Youth initiative summer program in Ann Arbor


Last week's article about this summer's program at the Rudolf Steiner Health Center in Ann Arbor had the wrong dates.

Luckily, it gives us a chance to share some impressions from last year's participants with you.

This program introduced students from all over the US to the Anthroposophic care model. During the first five days, doctors, nurses, therapists and farmers that work with Anthroposophic principles shared their expertise with the group. Question and answer sessions and group discussions assisted in taking up the material. The students worked together and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

Working hands-on with financially needy patients under professional supervision during the next seven days deepened participants understanding of the processes. Teaching and working with pre-teen girls during the last week solidified their knowledge and inspired a younger generation with healthy habits and creative expression. The program is designed to give participants a wonderful foundation for and understanding of the anthroposophic health care concepts.

Many of the students found that they learned a great deal more than they had initially imagined. This is one student's letter of appreciation and thanks:

Dear Sara, Dr. Molly and Dr. Quentin,

I hope all of you are doing well and gracefully reverting back to your life after the LWS program.

Coming back to the daily rhythms of my life at home have been quite an adjustment. I feel nostalgic for the rhythmic and dynamic life back at the Rudolf Steiner Health Center. My experience during the LWS program has opened gateways of insight and incredible awareness on how to approach a healthy, lively and nurturing lifestyle. Learning how to cook various delicious and nutritious foods have given me confidence and inspiration to share my newly learned skill -- to cook a whole meal! My knowledge and understanding about the value, quality and nutritious aspect of food has allowed me to pick and choose food mindfully. The anthroposophical medicine and therapy portion of the program has enlightened me on ways to naturally and alternatively heal and nurture the human body and soul. Integrating what I had learned into the work and share portion was challenging, however those challenging moments added to my growth as an individual and made my experience at the Rudolf Steiner Health Steiner all the more rewarding.  Everything about the program was exactly what I wanted to experience and immerse myself in.

I feel so honored to have been in the presence of all of you. I have so much respect and appreciation for what all of you are creating at the Rudolf Steiner Health Center. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn from all of you and also for having the patience to host me as a participant during the program at the Health Center. I hope our paths cross someday!”

The eight patients who attended our Support Retreat were all so grateful for the care and attention they received during their stay, and the sixteen girls at our Girls Camp had so much fun that they all want to come back this year.

The RSHC is hoping to make the Learn-Work-Share Youth Program a yearly occurrence at the Rudolf Steiner Health Center, and have set the 2013 dates as follows: June 26-29 LEARN, June 30-July 6 WORK, July 7-13 SHARE. Applicants should be between 16-30 years old, and complete the online application by February 28th at www.steinerhealth.org/youthconference. Anyone who would like to apply to be a patient can find further information on the Support Retreat page at www.steinerhealth.org/support or call  (734) 663-4365

Gym and Developmental
Movement Intensive this summer

A childhood rich in varied play and movement strengthens the developmental foundations needed for success in the grades and beyond. Through age-appropriate movement, the child gains basics like postural control; spatial orientation; the ability to change sight perception instantaneously between three-dimensional and two-dimensional space; good body geography; confirmed dominance; and foundations for literacy and numeracy.

A 2008 article in the New York Times noted that, “Scientists who study play, in animals and humans alike, are developing a consensus view that play is something more than a way for restless kids to work off steam; more than a way for chubby kids to burn off calories; more than a frivolous luxury. Play, in their view, is a central part of neurological growth and development — one important way that children build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and cognitively flexible brains.”

The week-long course on gym and developmental movement is for Waldorf gym, remedial and class teachers who would like to intensively explore the foundations of healthy development that occur through movement, and experience how these foundations can be joyfully built through ‘old time’ gym, schoolyard and backyard games once played by children all over the world.

There will be five hours of movement and two hours of supporting pedagogical theory each day. The emphasis will be on activities for grades 1 to 4, but participants will also experience how these transform for older classes. Activity content will include: rough and tumble play; a lower-grades model for the Waldorf Circus; zoo exercises and mat agilities; and workup games for sports.

The course will run from June 23 to 30, 2013, at Aurora Waldorf School (Buffalo NY area) and will cover how to plan lessons around academic/ developmental goals, techniques for identifying needs and addressing individual or class problems. The daily pedagogical lectures and seminars will enrich and enliven teaching approaches by deepening the understanding of Rudolf Steiner's picture of the human being, and then linking these key ideas to more recent research and methods.

Jeff Tunkey has been teaching both Physical Education and Extra Lesson at Aurora Waldorf School since 1996. A graduate of the Spacial Dynamics five-year Inservice Training, he has taught teacher groups through the Association for a Healing Education, the HEART  Program in Toronto, and at other Waldorf and public schools.

Complete information at movementforchildhood.com.

The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

Your Brain on Computers


While waiting for an elevator at the Fair Oaks Mall near her home in Virginia recently, Janice Im, who works in early-childhood development, witnessed a troubling incident between a young boy and his mother.

