WALDORF STUDENT SUPPORT Social ~ Emotional ~ Behavioral
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For an Individual Educator in the Waldorf Student Support Community ____________________
Q: How often and for how long do we meet?
ANS: We meet monthly from August to June. Each gathering is 90 minutes long
Q: Are the gatherings phone or video based
ANS: Both. We will use Zoom. You can either log in using your computer or you can dial in using your phone.
Q: Will the meetings be recorded?
Q: What time of the day/evening will the meeting happen?
ANS: 8:00pm ET, 7:00pm CT, 6:00pm MT, 5:00pm PT.
Q: Can I share a situation in my classroom that I need to better understand?
ANS: Yes, of course. This is one of the main aims of this gathering. We group together situations that have a similiar dynamic.
Q: Will I come away with practical strategies to better support a struggling student?
ANS: Yes, indeed. The strategies will be both do-able but also flow naturally into the Waldorf classroom environment
Q: Are the topics we explore applicable for both the Waldorf Care/Student Support worker as well as the Waldorf Teacher?
ANS: This is one of the crossover of areas that makes these gatherings so interesting. Increasingly the classroom teacher is being called on to address emotionally based issues, while the care professional is needing to support students in the flow of the school day. So much to learn from each other!
Q: Do the tools we gather need the whole faculty and adminstration on board to be successful?
ANS: Not really. The stategies we explore are sensible, best practice and very much in keeping with the aims of Waldorf education. As such you can seamlessly put them into practice in your day-to-day teaching. They do not necessarily rely on the participation of other faculty.
Q: If a small number of other teachers in my school become interested can they join as well?
ANS: Yes, and this often happens as others see your children become calmer and more oriented. PS: There is also a discount in the yearly fee for up to four teachers from the same school.
Q: Can I join in later, after the school year has begun?
ANS: No problem. What I ask is that if you bring a topic that has already been covered in some depth previously, you go to our recording library and access the information in this way.
Q: Are the tools and strategies we learn recorded somewhere?
ANS: Yes, you will have access to an extensive online library of videos and written material that detail each of the strategies we discuss.
For the Whole Faculty Professional Development in the Waldorf Student Support Process ____________________
Q: How long is the training process and how does it work?
ANS: The training/professional development process is three years. This involves the faculty being given access to a library series of short videos with Kim that overviews the key principles and also gives specific social and behavioral tools. These videos can be either viewed individually at home or during a faculty meeting. Written material is also available in the schools WSS online library that we curate and update. The Student Support Coordinating Group facilitate discussion in the facylty meeting about the videos content.
Q: Is this an in-person training or online?
ANS: The clear feedback we have received is that an online training has significant benefits...
It is less disruptive to the school schedule than a tradtional three day in-person visit
It allows for well paced implementation throughout the year.
It allows for emerging student support situations to considered.
It is cost effective as the consultant does not need to have travel costs covered.
It gives the faculty an ongoing professional development focus throughout the year.
Q: What do we need to allocate in terms of human resources?
ANS: A small Student Support/Care Coordinating Group needs to form (if it hasn't already) to help the process move smoothly. This group is usually made up of faculty members from the Early Years, Grade School, and High School. It also involves a person from the Leadership/Administration as a "FYI" member. This group meets once a week for around 60 minutes.
Q: How much time in the weekly faculty do we need to allocate?
ANS: Like most new initiatives time and care is needed especially at the begining of the process. However most faculties have a "children of concern" section in each meeting. This time can be formed and expanded slightly so that the Student Support work can be accommodated. Around 20 minutes works well.
Q: Are there other things to be thinking about?
ANS: One of the most popular and effective aspects of this process is the Student Social Action Committee (SSAC). This is a group of 8th grade (and High School) students who are offered the chance to become social citizen of their school by helping...
- Problem solving when disputes arise.
- Integrate new children into the school and class.
- By being a presence at playground "hot spots" of conflict.
- Organize tolerance and inclusion festivals and celebrations.
- Being big buddies to a whole calss and also excluded children.
-At recess introducing some new fun traditional playground games.
Q: Is there support given to keep the process going after the first three year set up phase?
ANS: Yes. Like all structures this also benefits from the ongoing maintance that a monthly 60 minute video call offers.