The pandemic has brought with it many challenges for teachers, schools, and families, challenges which were enhanced by the in-person nature of Waldorf education. Last week, Bayla Sussman discussed with us her experience of taking Waldorf education to the virtual realm. But now that classes are slowly returning to campus in our phased hybrid model, we see that switching back to in-person with many new protocols and requirements has its own challenges. In today’s blog, we feature Grade 2 teacher Elizabeth Falcon, who has switched back again to in-person learning while also trying to continue to serve her students who chose to remain home. This is what she says about her experience.
Elizabeth Falcon: “I am loving teaching in-person again. The protocol was intimidating at first, but the children know what is expected and have easily adjusted. Each child has a “nest” in our outdoor classroom where they work and keep their supplies. We have blankets to snuggle in when it gets too cold, and we take off our shoes when it gets hot.
Every day is an adventure as we experience first hand how heat melts beeswax, how cold makes our crayons reluctant to share their color, and how much wind a chalkboard can withstand before it blows over. We go on scavenger hunts for words written on rocks and build forts in the wash. We light a candle and tell inspiring stories. We write on clipboards in smaller books than we might otherwise, yet the children (and their teacher) are equally as proud of their work.
We are incorporating lots of time in nature and in the wash. The children’s’ play is inclusive, inventive, and truly beautiful. They are grateful to be together again, sharing stories and imaginations with joy.”