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What would Steiner do?

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The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus. Shane Alexander wrote a series of similar posts for Our Kids.

A body, in effect, is only part and parcel of another body, but the self, the 'I' of man exists in and by itself alone — 'I am I.'


I was out for beer the other week with an old high school friend. While on the patio to grab some fresh air, my friend asked me a question.

Do I think I'm a Waldorfian? Post Waldorf.

I asked him what he meant.

He asked if I ever thought that I fit the stereotypical Waldorf format of what a Waldorfian kid should be.

I wondered for a bit.

I had to say Yes. I think I am. No. Wait. I know I am.

I felt like a music artist who had to admit to himself he makes pop music. It was hard to conceive. But it's true.

We weren't talking about how we fit in the physical Waldorf get-up, but how we are spiritually. Does our spiritual beliefs system go along with the ones that Waldorf taught us years ago?

As a kid, you refuse to be or sound or think like your parents. It makes you feel old. It makes you realize that you are becoming something you never thought you would. Just like That Pop Star. However, you have that moment, when you realize that you just said something that your mom told you years ago. Or that you just made a track that you know 11-year-olds will love and you'll start having day autograph sessions at huge malls.

This is kinda the same thing. It's not that the values that were instilled into you were bad or wrong, it's just that it's a sign that you're growing up and maturing and realizing it's time to be wise, and, well, grown up.

When I left Waldorf, I did take some words of wisdom from the round school and never thought I'd look back. But when confronted with the worst situations, or trying to figure something out, I found the answer. Later I would realize that it's something that Steiner would do, too.

WWSD for short.

So what am I talking about in regards to what exactly Waldorf instilled into me at such an innocent age? It taught me that the soul and self is the greatest gift you'll ever receive - and to cherish it. They taught me that individualism is gold. I learned about love and appreciation for nature. Waldorf guided me to always think for myself and question what others bring onto you. The round school also showed me that mass media is not always to be trusted and there's other ways to have fun rather than using electronic sticks and surfing the interweb. But it was the philosophies that surround these belief pools that help guide me everyday.

Do I wonder What Would Steiner Do? Yes. I do. And now I'm old enough to be proud of it.

—Shane Alexander
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  • Toronto, Ontario
    Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $13,775 to $21,750

Small class sizes and our unique curriculum - infused with Arts, Movement, Outdoor Education - create deeper connections across subjects, at all child development stages. Parents describe us as “schooling with heart".

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Waldorf Academy 13775 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 1 to 8 Coed
  • $500 to $12,850

First school of its kind in the world. We are unique in everything we do. It is time for thinking outside of the box and raising a new generation of leaders, innovaters, inventors and entrepreneurs.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Waldorf
Agora Prep 500 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Vaughan, Ontario
  • K to 1 Coed
  • $35,000

The only Kindergarten that will prepare your child with special needs to grade one,we are using the Miller Method and DIR/FloorTime.our ratio is 1:4 student.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • Waldorf
ACK-Autism Centre for kids 35000 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Donald St/Frances St
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,400 to $10,900

Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
  • Reggio Emilia
Academie Providence 9400 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
  • PS to 6 Coed
  • $15,500 to $17,500

NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Waldorf
Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $10,000 to $16,700

Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Halton Waldorf School 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Guelph, Ontario
    Victoria Rd N/Woodlawn Rd E
  • K to 8 Coed
  • $8,343 to $13,535

Trillium provides a comprehensive, vibrant and academically vigorous Waldorf education. Students are welcomed into a warm environment with teachers who care deeply for them, and support their holistic development.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Trillium Waldorf School 8343 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • PS to 9 Coed
  • $4,280 to $14,420

Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and challenging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Calgary Waldorf School 4280 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $12,470 to $23,400

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 12470 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $6,000 to $12,000

At Polaris artistic expression, practical skills & movement are interwoven into academic subjects. Learning becomes an engaging journey of discovery of the world and of oneself through hands-on and experiential learning.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Polaris School and Centre 6000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

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