Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25th, 2012
The Minnesota Waldorf School is hosting the 2012 AWSNA Great Lakes Conference. The theme is Building Regenerative Communities and Michael D’Aleo will be returning as the keynote speaker.
The conference is co-sponsored by AWSNA, the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society and the Mid-States Shared Gifting Group of RSF Social Finance. We’ve arranged some very exciting workshops that will be led by John Bloom (RSF Social Finance), Albert Linderman (Theory U), Kathleen Bowen and Leah Walker (Center for Biography and Social Art), Ken Patel (Ecology Democracy Network) as well as Practicing a Holistic/Artistic Approach to the Works of Rudolf
Steiner by CWS’s very own Frances Vig and Michael Holdrege!
See the link below for the brochure for the conference which is also posted on the Minnesota Waldorf School’s website: www.mnwaldorf.org This conference is open to all members of our CWS communities: faculty, staff, board members, parents and friends.
This promises to be a very exciting weekend which we’re hoping will bear much fruit for the future! I hope you’ll be able to attend.
You can find out more information about the conference by clicking here for the event brochure.
Chicago Waldorf School
AWSNA Leadership Council
Mention Martin Luther King, Jr.’s name to anyone walking down the street and you’ll often hear a similar theme—he was a powerful force that fought for equality and justice. Ask a 5th grader from my mother’s class (she’s a teacher) in a rough socioeconomic neighborhood just outside of Detroit and you’ll hear themes of inspiration, hope, and role model. An 11-year old boy told my mother that King gives him hope that the world will continue to change for the better; his work inspires him to be respectful and act with dignity toward all human beings. Powerful words from an 11-year old boy who doesn’t know if he’ll be in the same home each week. He clings to the lessons learned from King’s struggle and attempts to remain a positive change agent within his own family and community.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
Festival: Join CWS on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Friday, January 13th, 2pm in the school auditorium
Born in January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergymen and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Using nonviolent methods such as peaceful marches and sit-ins to seek equality and justice for all human beings, he challenged American society, desiring to put an end to racial segregation and discrimination. He also worked to end poverty and war through education. King continues to be a powerful force 44 years after his assassination. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday established in 1986, is more than a day off from school or work. It is meant to commemorate the sacrifice that King and his family made to secure freedom, justice and a higher quality of life for all mankind.
To celebrate King’s life and work for human rights, Chicago Waldorf School is celebrating King with a special assembly organized by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) on Friday, January 13th in the school auditorium. Special reflections and musical offerings will be performed by students and faculty. This year’s theme comes from a letter written by Dr. King while he was imprisoned in a Birmingham jail. In it he wrote:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
The entire school community is invited to attend and share in this school-wide event. This assembly is appropriate for children over 6 years in age.
Submitted by: Lori Browder, Marketing Volunteer Photo from rolexblog.blogspot.com
Commons on the Corner
Fridays at 8:10am in the Parent-Child Room
The Parent-Child Room is located at street-level #1301 on the SW corner of Loyola & Lakewood.
We’re starting the school year off with three Commons on the Corner events!
Join us in the Parent/Child room on Friday mornings after drop-off for a coffee klatch and discussion sessions with these excellent speakers:
SEPTEMBER 16th: Lattes with Luke
CWS Administrative Director
Our own Administrative Director, Luke Goodwin, will ring in September with an introduction to the new school year. Luke often hosts Commons on the Corner sessions to answer any questions you might have or discuss the latest topics and projects relevant to the school’s operations and initiatives. Find out about upcoming events, or ask questions about specific issues. Luke offers an open door and attentive ear to all members of our community for focused discussion.
SEPTEMBER 23rd: Making Healthy Lunches with Kim Lutz
Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen. With food allergies, sensitivities, and restrictions becoming increasingly common, creating a welcoming kitchen—a place where friends and family can all come together and share a meal—has become a challenge. Kim will share her expertise in serving delicious, nutritious meals that everyone can enjoy.
SEPTEMBER 30th: Vermicomposting with Stephanie Davies
Create your own home composting program with guidance and tips from an experienced expert. Community educator, entrepreneur, author, and health care professional, Davies revels in the wisdom of the red wiggler composting worm. As the founder of Urban Worm Girl, she educates the urban community about the ease and benefits of recycling kitchen waste by composting with worms. You’ve always wanted to start vermicomposting, so come and learn how easy, clean, and virtually odorless it is. Come and do the worm!
For more information about these PTO events, and to RSVP, please contact PTO communication lead, Kelly Aaron at email@example.com
Chicago Waldorf School celebrates at the 42nd Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday June 26th, 2011
This past Sunday, over 50 CWS parents, faculty, staff, alumni and students from 1st grade through High School donned rainbow capes, facepaint and waved flags and placards as they marched through the center of the city in the 2011 Pride Parade. The spectacular weather swelled spectators to well beyond the 450,000 that were counted at last year’s parade.
Our students enjoyed the enthusiastic support and admiring responses from the crowd that included high-fives and cheering as the students displayed their pride and demonstrated skills such as jumping rope (double-dutch no less), twirling streamers and cheering back to the crowd.
New Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel–who led this year’s parade–visited & chatted with the CWS students.
