Early Childhood Program

"What matters in a kindergarten is that children should have a harmonious relation to those who are in charge of them and that these people should behave quite naturally, so that the children are naturally led to imitate them." R. Steiner (from notes by Albert Steffen)

Sound Circle Early Childhood Program

Beginning in July of 2020, Sound Circle Center will be offering two tracks in our Early Childhood Program, one for in-service teachers (those who are already working in an early childhood classroom as a lead teacher, assistant teacher or afternoon teacher) and one for preservice teachers. Students in both tracks will attend classes together, but there will be additional contact hours and practicum requirements for pre-service students. Ours is a robust program which more than meets the minimum requirements of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).

Students in both tracks will also join with the students in the SCC Grades Program for classes in Anthroposophical studies, self-development, and the arts. The SCC Early Childhood Program combines foundation studies, child and human development, the inner life of the teacher, and practical aspects of Waldorf Early Childhood education.

In-service Option:

The EC In-service Option is designed for students already working as assistant teachers, afternoon teachers or lead teachers in a Waldorf early childhood classroom. The program is comprised of 6 summer intensive weeks over 3 summers and in the intervening two years, two five-day seminars in October and February, and one long weekend seminar in May (four days, Friday-Monday). This course represents more than 450 contact hours, with additional hours for interviews, orientation and conference time with mentor teachers. In addition to the course content, the In-service Option requires a minimum of three weeks of observation and practicum during the course of the training (of which at least two weeks must be in classrooms other than the student’s own classroom), and two days of mentoring per year in their own classrooms.

Cost of In-service Option is $11,500

The tuition covers the cost of the six summer intensive weeks and the 6 seminars, including 2 days of mentoring during each school year for a total of 4 days. The student is required to host and pay for the travel expenses of the mentor. SCC provides stipends to both in-house and outside mentors. Additional costs will include books and may include travel or housing for out-of-town students.

Pre-service Options:

The Pre-service Option is designed for students who are not yet working (for at least three days a week) in an early childhood classroom. The program is comprised of an Orientation Weekend, 6 summer intensive weeks over three summers and in the intervening two years, two 6-day seminars in October and February and a 5-day seminar in May (Thursday-Monday). This course represents approximately 530 contact hours, with additional hours for conference time with supervising teachers and institute advisers. In addition to the course content, the Preservice Option requires a minimum of six weeks of observation and practicum with experienced Waldorf early childhood teachers and each student will be visited at least once during the course of the training by an institute approved adviser.

Cost of the Pre-service Option is $13,500.

The tuition covers the cost of tuition for the 6 summer intensives and 6 seminars, stipends for practicum supervisors and institute approved adviser visit. Additional costs include books and may include travel and housing for out-of-town students.


Program Director

Holly Koteen-Soule is the EC In-Service Program Director and will be the primary instructor for early childhood, although every sessions will feature additional Sound Circle faculty instructors for artistic work and areas of specialization and the opportunity to work with SCC Grades program faculty and students. Summer Intensives will introduce students to a rich and varied faculty. Holly was an early childhood educator for 30 years and a founding faculty member of Sound Circle Center. She currently serves on the Board of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and is a member of the WECAN Teacher Education Committee.

Please contact Holly Koteen-Soulé at holly.koteen-soule@soundcirclecenter.org for more information.

Faculty

Holly Koteen-Soulé, Michael Soulé, Fanny Kenny, Bonnie Freundlich, My Huynh, Nancy Blanning, Laurie Clark, CarolBartges, Lynn St. Pierre, Magdalena Toran, Jana Hawley, Robin Laskowski.

The Task of the Waldorf Early Childhood Educator

The young child before the age of seven lives strongly in his or her surroundings, not only in the outer world, but also in the inner world of the human beings who are a part of his or her life. What this requires of Waldorf Early Childhood educators is to become as worthy as possible of imitation and to develop the understanding and sensitivity needed to accompany each child in the journey of coming into the physical body, in achieving the significant developmental milestones of the first seven years, and building a strong foundation for further stages of development.

Our tasks include creating a safe, life-enhancing space in which the child can learn the joy of creative, transformative play, and a warm supportive space for their parents and families. We are building a bridge for the child between home and school.

Rudolf Steiner spoke to the teachers of the first Waldorf school about the importance of goodness, beauty and truth belonging to the first three stages of life, with the feeling that the “world is good” being the most important for the young child. In these times, it is increasingly important that the early childhood educator feels a deep trust in the goodness of life that allows the child to feel affirmed in his or her spiritual intentions and feel invited into the fullness of life on earth.