Mollianne Reynolds – WWS Teacher
What were and continue to be the biggest reason(s) you have chosen to teach in a Waldorf school.
As a Waldorf graduate, I was not very familiar with other school systems having left the US public school system in Grade 3. However, I always felt like the Waldorf School was my home and my peers and teachers were family so teaching anywhere else never really came into the equation. I wanted to teach in a school where a student’s journey and self were nurtured, nourished and accepted, where beauty was valued, where creativity was living, and where students were given a rest from the outside ‘noise’ and busyness of media, movies, fashion trends, gizmos and knickknacks so they could just be themselves.
Can you tell me about one of your most positive memories at WWS?
Once upon a time, when the school was just a 2-portable schoolhouse, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new portable (current Briar Rose KG) so that our kindergarten did not have to set up and take down their classroom in the Fieldhouse every day. When the portable arrived, there was much work to be done: dividers to be built, walls to be painted, chalkboards to be hung, curtains to be sewn, shelves to be installed. I think the plan was a weekend work party starting immediately after Friday’s regular early dismissal.
But Thursday morning, we got news of a miscommunication – the fieldhouse was booked by another group and we needed to be in our new digs the following Friday morning. This entailed transforming a Grade 6 classroom back into a kindergarten, a Grade 1 classroom into a Grade 6 classroom and completing a good portion of the aforementioned work on the new portable.
Parents were called, friends were enlisted, faculty meeting cancelled, tradespeople engaged and even some of the older students chipped in. A team of dedicated staff and parents hit the ground running immediately at the end of the school day and worked late into the night. The next morning, the students arrived to find everything criss-cross-apple-sauce and yet neat and tidy, every piece in its place (for the most part).
I tell you, the elves played quite a trick on the students that day. Yes, there were hidden loose ends that needed to be tidied away but I still remember the giddy smiles of relief on the faces of those amazing and exhausted ‘elves’.
What have you learned from being part of a pioneering school?
One of the things I have learned is to work with what you have before you. This has been both challenging but also rewarding on many levels. Facilities have not been ideal, sometimes supplies have been sparse, some years staffing was a challenge, there has been personal and professional grief and joy, and there have been demands that stretched us to our limit. But these challenges ultimately allowed us to see the true beauty, strength, creativity, and heart residing in each unique individual that we work with and that we teach as we take what we have before us and grow, learn, build, and share. Despite it all and because of it all.