The CWS Bus (decorated with rainbow banners and signs) and parent marching band accompanied the CWS marchers and made quite an impression on the city of Chicago. The CWS contingent was covered by ABC 7 News, WXRT Radio, Windy City Times and mentioned in numerous other media reporting stories, perspectives and blogsites. As the Windy City Times reported, “PFLAG was as popular as ever, with parents and friends marching along with LGBTs. Nettlehorst and Chicago Waldorf School also marched to great response. Both are [local] schools, showing just how far Pride has come since the 1969 Stonewall protests in New York.”
CWS & Nettlehorst “are showing just how far Pride has come since the 1969 Stonewall protests in New York.”
Overall the students and families had a great experience and were glad to show their support for ALL kinds of families, regardless of their orientation or structural makeup. The LGBT community and the larger city of Chicago opened their arms and welcomed our schools participation in this energizing and historic event along with the CPS Nettlehorst School and Chicago Teachers Union.
Very Special Thanks to:
Jennifer Zielinski- the master event-coordinator and communicator for our parade participants.
Mark Miller, Heath Jansen and Donald McGhee- for creating our new Parent Marching Band.
Brett Johnson (our Development Director’s husband)- for rigging our bus with an excellent sound system to add music to our bus/float.
Carly Garcia & her dad, Carlo- for loaning a generator for powering the sound system.
The Muskovin Family (Naomi & Dru)- for sewing rainbow capes.
The Greenberg Family (Maci & Meka)- for dyeing and painting capes and banners.
Cathey Stamps & Laurie Oswald who travelled all the way from Denver, CO with family to march.
All the families, faculty and staff who participated in this year’s parade!
The parade, now in its 42nd year, celebrates the diversity of Chicago’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender individuals and families. It supports the notion of family in all forms including the significance of LGBT community family members. Chicago Waldorf School is proud to support our LGBT members both within our school community and within the City of Chicago at large.
Take another opportunity to show your school pride in this weekend’s July 4th Parade in Evanston!
Invididuals interested in marching in the July 4th parade should contact Jennifer Zielinski at 773-392-1496.
-submitted by Jason Greenberg
CWS parent & Pride Event Participant
A Princeton Professor Champions a Waldorf-style Model for Innovation & Experimental Thinking
A recent perspective piece in CNN World (in partnership with TIME Magazine) promotes the values at the heart of Waldorf pedagogy, to wit, the philosophy that creative time and open-ended structures foster experimentation and innovation in ways that regimented training for achievement cannot. Anne-Marie Slaughter,the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, offers her perspective:
Rebellion of an Innovation Mom
Call it the rebellion of the mother of two adolescents against the Tiger Moms, but what this nation needs to be innovative and entrepreneurial is to ask our kids to do less.
Innovation requires creativity; entrepreneurship requires a willingness to break the rules. The jam packed, highly structured days of elite children are carefully calculated to create Ivy League-worthy resumes. They reinforce habits of discipline and conformity, programming remarkably well-rounded and often superb young people who can play near concert-quality violin, speak two languages, volunteer in their communities and get straight A’s.
These are the students that I see in my Princeton classes; I am often in awe of their accomplishments and teaching them is a joy. But I strongly suspect that they will not be the inventors of the next “new new thing“.
Creativity requires a measure of random association and connection and substantial periods of down time, where the mind is allowed to run and turn over seemingly disconnected bits of information, images, and ideas. Richard Florida, author of The Creative Class (follow him on Twitter at @richard_florida), observes that “many researchers see creative thinking as a four-step process: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification or revision.”
To nurture young people who are willing to persevere in the face of deep skepticism or outright opposition, we must reward them or at least allow them to be rewarded for breaking the rules…
Incubation is “the ‘mystical’ step,” one in which both the conscious mind and the subconscious mull over the problem in hard-to-define ways.” Hard to define, yes, but not hard to foster, as long as chunks of the day or the week are left open for relatively random activity: long walks, surfing the Internet, browsing a bookstore, household chores that don’t require too much thought, watching the birds at the birdfeeder and gazing out at the ocean.
Creativity gurus often suggest ways to add randomness to your life. Left to their own devices, teenagers are masters at drifting from fad to fad, website to website, and event to event as their fancy takes them, but that seemingly aimless, random wandering is exactly what we are programming out of them.
Entrepreneurship means undertaking something new, something that you create or make happen that does not exist in your space. It does not have to require breakthrough innovation; successful entrepreneurs can borrow ideas that are succeeding elsewhere and transfer them. But our most famous entrepreneurs have a vision and follow it in defiance of conventional wisdom.
One of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs recently listened to me pitch a new idea and patiently told me the many reasons it was unlikely to work and/or that I was the wrong person to make it happen at this point in my life. But at the end of our conversation, he smiled and said: “Of course, every successful entrepreneur started with an idea that other people said would not work but persevered anyway. So go for it.”
To nurture young people who are willing to persevere in the face of deep skepticism or outright opposition, we must reward them or at least allow them to be rewarded for breaking the rules, not meeting our expectations by jumping through an endless series of hoops.
Remember that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college to follow their passions.
Can we really imagine kids who have done absolutely everything expected of them both in and out of school being willing to ignore their college courses and their parents’, teachers’, and coaches’ expectation to suddenly pursue their own path?
The U.S. higher educational system recognizes the value of challenging authority; that is what “teaching critical thinking” is all about. I wrote in 2009 that the U.S. was primed to remain an innovation leader precisely because we give A’s for the answers that challenge the teacher’s thinking and B’s for the answers that echo it….(Click here to read the rest of the article at its source.)
Note: Author, Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Follow her on Twitter at @slaughteram.
Special to CNN posted on June 5th, 2011