Monday, March 17, 2008

Waldorf Part II- Kinder Edition.

This is a picture of a Waldorf based Kinder classroom. Yes, that is a candlestick on the table. One of the things I don't like about Waldorf, is the use of candles. There are lit candles in all of the classrooms starting with the Kinder classes. Lit flames + small children = BAD IDEA in my opinion. They are not always lit, but still, it seems dangerous to me.

My first experience teaching Kinder class came when the main teacher in this classroom started vomiting. She went home and they called me. When I got there, it was complete chaos. Kids were climbing all over everything. There was screaming, yelling, and gnashing of teeth. I felt like I had walked into some sort of wild animal park.

Luckily, there was a wonderful assistant teacher there who told me what to do. We managed to miraculously get everyone (well almost everyone), settled down at this table for lunch. There was still one child throwing a tantrum in the corner. Luckily, two parents came in to take their kids out early for a dentist/doctor/accountant appointment. It didn't matter what the reason was, I was just so happy that they were leaving.

We managed to get through lunch and through recess. When it was time to come in from the playground the assistant said, "Just sing the Follow, Follow song to bring them in." I didn't know what the hell she was talking about, so I just made up some follow, follow song of my own. Those were the only lyrics I could manage to come up with, but amazingly these kids followed me. What on earth were they thinking ?

The assistant then said, choose one child to light the candle for story time. What? You want me to make one of these tiny people risk life and limb to provide atmosphere for story time!? Okay. I picked a child who was raising his hand. Three other kids began to cry because they were not picked. The assistant quickly soothed them by telling them to get ready for the story. The child lit the candle easily, and took his seat. The story went pretty well, although I am no Laura. Save for a few, "We can't see the picture!" moments, they seemed to enjoy it. When it was over, the assistant said, "Okay, now pick another student to blow out the candle". I picked the small tantrum thrower thinking maybe he was having a tough day and needed a boost.

Suddenly, from across the circle, another small boy , I'll call him Sal, opened his mouth, and at the top of his lungs screamed,

" ShiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiT!!!!"

We all remained frozen in our seats, mouths agape, eyes popped out. Then again, he opened his mouth again and screamed,


He seemed to be a bit disappointed that he didn't get to blow out the candle.

The other kids were in shock. Their tiny jaws were all on the floor. I made an uncomfortable noise that can only be described as a slightly inappropriate nervous laugh, or the beginning of a highly suspect guffaw. I didn't know what to do. The stellar assistant quickly hurried him off toward the kitchen area to speak to him. She told him that, unfortunately she was going to have to tell his mom that he said shit. I think she was delicate enough to say "bad word".

Sal said, "I am sorry, I forgot and I NEVER GET TO DO IT!!"

The assistant said, "You forgot twice?"


"Okay", the assistant said," Let's not have that happen again."

Shit is right. Holy Shit.

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