle ‘Moro’ reflex of a baby. They are not meant to last us a lifetime, but should integrate into our central nervous system. Children and adults who still retain these movement patterns can be frustrated because they are constantly being subverted by instinctual movement patterns and this may affect learning and one’s well being.
This workshop is for any parent who cannot understand why their child cannot change despite being told the same thing over and over and over again.

Janet L. Oliver has been in private, clinical practice in neurodevelopment and reflex integration for 13 years. Her passion is sharing the sensory motor developmental model for lifelong learning and efficient functioning. She works with public, Waldorf and Montessori Schools for teacher trainings and helping students with developmental delays.

The Janet Oliver workshop will take place at the Chicago Waldorf School and is designed to assist body workers, occupational and physical therapists, teachers, parents and caregivers. Follow the link to register {LB: Need help with inserting PDF registration}. for this workshop. For more information, please contact CWS Educational Support Teacher Cynthia Trevillion.

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