The newly designated Taos Waldorf School was having a 2-hour open house today. I’ve been curious about this school, formerly called Taos Country Day School, so I attended the open house and was encouraged to take photos and blog away about my impressions. The school is proud of the fact that they are now able to meet the strict requirements that go with using the name, Waldorf. This first photo, with the budding lilacs on the left, houses the Middle School grades 5 – 8.
Back in my 20s I was impressed by the ideas of Rudolph Steiner and read several books about his concepts, especially regarding gardening and early childhood education.
Set out on a table in one of the Middle School classrooms were individual books created by the students. This is how they address a particular field of study, they create their own books full of illustrations, compositions and diagrams. You can see the different ways two students addressed the same task in these bits of moon phase charts. I took several photos of these books as I found them delightful. Better to make your own book than digest someone else’s presentation of the information. But then I have always been a very hands-on type. My kind of school.
I couldn’t resist sharing this shot of various illustrations of handwritten text. I have an 11 year old granddaughter, as many of you have heard, and so I was mostly interested in what was going on at the school for this age group. My tour guide addressed this. She mentioned that the older children are working on developing archery skills this year and showed me the outdoor area where sports and such activities take place.
Somewhat recently the school was able to annex three acres abutting the Taos Pueblo land and part of this provides the sports field. Just to the west of it as you walk towards the mountains you come to this willow tree on the right. It was once struck by lightening but survived, with its branches easy for children to climb and play on. My guide said that this is a favorite hike destination for them.
Just on the other side of the fence, marked by a row of trees, is a fairly large herd of buffalo. They are on the Pueblo land and roam around freely, so it was special that they were in the right spot for me (and you) to see them today.
I doubt you could run a Waldorf school without gardening classes. I hear that things are coming together now to get started planting up this greenhouse with future edibles. I mentioned that I am a passionate gardener and my guide said that they welcome volunteers from the community to come and participate in tending the gardens. The campus felt like a very warm and friendly place and would be a great place to volunteer if one had the spare time and the knowhow.
There were lots of chickens cruising around and such a variety of colors and sizes! Apparently it is the job of the younger children to tend to the egg gathering. Next to the chickens were goats and they were not just for petting. The older children actually milk them. I was pretty impressed by that. I liked everything I saw and had fun imagining my granddaughter attending the school. I had always wanted my own daughter to go to a Waldorf school but it never came together. So I guess I can dream on. I might apply for a substitute teacher job, or teacher assistant–a way to make friends with this lively and inspiring Taos institution.