The Steiner Centre is pleased to announce our 2016 Honorary Waldorf Fellow, Les Black. Les has been a long time colleague and champion for creativity in Waldorf education. With over 30 years of dedicated service to our Toronto Waldorf School community, Les has touched the lives of hundreds of children and colleagues. His love of drama and movement has inspired us all. Les will be the keynote speaker at the graduation of our full-time program on May 30 where he will be awarded his own certificate.
Les retired from the intense life of a Waldorf class teacher at the Toronto Waldorf School in 2010. Following the graduation of his third, eight-year-cycle class, Les has nourished the slow build-up of a new career in teacher-mentoring and Foundations Studies in anthroposophy teaching through RSCT’s Distance Studies Program. He is currently assisting at L' Ecole Rudolf Steiner de Montreal, mentoring teachers, speaking to topics requested by the faculty and to topics parents in the school's community. This concept of mentor-to-school relationship will extend to the Trillium Waldorf School early in the new school year. Les also mentors many Foundations Studies students from Mohawk First Nations communities in Brantford and Cornwall. This is an unexpected and privileged turn of focus. Students from Montreal, Australia and South Korea have made up the mosaic of students he has supported in these studies.
In 2011 Les drove across Canada, encouraging Canadian Waldorf schools to unite with a Canadian organization designed to enhance the work of AWSNA in Canada and address our common, Canadian-specific issues.
Les and family (wife, Ilse and sons, Ben, Noah and Lucas) moved to the Toronto Waldorf School in 1983, where he took up the mantle of class teacher. Three classes journeyed with him from grade 1 through 8. For one school year he was the movement teacher for grades 6 through 12 and he subsequently completed the Spatial Dynamics Training (2nd North American Class). Les carried many leadership roles during his twenty-seven years at the school and was active in the resistance to the imposition of standardized testing by the Ministry of Education.
Les and family had moved from Fort Frances, in North Western Ontario, where he had been a public school teacher for seven years before that. He did his graduate training in education at the University of Lancashire in England in 1975. He had prior teaching experience at Crescent School and Lakefield College School.