Articles - A Waldorf Student's Story

What People Say
I am confident that the education they have received will make them individuals who can and will take the time to think for themselves and inspire and lead others.
Charles Greenhalgh, Parent

My name is Kaeli.  I am 16 and spent a good 13 years of my life attending the White Mountain Waldorf school in Albany, New Hampshire. My time at Waldorf was the best.  All of the people there are kind, loving, helpful and truly inspiring.  I learned many things there, academically and otherwise. 

At Waldorf I learned math through stories of gnomes, German through songs,  and I taught myself to read with little help.  In history I studied all sorts of mythologies,  eras and peoples.  My teachers made learning fun and enjoyable.   At this wonderful  place I was also educated in many things most other schools don’t teach. I was taught  to hike and camp at a young age, I love the outdoors.  Every week we had a new chore and each person had to do their share to clean the room; we learned to be  respectful and respectable.  Each year we were brought on a trip a few nights long,  and from this I learned to spend time away from home.  

Outside of my schoolwork I was taught many skills as well.  As a young child  I had to discover how to work out a problem with my peers with words and not actions.     A bit later I mastered the art of compromise.  I was schooled in eye contact, posture,  the polite way to talk to people and many other skills useful in daily life.  Another very  important aspect of Waldorf  education is thinking for yourself and finding a perspective  no one else has thought of before, and pursuing that view of whatever it is  that you are thinking about.

Just over a year ago I graduated from the eighth grade at WMWS, which is the  last grade the school offers. I was sad to leave my small homelike community but right  away I embarked on my next journey, High School.  Unlike my thirteen classmates from  WMWS I was headed off to Gould Academy, a boarding school in Bethel Maine.    It was a whole new experience and, thanks to Waldorf, I was prepared. 

It was intimidating to go from a school of about 100 people spread throughout  12 grades to a school with 300 people in four grades.  Now I know 300 is still small  for a high school, but I was used to a grade of 13 kids.  Even though it was intimidating  it wasn’t a problem.  I love meeting new people, learning about new people and worlds  that are different from mine.  Because of Waldorf I am comfortable and confident in  myself, which helped me a lot in the realm of meeting new people and making new friends.    Most of the people I met at Gould came from their regional public schools making  it interesting for me and for them when talking about our past schools.  A lot of my  friends were impressed that I can draw almost anything or that I can name all of the  Olympian Gods and Goddesses.  I brought a whole new outlook on education to their eyes.    I helped with memorization, any kind of art and language, as I had been memorizing  poems and taking Language and art classes since I was three.  Within the first few days  at GA the freshman were taken on a three day camping and hiking trip.  Let’s just  say this was not a problem, for me at least. 

Gould Academy takes all of the Freshman on an International Journey - their  Four Point trip.  Eight people go to Tanzania the rest go to China.  I was chosen to  go to Africa.  Because of Waldorf and it’s accepting nature, I had grown up accepting  any differences anyone might have in any way, which made this trip a lot easier for me.   One more attribute Waldorf gave me is the skill of speaking comfortably and well with  people and strangers. This came in handy while practicing my TEDtalk in front of my  English class and when speaking to the Tumiani Junior School on my Four Point trip. 

Waldorf gave me many qualities that have shaped me and helped me grow over  the years.  Everything I learned there helped me immensely in my transition to Gould  Academy.  I learned so much from and feel so much towards my Waldorf  education- respect, gratitude, love - but there is one thing that I learned from  Waldorf that is irreplaceable: I learned to love learning.  The Waldorf  motto, “Inspiring the love of learning” could not be more correct.