Professional Development
for Waldorf Teachers Full-Time

(formerly known as the Waldorf Teacher Education Program)

This program is designed to meet the needs of people who want to serve the needs of children and and adolescents to build strong school communities.  We work intensively through the arts to gain a deep appreciation for the insights of Waldorf pedagogy.  Student teachers are expected to be self-directed and highly motivated to develop themselves artistically, intellectually and socially. To pursue this kind of self education requires a balance of self confidence and an openess to explore  realms of  self-knowledge, academic and artistic skills. It is also essential to be willing to work together with a diverse group of colleagues to foster a learning and striving school community. This can be hard work, challenging on a number of levels and quite often fun.

Prerequisites for Admission

  • Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy, in-house, downtown or distance program, 
or an equivalent in-depth, documented study of anthroposophical research and practice
  • Prior teaching experience with one or more of the following: Bachelors degree or paid teaching in a Waldorf or independent school or in an early childhood setting (Letter from Employer required). For international students, verification of credentials required. 

Please contact us with any questions.

Course Description

The full-time Waldorf Teacher Education program of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto 
requires one year of study at our campus north of Toronto in Thornhill. To prepare for the long-term 
challenges of Waldorf teaching, this program is of necessity rigorous and requires 
considerable physical and emotional stamina. The focus of this program is on Waldorf grade school education, grades 1 through 8. This amazing journey takes teachers and students from the first steps in learning to write, read and do arithmetic, the golden age of imagination step by step to adolescence, the birth of independent thinking and a new found sense of idealism. There is much to learn, fully digest and make one's own. A teacher needs to cultivate both interest  and ability in all aspectsof the curriculum.

Experience shows that effective Waldorf teachers are aware of the whole educational jouney from kindergarten through the grades and high school. Courses in Early Childhood Education and High School Education make our  program comprehensive and give our graduates a certain amount of flexibility in pursuing their career objectives.

The full-time year is comprised of several interconnected strands:
  • Study of the philosophical and practical foundations of Waldorf 
education from birth to adulthood
  • 10 weeks of teaching practice with experienced teachers in Waldorf classrooms
  • Artistic explorations to awaken imaginative faculties. These include painting, drawing, modeling, music, speech, drama, storytelling, eurythmy, spacial dynamics  and baking bread
  • Craft work to develop practical skills through woodwork, metal work and handwork
  • Waldorf curriculum studies with practicing teachers, including intensive studies in 
humanities, math and sciences from an anthroposophical perspective, to provide context 
for a properly grounded Waldorf education
  • Inner development of the teacher
  • Festivals of the year
  • Waldorf school governance
Strengths of the program include:
  • Low student to teacher ratio allows for considerable attention to each 
student’s personal development
  • Teaching practice with experienced Waldorf teachers and their students
  • Learning about the whole journey of Waldorf education from birth to age 21
  • Comprehensive arts and crafts

Waldorf Grade School Teacher

The Waldorf grade school teacher ideally leads the class from first grade through eighth grade. They strive for artistry in all disciplines and to be able to cultivate interest in themes as varied as English, history, zoology, mathematics, music, painting and drama. Their primary task is to develop "loving authority." Our certificate program prepares aspiring teachers to develop both interest and proficiency in all of these areas. It is a demanding and highly rewarding journey.

Waldorf High School Teacher

RSCT offers opportunities for motivated high school teachers to ground their specific subject knowledge in Waldorf pedagogy. Waldorf high school teachers are experts in their fields. They must understand the value of clear thinking, compassion and most essentially humour. The high school teacher needs to be an expert in his/her field while also understanding how the holistic Waldorf pedagogy is uniquely suited to help adolescent meet their developmental needs.

Summer Festival of Arts and Education

Each summer the Rudolf Steiner Centre hosts a Summer Festival of Arts and Education that calls together presenters and students from aound the world. Together they explore the artistic and philosophical foundations of Waldorf education and the arts arising out of anthroposophy. This is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge, make bonds 
with new colleagues and to form connections in this worldwide educational movement.

Autumn Term

Build a detailed picture of child development from birth through adolescence, the ideas behind the evolution 
of human consciousness and learn how the Waldorf curriculum supports the inner needs of the 
developing child. Explore the importance of celebrating seasonal festivals with children 
and create seasonal festivals to share with our local community.

Winter Term

Practice teaching in the classroom with children. Review and reflect upon this experience 
with your personal mentor. Develop and stage a dramatic production to gain first hand experience for directing plays with children in each grade. Deepen your study of history, science, math and the language arts curriculum.

Spring Term

Practice teaching. Study school administration, interpersonal communication skills 
and inner development for the teacher. Students learn about therapeutic aspects of the Waldorf Curriculum. Students prepare and present their individual 
research projects. Art, music, eurythmy and craft classes continue throughout the year 
to deepen the teacher’s artistic sensibilities.

Reflections from a Waldorf school graduate:

“If you’ve had the experience of binding a book, knitting a sock, playing a recorder, then you feel that you can build a rocket ship — or learn a software program you’ve never touched. It’s not bravado, just a quiet confidence. There is nothing you can’t do. Why couldn’t you? Why couldn’t anybody?”

– Peter Nitze, Waldorf and Harvard graduate and COO Martek Biosciences Corp

Reflections from an RSCT graduate:

“The program was engaging, challenging and always to the point—no wasted time or 
Superb teachers interpreted all of the essential elements of Waldorf education
for us to make our own. Our class upheld one another and was held by the larger
Steiner/Waldorf community. By focusing for a year full-time on aspects of Steiner’s 
the curriculum, personal development and, especially, practicum teaching,
I had the confidence and enthusiasm to lead a class.”

Wendy Bocti, class of 2009

Application Procedure

1. Click here for an online application form. Complete the form and submit it with online payment of $100 CDN.

2. Once your application has been received, we will contact you to schedule an interview

3. Upon acceptance student teachers must obtain a police clearance letter from their local police department and a student visa (if coming from a foreign country).

Applications are due by the end of April. (Applications received after this date may be considered if places are still available.)

Click here for tuition information


AWSNA Loan Grant

AWSNA Loan Application Form

AWSNA Currently Practicing Teacher Grant

These loans/grants can be applied to the following programs:

Professional Development for Waldorf Early Childhood Educators full-time and part-time
Professional Development for Waldorf Teachers full-time

Course Directors

• Jan Patterson, the Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education trained as a 
kindergarten teacher in England. She has taught in Waldorf schools in the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada and has been directing early childhood education at RSCT since 2001. She has been active in the formation of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association, mentoring and consulting and has a deep interest in enlivening the festivals.

• James Brian is the Executive Director and Director of Teacher Education at RSCT.

This program has been pre-screened with the Ontario Ministry of Trainings, Colleges and Universities and does not require approval under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

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