Professional Development for Waldorf
Early Childhood Teachers Full-Time
Children from birth to age seven need the utmost of care and gentle guidance for their healthy development. Waldorf early childhood teachers create safe and beautiful spaces in which rhythm, reverence and the imagination can thrive. They strive to make all that they do worthy of imitation. Our certificate program prepares practising teachers to work in Waldorf kindergartens, nurseries, playgroups, and in home-care settings.
EC teachers stand at the gateway for families entering into Waldorf schools for the first time. It is essential that EC teachers understand the whole of this education from parent and tot to high school, that they can help parents make sense of the curriculum, school festivals and the governance of the school so that these families understand and can be inspired by the depth of Waldorf education. For this reason teachers in all of our Professional Development for Waldorf Early Childhood Teachers Full-Time program share many courses with our grade school program to build knowledge of the whole Waldorf curriculum and strong collegial bonds with a diverse group of colleagues.
This program is designed to meet the needs of early childhood teachers who want to serve the needs of children and build strong school communities. We work intensively through the arts to gain a deep appreciation for the insights of Waldorf early childhood 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.
The full-time Waldorf ECE 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 early Childhood education. However, experience shows that it is important that EC teachers are aware of the whole educational jouney. Courses in Waldorf Grade School and High School Education make this program comprehensive and give our graduates a certain amount of flexibility in pursuing their career objectives.
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 in Waldorf classrooms
• Artistic explorations to awaken imaginative faculties
• Craft work to develop practical skills
• Waldorf curriculum studies with practicing teachers, including intensive studies in humanities and sciences from an anthroposophical perspective, to provide context for a properly grounded Waldorf education
• Inner development of the teacher and festivals of the year
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
Early Childhood Certificate Program
Summer Festival of Arts and Education
Explore the artistic and philosophical foundations of Waldorf education. Make bonds with new colleagues and build connections in the worldwide Waldorf educational movement.
Build a detailed picture of child development from birth through adolescence, the evolution of human consciousness and how the Waldorf curriculum supports the inner needs of the developing child. Explore the importance of celebrating seasonal festivals with children and create festivals to share with our local community.
Practice teaching in the classroom with children. Review and reflect upon this experience with your personal mentor. Develop and stage a dramatic production as practice for working with children. Deepen your study of history, science, math and the language arts curriculum.
Practice teaching. Study school administration, interpersonal communication skills and inner development for the teacher. 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.
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. Please contact us with any questions.
- 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.
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.)
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.
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.