Monday, June 07, 2010

On Opening a Waldorf-Inspired School in Oaxaca

The plans have been brewing! When I spotted the perfect, simple country house in Huayapan, just a small leap from where we live (and, significantly, the birthplace of my favorite beverage, tejate), I saw a school bloom there. The large, black rock in the front yard, the fruit trees in the overgrown backyard, the long roofed terrace for art and music classes, the green space opposite the house, it all inspired me.

And, luckily, it inspired others in my group, too. We're moving an established Waldorf (and Montessori and Freinet) preschool, along with its brilliant teacher, to a country location, and adding a primary program.

I'll teach there two days a week, a gardening/cooking bilingual mom will teach there two days a week, and Steve will take the group on field trips most Fridays, with additional Fridays dedicated to project presentations, performances, or potluck meals with families and children.

An alternative Waldorf school in Oaxaca!

Here is what we're using so far for the Waldorf program at the Oaxaca school: gardening, cooking, music, drama, storytelling, natural materials, handicrafts (but using Oaxaca textile art, taught by an expert Oaxaquena), nature, movement, foreign language (Spanish/English, naturally), song, poetry, and community projects.

We're swapping out some of the more Eurocentric main lesson curriculum for Oaxacan and Mexican legends, archeology, folklore, art, and such, plus having students pick a project focus with which we'll integrate instruction in reading, writing, science, math, language, social studies, and more.

The school opens August 29th, and will have a low tuition. If you are interested in the project and the school, please feel free to be in touch. Here is the daily schedule:

9:30-10:30: Cooking, gardening, physical education (to take advantage of cooler morning hours)
11-12:00: Main lesson, with projects integrating reading, writing, language, storytelling, art, social studies, science, and math.
12:00-12:30: Math/science extension or supplement if the project doesn't naturally incorporate it.
1:00-1:15: Silent reading, journaling, or drawing.
1:15-1:55: Drama, art, music, song.
1:55-2:00: Goal-setting for the next day's projects


Diane said...

Congratulations! My daughter attended a Waldorf school when we lived in SMA and both of my kids did pre-school and early elementary in a Montessori.

I am getting my certification in elementary ed... a second career and really hope to teach in a more creative environment.

Good luck!

Diane said...

By the way, why Oaxaca? I am asking a few people why they chose the places they did. They are such deliberate decisions.

Serena said...

Thanks for your comments, Diane. I've heard about the SMA Waldorf program. How cool that you got to take advantage of it!

It was the alebrije art that first made me want to come to Oaxaca. I came and stayed half a year 14 years ago, but had to return al norte to work. Oaxaca burned in ou minds, though, so we made our way back here 3 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Hi Serena,
I have been following your wonderful blog the past couple of months, and am finally getting around to respond! My family and I just moved to Oaxaca June 1st from Guanajuato (we lived there for 9 months and loved the city, but decided to move here for various reasons). Back in Ojai, CA I homeschooled my 2 girls; Ojai has such a great homeschool community, that it was easy to do with other like minded folks (besides my girls were/are young, so it was mainly unschooled play time!!). One of the mamas in our group did a Waldorf inspired program 2 days a week in which my girls partook. So, as you can imagine, I am very excited to read about the school here in Oaxaca and the plans for the next school year. From reading one of your posts, I learned about Papalotes and already made contact with Sofia. We are going to visit early this week. I think my youngest daughter, Remy, is a good fit. She is 5 (6 in Aug.) and did a Montessori prescholar program in GTO. Maia is 8, so we'll see what the possibilities are for her. Anyways, just wanted to make a connection with you - I'm sure I will meet you soon in person. Take care~ Kim

The Buzz said...

You are an inspiration, Serena!

Serena said...

Gracias, Buzz, and right back atcha. Good luck with all your adventures in education in the coming month, too. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Is there any anthroposophical study in your school community?

Unknown said...

Hi! Where exactly is the school located? Thank you!