Experiential Nature-based Education Presentation

As part of the Waldorf School of Baltimore’s What Works speaker series our Ecoliteracy & Sustainability Coordinator, Michel Anderson, will be conducting an experiential presentation entitled What Works: The Waldorf Approach to Nature Studies. The event is free and open to the public, and it will happen twice — Wednesday, April 13 @ 7pm, and on Earth Day, Friday, April 22 @ 8:30am. The presentation will be conducted outside in the forest behind the school and (just like our Nature Study and Forest Aftercare programs) it’s a rain or shine event — so come in weather appropriate attire.
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Education Summit in Baltimore – 4/6

SaveTheDate_2016CCPCRNext Wednesday (4/6), WSB’s Ecoliteracy & Sustainability Coordinator, Michel Anderson, will be offering a presentation at the Education Summit, which is part of the Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference. The conference is sponsored by the EPA and Antioch University; and author Bill McKibben (of 350.org) is a featured keynote speaker. It will be held in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at the Sheraton Hotel.

Michel’s presentation, Earthling Power: How Nature Study & Play Shape Our Understanding of Community, is based on his work at the Waldorf School of Baltimore. Here’s a description: When children fall in love with nature the world changes — a bewildering dimension opens and they realize we are no longer at the center of the universe. We are but a single creature among many; we are one of the Earthlings. When we study and play in the forest the presence of the other Earthlings (and the odd powers they exhibit) rouses our curiosity. And it’s exactly this interaction that teaches us about our primary power . . . our imaginations. Nature is the great equalizer. When we are enmeshed in the more-than-human world we realize that community isn’t solely a human affair — it is the domain of Earthlings. Big, small, bipedal, rooted, or tailed, we all play a vital role in shaping and maintaining a healthy, Earthy community. In this session we will explore how nature-based education and play fosters a more encompassing, complex, and joyful understanding of community, and how this orientation is necessary in building our sustainable future.

You can register for the conference HERE.

The Fire Mysteries

OldManWinterDespite old man winter’s attempts to chill us with his icy breath, the Waldorf School of Baltimore’s students remain valiant against his persistent blows. We have something that old man winter fears . . . FIRE!

Fire holds a wealth of endless intrigue. Its presence inspires and instigates all realms of knowledge. Before it, poetic and scientific thinking are equal. When fire is introduced to children in a way that respects its might, it unfolds secrets. There is a reason that in the great myths fire always had to be stolen from the gods — fire is a piece of the distant Sun dancing before us. When children are properly introduced to the real and inspirational power of a flame they learn to respect it. It is not enough to tell children, “fire is hot, don’t touch it,” or “fire is dangerous, stay away from it.” In fact, this type of “teaching” only encourages the behavior we want them to avoid — we’re telling them the very thing we want them not to do. Delivering a negatory statement doesn’t teach anyone anything; in fact, it raises curiosity and increases the likelihood that the object of your fearful disdain will be explored beyond your presence. Giving children answers robs them of discovering the questions.


In WSB’s Nature Study and Forest Aftercare programs students will be guided through doing their own a risk assessment of fire. In the months ahead, we will explore fire through guided discovery, conversation, storytelling, co-authorship of safety practices, cooking, and marshmallow eating. To study fire is to study transformation. We will examine how fire transforms darkness into light, cold into warmth, wood into charcoal, and fear into confidence.

Please continue to check out this blog as we unfold the fire mysteries. Future fire explorations will be tagged #FireMysteries.

 

Forest Restoration & Storm Drain Murals!!!

Spring is here and with it an abundance of spring related projects are budding!!
On Wednesday, Mr. Anderson, WSB parent (Lauren), and her two children (Ellie and Sebastian), took part on our volunteer day to clean up the forest in time for the Children’s Garden Spring Festival. In just 45 minutes this small crew picked up 35 pounds of garbage! (Which just so happens to be the body weight of Sebastian.) Just imagine what a larger group could do within 2 hours of time! Please consider joining us for our next round of volunteer days!

WSB’s 6th & 7th Grade students are designing storm drain murals for the Coldsping Newtown neighborhood. We are hoping to get 4 of them installed this Spring! Students have been working on their designs and will be chalking them onto the drains next Friday. They were given guidance by Blue Water Baltimore over the winter on how to make effective murals, and we have reached out to the Coldspring Community Association to seek their approval.
Check out drafts of the 4 creative designs!

Volunteer Work Days!

gloves-clippersHello and welcome back! This week WSB will be hosting 3 volunteer work days: Wednesday (3/25) through Friday (3/27) from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. If it is raining, or has rained heavily during the day, the volunteer work day will be postponed. This week, we will focus on clearing our forest of rubbish and English Ivy. Please brings gloves and garden sheers if you have them. We will meet in the school garden at 3:30pm each day for further instruction. Happy Spring!