“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.”
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.