The boy, who Ms. Im estimates was about 2 1/2 years old, made repeated attempts to talk to his mother, but she wouldn’t look up from her BlackBerry. “He’s like: ‘Mama? Mama? Mama?’ ” Ms. Im recalled. “And then he starts tapping her leg. And she goes: ‘Just wait a second. Just wait a second.’ ”

Finally, he was so frustrated, Ms. Im said, that “he goes, ‘Ahhh!’ and tries to bite her leg.”

Much of the concern about cellphones and instant messaging and Twitter has been focused on how children who incessantly use the technology are affected by it. But parents’ use of such technology — and its effect on their offspring — is now becoming an equal source of concern to some child-development researchers.

Sherry Turkle, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Initiative on Technology and Self, has been studying how parental use of technology affects children and young adults. After five years and 300 interviews, she has found that feelings of hurt, jealousy and competition are widespread. Her findings will be published in “Alone Together” early next year by Basic Books.

In her studies, Dr. Turkle said, “Over and over, kids raised the same three examples of feeling hurt and not wanting to show it when their mom or dad would be on their devices instead of paying attention to them: at meals, during pickup after either school or an extracurricular activity, and during sports events.”

Dr. Turkle said that she recognizes the pressure adults feel to make themselves constantly available for work, but added that she believes there is a greater force compelling them to keep checking the screen.

“There’s something that’s so engrossing about the kind of interactions people do with screens that they wall out the world,” she said. “I’ve talked to children who try to get their parents to stop texting while driving and they get resistance, ‘Oh, just one, just one more quick one, honey.’ It’s like ‘one more drink.’ ”

Laura Scott Wade, the director of ethics for a national medical organization in Chicago, said that six months ago her son, Lincoln, then 3 1/2, got so tired of her promises to get off the computer in “just one more minute” that he resorted to the kind of tactic parents typically use.

“He makes me set the timer on the microwave,” Ms. Wade said. “And when it dings he’ll say, ‘Come on,’ and he’ll say, ‘Don’t bring your phone.’ ”

Not all child-development experts think smartphone and laptop use by parents is necessarily a bad thing, of course. Parents have always had to divide their attention, and researchers point out that there’s a difference between quantity and quality when it comes to conversations between parents and children.

“It sort of comes back to quality time, and distracted time is not high-quality time, whether parents are checking the newspaper or their BlackBerry,” said Frederick J. Zimmerman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health who has studied how television can distract parents. He also noted that smartphones and laptops may enable some parents to spend more time at home, which may, in turn, result in more, rather than less, quality time overall.

There is little research on how parents’ constant use of such technology affects children, but experts say there is no question that engaged parenting — talking and explaining things to children, and responding to their questions — remains the bedrock of early childhood learning.

Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley’s landmark 1995 book, “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children,” shows that parents who supply a language-rich environment for their children help them develop a wide vocabulary, and that helps them learn to read.

The book connects language use at home with socioeconomic status. According to its findings, children in higher socioeconomic homes hear an average of 2,153 words an hour, whereas those in working-class households hear only about 1,251; children in the study whose parents were on welfare heard an average of 616 words an hour.

The question is: Will devices like smartphones change that? Smartphone users tend to have higher incomes; research from the Nielsen Company shows that they are twice as likely to make more than $100,000 a year than the average mobile subscriber. If increased use of technology encroaches on the time that well-to-do families spend communicating with their children, some could become the victims of successes originally thought to help them.

Dr. Hart, who is now professor emeritus at the University of Kansas Life Span Institute, said that more research is needed to find out whether the constant use of smartphones and other technology is interfering with parent-child communications. But she expressed hope that more parents would consider how their use of electronic devices might be limiting their ability to meet their children’s needs.

Part of the reason the children in affluent homes she studied developed larger vocabularies by the time they were 3 is that “parents are holding kids, the kids are on their lap while the parent is reading a book,” Dr. Hart said. “It is important for parents to know when they’re talking to kids, they’re transferring affection as well as words. When you talk to people, there’s always an implicit message, ‘I like you,’ or ‘I don’t like you.’ ”

Meredith Sinclair, a mother and blogger in Wilmette, Ill., said she had no idea how what she calls her “addiction to e-mail and social media Web sites” was bothering her children until she established an e-mail and Internet ban between 4 and 8 p.m., and her children responded with glee. “When I told them, my 12-year-old, Maxwell, was like, ‘Yes!’ ” Ms. Sinclair said.

“You can’t really do both,” she added. “If I’m at all connected, it’s too tempting. I need to make a distinct choice.”

This article originally appeared in the NY Times. To view the article at source, click here.

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The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is looking for an imaginative teacher for next year's first grade

Just click on "Teaching Joy" to learn more.

June 17 through August 31, 2013 with Eugene Schwartz, Roberto Trostli, Meg Chittenden, and Raine Springer

Last year, over 220 teachers from 100 schools took part in the Grades Four through Six Online Conferences and the Grades Seven and Eight Online Intensives. This year, a new Online Grade Three Conference and expanding the Grade Seven Intensive into a full-length Grade Seven Online Conference.

More details about the 2013 online conferences by just clicking here.

62 Job listings from the past week:

Check out all the job listings and job seekers here.

Fourth Grade Teacher, 2013-14, Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua, HI

First Grade Teacher, 2013-14, Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua, HI

First Grade Teacher, Sacramento Waldorf School, Fair Oaks, California

Sixth Grade Teacher, Sacramento Waldorf School, Fair Oaks, California

First Grade Teacher, Pine Hill Waldorf School, Wilton, New Hampshire

Preschool co-teacher or experienced assistant, Prairie Flower Children's Center, Ames, Iowa

Fourth Grade Class Teacher, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, Newtown, Connecticut

Spanish and / or German Teacher, Micha-el School, Portland, Oregon

Job Seeker, Niñera, Valencia, España

First Grade Class Teacher, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, Newtown, Connecticut

Lead 2/3 Grade Teacher, Wellspring Waldorf School, Tunbridge, VT

Job Seeker, Grades Class Teacher or Support, HS Art Instruction, North Bay, California

Journey School Is Hiring, Orange County, California

Job Seeker, Au Pair, Europe

Job Seeker, Early childhood Head Teacher

Grades Teacher, Class of 2021, Spring Garden Waldorf School, Copley, Ohio

First Grade Teacher, Washington Waldorf School, Bethesda, MD

Director of Admissions, Waldorf School of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland

First Grade Classroom Assistant, Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

Job Seeker, Part-time Nanny or Occasional Babysitter, Los Angeles, California

Au Pair in ireland, Ireland, Tulla, County Clare

Music instructor, Urban Prairie Waldorf School, Chicago, IL

Seeking Class 1 Teacher for East Bay Waldorf School, El Sobrante, CA

First Grade Teacher, White Mountain Waldorf School, Albany, New Hampshire

Eurythmy teacher, Lake Champlain Waldorf School, Shelburne, VT

Assistant Teacher-Parent Child Program, Rudolf Steiner School, New York City, NY

Teacher, Seaside Playgarden, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Fourth Grade Class Teacher, Whidbey Island Waldorf School, Whidbey Island, Washington

First Grade Class Teacher, Whidbey Island Waldorf School, Whidbey Island, Washington

Dean of Education (0.75-1.00 FTE), Olympia Waldorf School, starting June 2013, Olympia, WA

First Grade Classroom Assistant, Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

Early Childhood Classroom Assistant, Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

Seeking 4th Grade Teacher for 2013-14 School Year, River Oak Charter School, Ukiah, CA

Seeking 4th Grade Teacher for 2013-14 School Year, River Oak Charter School, Ukiah, CA

Parent and Child Lead Teacher, London Waldorf School, London, Ontario, Canada

After School Program Assistant, Live Oak Charter School, Petaluma, CA

First grade teacher 2013-2014, Potomac crescent waldorf school, Arlington, virginia/ washington DC

First Grade Class Teacher for 2013-14, Whatcom Hills Waldorf School, Bellingham, WA

Seeking an Au Pair to join us in Wellington, New Zealand

Adminstrator, Sacramento Waldorf School, Fair Oaks, California

1st grade teacher for 2013-2014, Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, New Paltz, NY

Early Childhood Assistant for 2013-2014, Waldorf School of Cape Cod, Cotuit, MA

Faculty Chair, Washington Waldorf School, Bethesda, MD

Full Time Kindergarten Assistant, Rudolf Steiner School, New York City

Part Time Eurythmy Teacher, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Los Altos and Mountain View, CA

Spanish Teacher for Grades 1-8, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Los Altos and Mountain View, CA

First Grade Teacher for 2013-2014 School Year, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Los Altos and Mountain View, CA

Two Class Teacher Positions; Kindergarten Assistant, Edge Hill Country School, Durham, Ontario, Canada

5/6 Class teacher Fall 2013, Anchorage Waldorf School, Anchorage, Alaska

GS Faculty Chair, San Francisco Waldorf School, San Francisco, CA

Grades teachers for 2013/14, Novato Charter School, Novato, CA

First Grade Position 2013-2014, Great Oak School, Houston, TX

Class Teacher, Woodland Star Charter School, Sonoma, CA

Director, Mountain Oak Charter School

Full-time first grade teacher for public Waldorf-education, Desert Sky Community School, Central Tucson, AZ

First Grade Teacher 2013/14, Greenwood School, Mill Valley, CA (Marin)

Preschool Lead Teacher - 2013-14 School year, Greenwood School, Mill Valley, CA (Marin)

Grounds and Garden Specialist, Taos Waldorf School, Taos, NM

Dean of Education, Olympia Waldorf School, Olympia, WA

Summer Camp Coordinator, Olympia Waldorf School, Olympia, WA

First Grade Teacher, Olympia Waldorf School, Olympia, WA

Waldorf Inspired Childcare Seeking Co-Teacher, Sweet Waters Childcare, Excelsior MN

Check out all the job listings here

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