The Steiner Centre is grateful to Yvonne Philpott for helping us stay in touch with our busy alumni who are working in Waldorf schools on many continents. - ed
Hiromi Matsue – Class of 1999
Akico Komano – Class of 2006
In early February I was in California where I had the opportunity to meet up with dear friends: two Japanese RSC Teacher Education graduates. Hiromi Matsue (Class of 1999) now lives in Los Angeles and teaches Japanese at the Ocean Charter School. Proximity to the Pacific inspires some California schools to choose Japanese as a foreign language for its students.The Ocean Charter School, spread over three campuses, is a publicly funded Waldorf school. By this summer all class teachers will have completed Waldorf teacher training.A beautiful blackboard description of Waldorf’s view of child development in her classroom showed me that Hiromi is making her contribution to the professional development of her colleagues.
I witnessed a rehearsal of the two combined grades 4 for a performance of a Japanese fairy tale. It is an annual highlight where the grade four students present an hour-long play in Japanese, with a little guidance in English so the audience can follow. All the children know all the roles and only towards performance time does Hiromi match actors and roles. Teams of parents and their friends provide considerable help with the elaborate costumes, make-up and scenery. Last year’s performance drew members of the local Japanese Businessmen’s Association who were so impressed that they provided a grant which enabled Hiromi to order a huge traditional hand-made drum.
During my visit two of her colleagues told me: Hiromi is such a gift to the school!
Akico Komano (Class of 2006) followed her Waldorf teacher education with a four-year eurythmy training in England. She then returned to Sapporo, Japan, where she conducts eurythmy classes for adults and for children. She was visiting her friend Hiromi at the time I was there. She led a three-week eurythmy session with a grade 3 in the Ocean Charter School, at the end of which the school’s director asked her if she wouldn’t like to move to L.A. And that wasn’t the only compliment she got. The students had prepared a beautiful thank-you book.
Akico and Hiromi were preparing to attend the West Coast Waldorf Conference in Portland, Oregon at the end of February.