Waldorf Teacher Training in Brooklyn!

The Brooklyn Waldorf School has teamed up with Sunbridge Institute to offer teacher training at Claver Castle!


This summer kicked off our inaugural teacher training program in partnership with Sunbridge Institute! Our first cohort of dedicated teachers began their studies in June and gathered together in-person for two weeks this August to explore Waldorf teaching philosophy and pedagogy and plan the upcoming school year. They will continue their studies over the course of the next two years in order to become fully certified.

Waldorf Teacher Training in Brooklyn

Given that this is the first year for Waldorf teacher training at BWS, there was lots of planning to be done! After the essential details were finalized in partnership with talented leaders and teachers from BWS and Sunbridge Institute, the day-to-day logistics were managed by our new Talent Acquisition and Training Manager, Jeré Davis. She came to Brooklyn Waldorf with over 15 years of experience coaching teachers, developing curriculum, consulting school leadership, and leading professional development workshops. She will continue to support this cohort of new Waldorf teachers throughout the year.

BWS is thrilled to have the opportunity to offer training in Brooklyn to better accommodate our faculty who wish to be fully certified in Waldorf teaching. In addition to gaining more pedagogical insight into Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy, teachers practice chorus, handwork, and drawing, among other components of this pedagogy.

What did the Waldorf ‘Teachers in Training’ Learn?

The August in-person training was conducted by four main instructors: Elana Margolis and Steve Simonak, two longstanding Brooklyn Waldorf School Grades teachers, as well as Jeffrey Spade and Mary Lynn Hetsko from the Rudolf Steiner School. These four individuals were and will continue to be integral to the program’s success. The Brooklyn Waldorf School is honored to learn from these gifted educators with decades of Waldorf pedagogical experience amongst them.

Throughout training, which will continue over the course of this year and beyond, teachers examine and discuss foundational Steiner lectures and deepen their understanding of Waldorf pedagogical frameworks. They’re taught to cultivate practical skills for delivering academic lessons through artistic mediums such as choral music, drawing, painting, and handwork.

During the past two weeks of in-person instruction, the cohort focused on the subjects of Geometry and History specifically. The classes began with short morning exercises in which the ‘students’, in this case the teachers in training, were asked to solve a problem or complete a short task. These often incorporated speech work and the soprano recorder. Then the cohort reviewed work from the previous day together and finally commenced the bulk of that day’s lesson. Geometry centered around manipulating a compass and straightedge to create geometric drawings. In History lessons, the group explored the notion of teaching beyond the facts and dates with a focus on looking towards the future and using the imagination to connect to the past.

BWS Teacher Training Cohort Insights

When asked to choose a memorable moment from the past two weeks of training, Mr. O’Brien, the BWS eighth grade teacher this year, said:

“It’s hard to pick one highlight from a program so full of gifts! I’m feeling particular gratitude for our morning Chorus sessions, in which we’re developing the skill of bringing a group together, regardless of musical confidence, to create gorgeous and uplifting sounds.”
The days centered around the foundations of Steiner philosophy and practicing teaching via Waldorf pedagogical frameworks. In and amongst the rigorous studying, we asked teachers to describe their favorite, lighter moments. These included the ‘secret number game’, painting lessons, sharing in delicious meals together, and practicing chalkboard drawings of favorite myths. Even these seemingly ‘simpler’ activities are tied to essential elements of the pedagogy, which you can learn more about here.


Most notably, we are so appreciative of our teaching faculty’s commitment to their own learning, growth, and development. It was a delight to see them flourish and evolve into stronger and more confident Waldorf teachers this August and we’re looking forward to continuing teacher training throughout the year! A huge thank you to Sunbridge Institute for collaborating with BWS to bring Waldorf teacher training to Brooklyn, as well as to the hardworking, joyful instructors who made these two weeks a success!