Journey to Waldorf Teacher
My experience as a child in a public school led me to want to become a teacher. I wanted to be there for students, like me, those the system was not created for. After my undergrad, I applied to Peace Corps in Ecuador where I worked for two years on a literacy project in the youth and development family program. I worked with children, writing and illustrating a children’s book based on their interviews with senior citizens in the community. In this same way, the Waldorf program teaches with no technology. There are no textbooks. The kids create their own lesson books and workbooks as they learn.
Waldorf is a holistic form of education. As a teacher, you carry a class from first grade to eighth grade so you’re with them all that time. You teach to the minds, hands, and heart of the child—thinking, feeling, and willing. You use much more of the arts in the classroom. I think it works because you’re letting the child develop into who they were born to be and you’re not forcing anything on them that isn’t who they are. The different thematic units are created in a way that really speaks to the child in that moment of their development. I think this type of education allows these beautiful children to be in harmony with themselves and with the world.
I feel challenged at Antioch, that’s where the learning happens and that’s why I enjoy it so much. Antioch offers an accredited master’s in a Waldorf Teacher Education program and offers an opportunity for state certification to teach in public schools.
People have a lot of respect for Antioch graduates. The educational experience is transformative, and a lot of that is because of the faculty. The faculty are well known and widely published. They are experts in everything they are teaching us. In my undergrad, I had maybe one teacher who excited and inspired me. At Antioch, I feel like every teacher is like that, offering pearls of wisdom all the time.
Antioch alumni in schools around New England are always saying “Oh, say Hi to Torin [Finser].” It’s a community. I know that the fourteen people in my program will be contacts I’ll keep in touch with forever.