I have wanted for years (since I discovered that Waldorf Education existed... which was during my senior year at Smith College... which was in 1999) to pursue this in earnest but I never was able to do a residential program or even a semi-residential program. I've looked many times at Antioch University, New England and the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute but, especially now with a new baby, it just seemed so far out of reach.
Then I learned through the Waldorf Today Newsletter that the Sophia Institute has a Waldorf teacher training program which is completely online and so I took advantage of my newly single status to ENROLL. There are two tracks: Elementary/High School or Early Childhood. I picked the Grades.
Today I went to look at the coursework for semester 1 and was happy to see that the Art topics for semester 1 are Needle Felting and Storytelling. I feel really confident about these since I've done so much work in both with Suzanne Down at the Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts. She was the person who first taught me to needle felt and I well remember it... at the Washington Waldorf School... so awed to meet Carol Petrash, who was also taking the class... and I made Little Brown Bulb, a Snowdrop, a little Ladybug, and Lady Spring. Lady Spring is sitting on my Nature table right now, and I am the happiest girl in the world thinking back to where I began on my Waldorf journey and where I am now.
I have to be completely honest and report that I initially thought the first beginning needle felting project was too simplistic (a ball or an apple) and part of me wanted to either try to opt out by sending pictures of my advanced work (I know that sounds awfully snotty) or just whip through it and move on. Again, snotty! But just because it's simple doesn't mean it can't be done in a thoughtful and careful way. So I decided to ramp down the snottiness and take it as an opportunity to do something meditative and relaxing in the evening and remember that a plain project can still be beautiful.
So I am making the golden ball from The Frog King, or Iron Henry and the two sided apple from Little Snow-White. These will stand me in good stead later on. And so I am looking forward this first assignment!
For those who are interested, here are the full details of the program I'm taking: