Practicum Handbook

Teacher Training Practicum Guidelines & Documentation

Overview

"Through study, we cannot become teachers. We cannot drill others into being teachers, because each one of us is already a teacher. Every human being is a teacher, but he is sleeping and must be awakened, and art is the awakener. Nevertheless, he will still be a good teacher because it does not depend on the giving out of knowledge but on activating the individuality of the soul upon the pre-earthly existence. Then it is really the child who educates himself through us. And that is the truth. In reality, we do not educate at all. We only disturb the process of education when we intervene too energetically. We only educate when we behave in such a way that through our own behavior the child can educate himself. “ - Rudolf Steiner

During each of their training years, Sound Circle Center Waldorf Teacher Training students participate in a practicum in the classroom of an experienced Waldorf teacher. A mentor supports students with practicum preparation before and during the practicum. During this practicum, students are expected to take on classroom and other responsibilities as requested by the Supervising Teacher, attend Parent Evenings and participate in weekly Section and Faculty meetings.


How much the practicum student takes on depends entirely on the Supervising Teacher’s assessment of the student’s capacities. It is important for the student to experience as much time guiding the class as possible. During these weeks the student should partake in the full life of the school. The student needs to be present for the entire school day, including meetings. Students in a Grade School Practicum may be away from the classroom for approximately 2 preparation periods of the day, during which time he/she may work on lesson preparation, the journal, main lesson book, etc.

The object of doing a teaching practicum is for the student to experience, observe and reflect on the whole activity of being a teacher, including the work with individual students and the class, and with parents and colleagues. While the work with the children is primary, cultivating healthy and appropriate relationships with parents, colleagues and school working groups (sections and faculty) is essential to being a successful teacher. The written assignments are designed to provide a form to guide the practicum students in observing, documenting and reflecting on their own experiences.


Expectations


Pre-Service students are those not working as full-time class teachers in a Waldorf school.

In-Service Teachers are those working full-time as class teachers in a Waldorf school.


During each of their training years, Sound Circle Center Waldorf Teacher Training Pre-Service students participate in a practicum in the classroom of an experienced Waldorf teacher. In-Service students will participate in one practicum in the opposite area of grades they are currently teaching and will be visited by an experienced Mentor. A mentor supports students with practicum preparation before and during the practicum. During this practicum, students are expected to take on classroom and other responsibilities as requested by the Supervising Teacher, attend Parent Evenings and participate in weekly Section and Faculty meetings.

How much the practicum student takes on depends entirely on the Supervising Teacher’s assessment of the student’s capacities. It is important for the student to experience as much time guiding the class as possible. During these weeks the student should partake in the full life of the school. The student needs to be present for the entire school day, including meetings. Students in a Grade School Practicum may be away from the classroom for approximately 2 preparation periods of the day, during which time he/she may work on lesson preparation, the journal, main lesson book, etc.

The object of doing a teaching practicum is for the student to experience, observe and reflect on the whole activity of being a teacher, including the work with individual students and the class, and with parents and colleagues. While the work with the children is primary, cultivating healthy and appropriate relationships with parents, colleagues and school working groups (sections and faculty) is essential to being a successful teacher. The written assignments are designed to provide a form to guide the practicum students in observing, documenting and reflecting on their own experiences.

Practicum Contact Information

At any time before, during or after the Practicum you are welcome (and encouraged!) to direct any inquiries, thoughts, and questions to one of Sound Circle Center’s Program Directors.

Grades Students: all forms and completed student work as indicated in this Protocol and Procedure Handbook should be posted to your Sound Circle Center Google Drive folder after the practicum and an email sent to notify your Program Director.


Program Contacts:

Holly Koteen Soule, Holly.koteen-soule@soundcirclecenter.org EC Program Director

Tommi Morgan, Tommi.morgan@soundcirclecenter.org GS Program Director

Sally Boyd, Sally.boyd@soundcirclecenter.org GS Practicum Coordinator



Grades Teacher Training Practicum and Observation Guidelines & Documentation

Practicum Preparation for Preservice Teachers

  • Each student will have a conversation with their Program Director or Practicum Coordinator to discuss the practicum and help the student determine the best placement options for a successful practicum.

  • The Practicum Coordinator will make original contact and arrangements with the Supervising Teacher and school.

  • The student will write a letter of introduction to their Supervising Teacher (see appendix)

  • The practicum student and the Supervising Teacher are expected to have at least one consultation to map out the expectations for the practicum.

  • The student is expected to read the school’s faculty handbook, in order to be aware of expectations with regard to dress code, timeliness, working with diversity, managing discipline, safety requirements, etc. A faculty handbook can also provide a good picture of the culture of the school.

  • The student is expected to read the school’s curriculum guidelines for the grade in which they are teaching, if available.

  • The student is expected to prepare a journal in which they will record reflections daily.

  • The Practicum Coordinator is expected to provide the Supervising Teacher will a clear outline of our expectations, roles, and responsibilities and when the practicum is completed, to assure the Supervising Teacher is compensated.

  • If at any point in the practicum the student needs help, the student is expected to contact the Program Director or Practicum Coordinator.

Grades Practicum Guidelines

The student is expected to participate fully in the teacher’s school life, including participating in activities and events, observing recess and specialty classes and attending parent meetings and faculty meetings.


Typical activities during the first 2-3 weeks of practicum

  1. Observe the class teacher and try to get a sense of the class habits, transitions, flow, management etc.

  2. Teach a poem, song, verse, game, movement activity or subject class as appropriate. Tell a story.

  3. Observe a boy and a girl, write up observations (see child observation guidelines in appendix A).

  4. Assist the Supervising Teacher where possible, i.e. recess duty, correcting work, tidying, etc.

  5. Meet with Supervising Teacher (daily if possible and at least once a week) to review the week together, prepare for subsequent lessons and to discuss the children and any questions that have arisen

  6. Document activities on activities form (see appendix F).

  7. Keep a journal of experiences.(Appendix C).

  8. Read and investigate themes from the non-classroom observation guidelines (see appendix D).

Grades Practicum students are expected to lead

  1. Morning lesson for one block (3-4 weeks) including: rhythmic activities, main lesson content (review/new/practice) story

  2. 3-8 form drawing classes

  3. 3-8 painting classes

  4. Additional subject classes as appropriate.


Additional Required Activities:

  1. Attend a parent meeting

  2. Attend section and full faculty meetings

  3. Meet with Supervising Teacher (daily if possible and at least once a week)

  4. Complete one main lesson book as if you were a student. (Note which pages you created for the students and which drawings/written entries were modeled by your Supervising Teacher.)

  5. Keep a lesson plan book in which you compile lesson plans for all the classes you lead (see lesson plan guidelines in appendix B)

  6. Complete daily activity forms (see appendix F)

  7. Keep a journal for daily personal reflections on your observations and experiences. The final journal entry should include a research question that has arisen out of practicum experiences and observations, which will be discussed with the Program Director at review. (Appendix L)

  8. Write up child observations (see Guidelines for Observing Children in appendix A)

  9. Write up non-classroom observation summary (see guidelines in appendix D)

After the Practicum

  1. Upon completion of the practicum, the Supervising Teacher is expected to give a verbal evaluation to the student and to share the content of the written Practicum Evaluation form which will be turned into the Practicum Coordinator.

  2. The Supervising Teacher is expected to review and sign off on the completed Practicum Activities Form.

  3. The Supervising Teacher is expected to complete the Practicum Evaluation Form and send it to Sound Circle.

  4. The Student will complete a Self-Evaluation Form (Appendix G) and turn it in together with the other written assignments to the Practicum Coordinator. Each student will meet with the Program Director to review the practicum experience and to discuss a research topic.(Appendix L)

  5. When the Practicum Evaluation Form and the Practicum Activities Form have been received by the Practicum Coordinator and Program Director, the student will receive credit and the Supervising Teacher will be sent a stipend.

In-service teachers

Those students employed as a Main Lesson teacher by a Waldorf school will have modified requirements for the practicum based on individual situations but will include the main elements outlined above. If the In-Service teacher teaches in the lower grades, the practicum must take place in the upper grades. If the In-Service teacher teaches in the upper grades, the practicum must take place in the lower grades.

The In-Service teacher will also be visited by an experienced Mentor for an Observation visit for two days.

Appendix of Documents and Guidelines:

A. Guidelines for Observing Children

B. Guidelines for Lesson Plans

C. Guidelines for Daily Journal

D. Guidelines for Observing Non-classroom Work

E. Guidelines for Letter to Supervising Teacher

F. Practicum Activities Form

G. Student Self Evaluation Form

H. Grades Practicum Evaluation by Supervising Teacher Form

I. Mentor Observation Report Form

J. Supervising Teacher Responsibilities

K. AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools

L. Research Project Assignment - Part 1

M. Research Project Assignment - Part 2


A. Guidelines for Observing Children

Please observe one boy and one girl. Document these daily observations separate from your journal. Summarize the child observations with six summary paragraphs for each child, one paragraph on each of the numbered aspects delineated below. You do not need to answer each and every specific question. They are intended to help guide your observations.

Indicate the first name and birthdate of child.

Physical Appearance

Head: large or small in relation to the body; the overall form of the forehead, facial features, chin, configuration of ears.

Skin: color, texture, thick or thin, transparent or opaque, dry or moist, or oily.

Eyes: color, form, placement, gaze, distance set apart

Teeth: how many? Straight? Strong? Placement? Any missing?

Torso: proportions, length of neck, the curve of the spine, shoulders wide or narrow, waist, hips. Overall body form and gesture and length of limbs


Movement and Activity


Posture: loose or tight, straight or stooped

Gravity/Levity: gracefulness, coordination, strength, speed of movement, arms, hands, legs, feet, facial expressions.

Movement: the ability to sit quietly, to move actively; hopping, skipping, running, swinging, jumping rope, climbing, drawing, balance; is movement flowing, jerky, interrupted? How does the child walk? Rhythm, the swing of arms and gait of feet. Can you imitate this walk? How does the child enter the room in the morning?

Fearful, fearless.

How does the child eat? Does the child use utensils, help with snack or food preparation?

What does the child like to eat? Sweet, sour, bitter, dairy, salt, sugar, starchy, protein?

Does the child take your hand? What does it feel like? Chubby, cold, flat, warm, sticky, wet, dirty?


How does the child participate in eurythmy, circle games, play outdoors, at home?

How is the large/small (gross/fine) motor development? Can the child carry large

objects? Use small sewing instruments? Does the child sew, cut, hammer, glue, build?

Speech and Language

Characterize the child’s speech: clear, lisp, stutter, unformed, precise, nasal, deep, flowing.

Is language enunciated? Halting? Can the child whisper?

Does the child have difficulty with any consonants and vowels?

Communication skills: How is the vocabulary? What is the expressive quality of speech?

Does the child use whole sentences, nouns and verbs properly?

Can child follow a story and retell it?

Does child sing on pitch, with accuracy, low or high?

Can children learn new song quickly or with difficulty?

Social

Describe qualities of child’s interactions with peers and with adults.

School Work

Early Childhood: Describe qualities of child’s painting, drawing, beeswax.

Grades: Describe qualities of child’s painting, form drawing, drawing, main lesson book work, composition of a page, etc


B. Guidelines for Lesson Plans

Include copies of daily & weekly schedules along with all poems, songs and stories with your plans!


Overall block plan should state guiding themes, aims, objectives, topics and skills to be covered and the general sequence you intend over the 3-4 week block.

Month:

Grade:

Theme (and sub-themes), story content:

Subset of goals, concepts and capacities you intend to introduce or work on.


Weekly/daily lesson plans should delineate specific timing and content for each lesson including but not limited to:

Greeting & opening

Speech and song

Rhythmic activities/remedial activities

How you will review, practice and what will be new

Book work/artistic work

Story

*Leave space on your daily planning sheet to make notes at the end of the day regarding how it unfolded, what changed and how that will affect what you do in the future.

C. Guidelines for Daily Journal

Each evening review your school day. Write one page for each day. What was surprising? What was inspiring? What did you learn? What do you intend for tomorrow?


D. Guidelines for Observing Non-classroom Work

Review the categories below early in your practicum. Upon completion of your practicum, complete a one-page summary of things that stand out to you in the following subject areas:


  1. Working with Parents

Parent communication and Interactions, frequency, content, modality.

Parent meeting structure, content & frequency.

Protocols in place for addressing concerns, for volunteerism.


  1. Working with colleagues

Mentor of peer support for teachers in the school? What tools are in place for professional development ? Protocols for dealing with challenges and/or conflict?

Faculty & Section Meeting schedules, agendas, tone?


  1. Reflections on student structures and supports

Are there specific structures and processes in place for dealing with students who have specific learning or behavior needs in the classroom?

Does the school have Educational support staff and how are they used?


  1. Reflections on the school site and classroom

How do the spaces work for flow? Aesthetic considerations? Do the spaces serve the children?


  1. Reflections on the structure and flow of the day

What do you observe of the schedule, transition times, etc?

What is the workload of the teacher – how many periods on and off during the day/week? How many meetings do they have?


  1. Other schoolwork of teacher

Does the teacher have other responsibilities, including committees? How are these managed?

E. Guidelines for Letter to Supervising Teacher

We recommend that you introduce yourself to the Practicum teacher in the following manner:

  1. Write a typed or neatly handwritten letter with your name, phone, and email where you can be reached.

  2. Let the teacher know that you are grateful he/she is accepting you as a practicum student.

  3. Inform your teacher briefly about your previous (or current work) experience with children, how many years/months you have worked and what age group. It may also be of interest to mention special gifts you have to share which would be appropriate to share in the classroom setting.

  4. Ask the teacher to let you know if he/she has questions or recommendations before you begin. Confirm the intended practicum dates.

F. Practicum Activities Form

Link Here to Print or Download Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Please list below, by week, the main activities which you observed, or in which you were engaged and for which you had a responsibility (recess, story, main lesson, painting, rhythmic activity, faculty meeting, parent meeting etc.). Use keywords which briefly, but clearly identify these activities. Indicate grade whether you were observing or leading. Review these forms and have your supervising teacher sign them at the end of each week. You must return completed forms to your Supervising Teacher on the last day of your practicum. Please remind the teacher that these forms must accompany their written evaluation.


Student Name:

Supervising Teacher:

School Name:

Practicum Dates:


Monday


Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


*Make a sheet for every week

G. Student Self Evaluation Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


The completion of this form is required for course credit. The completed Student Self-Evaluation

Form needs to be returned to the Pedagogical Director at the end of the practicum.


Course: Practicum


Supervising Teacher:


Name of Student:


Guiding Questions:


What was the most valuable learning in the practicum?


How have you changed as a result of the practicum?


What aspects of teaching came naturally to you? What gifts have you unearthed?


What did you experience as a challenge and how did you work with this?

H. Grades Practicum Evaluation by Supervising Teacher

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)



Sound Circle Center Teacher Training


Name of Student Practicum Dates


Supervising Teacher Name School Name & Grade Level


Supervising Teacher Address, email, and phone


Please provide an overall assessment of this student’s potential as a Waldorf teacher: What gifts would this person bring to a school in the classroom and in the non-classroom work? What weaknesses need to be overcome, etc. Additionally, specific comments on the student’s abilities in the following areas will also be extremely helpful – but please note that the categories below are meant as guidelines in your overall assessment. Thank you for all your work with this student. Your gift of time and experience is greatly appreciated.


Please complete, sign and date this form within two weeks after the practicum has ended and send it to SCC Practicum Coordinator or Grades Director as appropriate.


Guidelines

  • Presence (with individual children, the larger group, colleagues, and other adults)

  • Preparation (sufficiency of preparation and clarity of direction and purpose)

  • Speech (vocabulary, clarity of consonants and quality of vowels, grammar, volume, and variety)

  • Use of visual aids (chalkboard drawings, pictures, writing)

  • Punctuality, reliability, and willingness to work

  • Appropriateness of dress and grooming

  • Ability to receive reflections (How did students respond to your comments?)

  • Singing (confidence, ability to carry a tune)

  • Storytelling (ability to paint pictures with words)

  • Posture (movements, gestures)



Signature Supervising Teacher

I. Mentor Observation Report Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)

Mentors: We are very grateful for your willingness to support our In-Service teachers by visiting them in their classrooms. Please use this form to record Your observations. Use as much space as you need. Your visit will include a conversation with the student before and after the visit.


Name of Student:

Dates of visit:


School:


Number of children:


What topics did you discuss with the student prior to visiting the class?


Did the student have questions for you or ask you to observe something in particular

Please describe your impressions and experience of the student’s work with the children and adults in the following:

Relationships between teacher and students, between students and their work.


Wholeness of the Lesson, use of appropriate images, balance between initiative of teacher and that of the students, balance of all aspects


Strengths and weaknesses of teacher


Classroom environment


Self Development

J. Supervising Teacher Responsibilities

Supervising Teacher Overview of Responsibilities


During each of their training years, Sound Circle Center Waldorf Teacher Training students participate in a practicum in the classroom of an experienced Waldorf teacher. During this practicum, students are expected to take on classroom and other responsibilities as requested by the Supervising Teacher, attend Parent Evenings and participate in weekly Section and Faculty meetings. How much the practicum student takes on depends entirely on the Supervising Teacher’s assessment of the student’s capacities. It is important for the student to experience as much time guiding the class as possible. During these weeks the student should partake in the full life of the school. The student needs to be present for the entire school day, including meetings. Students in a Grade School Practicum may be away from the classroom for approximately 2 preparation periods of the day, during which time he/she may work on lesson preparation, the journal, main lesson book, etc. The object of doing a teaching practicum is for the student to experience, observe and reflect on the whole activity of being a teacher, including the work with individual students and the class, and with parents and colleagues. While the work with the children is primary, cultivating healthy and appropriate relationships with parents, colleagues and school working groups (sections and faculty) is essential to being a successful teacher. The students have additional written assignments which are designed to provide a form to guide students in observing, documenting and reflecting on their own experiences.


  • The practicum student and the Supervising Teacher are expected to have at least one consultation prior to the practicum, to map out the plans, goals, and teacher and student expectations.

  • The Supervising Teacher is expected to meet regularly (daily if possible but at least once a week) with the student teacher to review work completed, consider subsequent lessons and to discuss the children or questions that may have arisen.

  • The Supervising Teacher is expected to review and sign off on the student’s weekly activity forms and include those with their own written evaluation.

  • The supervising teacher is expected to give the student as much teaching experience as possible.

  • The supervising teacher is expected to provide the student with a school handbook and to facilitate student attendance at faculty and parent meetings.


In gratitude for your collaboration in nurturing new Waldorf teachers, we offer supervising teachers a stipend of $500 or one week free enrollment in an SCC summer intensive week.

You will receive your stipend upon receipt of your written evaluation and student activity forms.

K. AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools - See the main page

L. Research Project Assignment - Part 1

Link Here to Print or Download Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Sound Circle Center

Research Assignment Part I

Teacher Training Program

As Waldorf teachers we must also become researchers!

Instructions:

Writing an academic Research paper requires that you choose a topic, inspired by your work with Anthroposophy or Waldorf Education; think about it, read about it, develop your opinions and write up your thoughts. The Research Paper incorporates various sources of information and demonstrates your research skills; it requires careful reading of resource materials to understand the reasoning behind the arguments and conclusions presented by the author(s) and your ability to think through, analyze and communicate in writing the implications of your own arguments, conclusions and new questions. Out of these questions you will develop a research project in your second year.

Elements of the Assignment

Title

Research Question

Introduction: overview of existing research or information

Research: What did you read/explore and where did it lead?

Discussion, Conclusions and new/refined questions

Bibliography, References and Resources

Date and Signature

Presentation to classmates with an Artistic component

The research paper should be no more than 5 pages in length (1000 words, single space and typed). It should encapsulate the essential elements of your research, summarized and focused on the key points of your inquiry.

This Research Paper will give you the opportunity to develop an idea, follow it to new levels of understanding and bring it to a wider audience of colleagues. You will take the resulting questions into an active research project in your second year.

M. Research Project Assignment - Part 2

Link Here to Print or Download Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Sound Circle Center

Research Assignment Part II

Teacher Training Program


Instructions:

Now that you have written your Research Paper Part I, presented it and come to your own conclusions and maybe new questions, it is important to zero in on your research project. You are asked to deepen your question, to document a method of inquiry, then summarize it in a synopsis and create an artistic rendering of your findings.

Plan:

Find a mentor/advisor specializing in your research field. You may choose a SCC Faculty member who has experience or practice with your research topic or find someone working in your field of interest.

Give your mentor a copy of your project proposal and Research Paper Part I and discuss your practical ideas of pursuing your research with your advisor/mentor, making sure your question is clear, neither too narrow nor too broad in scope and that it can be addressed within the given time frame.

The completed 3rd year Research project includes:

Content: (this is a synopsis in contrast to the full text required in part 1)

  • Your name, name of advisor or mentor.

  • Title and purpose/leading question.

  • Planned method of research: what will you do to prepare this research? This will be very individualized, whether you will take something into the classroom and create a tool to measure its effect, create a survey for a target population or even create and implement curriculum.

  • Introduction: Give an overview of existing research or information (your first research project should provide the bulk of what you need here).

  • Method: How your question was handled and documented. For example: “I interviewed a target group (defined) and documented response categories (describe how the question was evaluated in each case) or implement an activity and log specific categories of observation before, during and after.

  • Results of your research: Describe the results of your process, including conclusions and realizations based on reflections and summary of information gathered. These may include quantitative and qualitative descriptions.

  • Visual/Artistic piece: Work on an artistic expression of your findings


Written Synopsis (part 2)

A written synopsis/summary of your project is to be given to your mentor/advisor. The synopsis should be 3 - 5 typed and double-spaced pages and contain a summary of your findings based on your practical research work since you wrote the paper. The synopsis includes the Research question, Methods used and Background material, Explanation of terms if necessary, Overview of research done and your Discoveries/Conclusions and a Bibliography, References and Resources used. The 3-ring notebook/log will serve as a basis for your synopsis.

Presentation (parts 1 & 2)

The presentation is a verbal sharing of your project from the initial inspiration to the concluding thoughts and questions. It should be a maximum of 15 minutes presentation with visual/artistic/verbal and/or movement components. As you prepare, think about the following elements for your presentation: clarity of purpose (are you staying on track?), presence (speech, posture, gestures, pacing), overall artistic quality (visuals or other artistic components) and breathing (anecdotes, activities, pauses, tempo of presentation).

Questions regarding the Research project may be addressed to the Pedagogical Coordinator.

EC Teacher Training Practicum Guidelines & Documentation

Contents


  1. Introduction

  2. WECAN Expectations

  3. Observation Visit Guidelines/ Report Form

  4. Mentor Visit Guidelines/Report Form

  5. Practicum Guidelines

  1. Preparation and Typical Activities

  2. Child Observation Guidelines

  3. Responsibilities of the Practicum Student

  4. Responsibilities of Supervising Teacher

  1. Practicum Documentation

  1. Activities Report

  2. Supervising Teacher Evaluation Report

  3. Self-Evaluation

  4. School Life Observation Report


1 - Introduction

Practical experience in an early childhood classroom is one of the most important aspects of Waldorf Early Childhood teacher education. Hands-on experience in one’s own classroom or in that of an experienced teacher are equally valuable. In-service students will be visited by Mentors, by either a SCC faculty member or an experienced EC educator in their local area chosen by the SCC EC faculty, in their own classrooms. In-service students are also expected to do Observations and a short Practicum in a trained and experienced Waldorf EC teacher (See WECAN expectations below). Pre-service students will complete several days of observation and a minimum of two three-week Practicums. Students who are working as Assistant Teachers will complete at least one week of lead teaching in their home classroom and one week of Practicum in an experienced teacher’s classroom.


Observation Visits can be done at any time during the course of a student’s training. It is recommended that visits be done in both years of the training. While Child Observations are a part of the expectations for the Practicum, they will also be assigned as a part of the SCC coursework. Please see the Guidelines in this Handbook and print them out for your use as needed.

2 - WECAN Early Childhood Practicum Expectations


In addition to the course content, WECAN Member Institute EC Programs require a minimum of the following:


In-service students (those working at least three days per week in a Waldorf Early Childhood classroom) must have a minimum of three weeks of observation and practicum during the course of their training (of which at least two weeks must be in classrooms other than their own), and two days of mentoring per year in their own classrooms.

Pre-service students (those not yet working at least three days a week in a Waldorf Early Childhood setting) must have a minimum of two weeks of observation and six weeks of practicum with experienced Waldorf EC teachers and will be visited during a practicum by an institute-approved advisor at least once during their training.

3 - Observation Visit Report Form

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Students: Please use this form to record your observations. Use as much space as you need.

Complete a report for each visit you make to observe another teacher’s class.

Keep the reports until they are requested by your advisor.


  1. What did you observe and learn from in this visit about the effect of the classroom/ outdoor environment?


  1. What did you observe and learn about the use of rhythm by the lead and assistant teachers?


  1. What did you learn from observing the teachers interact with the children?


  1. How were the four foundational senses addressed?


  1. What did you learn by watching the teacher at circle and story time?


  1. What stood out for you about the way in which transitions were managed?


  1. How did the teachers work with modeling and imitation?


8. What did you see that you want to incorporate in your own teaching?


Your name:


Name of the classroom and teacher that you visited:

4 - Mentor Observation Report

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood In-Service Program


A - SCC Student Self Evaluation for Mentor Visits

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)

Name of Student:

Guiding Questions:

1. What do you feel are your natural strengths as a teacher?

2. In what areas do you feel that you have grown most during the course of your training?

3. What areas do you still experience as challenging and how are you working with these?

4. Are there resources that you feel would be helpful?

5. Do you have any particular goals for the duration of your training course?

6. What have you learned about yourself during the course of your training?

B - Mentor Visit Report Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Mentors: We are very grateful for your willingness to support our In-service students by visiting them in their home classrooms. Please use this form to record your observations. Use as much space as you need. It is understood that some questions may be more relevant to Lead Teachers than to Assistant Teachers. Your visit will include a conversation with the student before and after the visit.


Name of student_________________________________________________


Date(s) of visit __________________________________________________


Site/School_____________________________________________________


Classroom______________________________________________________


Number and age range of children__________________________________


What topics did you discuss with the student prior to visiting the class?


Did the student have questions for you or ask you to observe a particular part of the day or a particular child?


Please describe your impression and experience of the student’s work with the children and adults in the light of the essential principles of Waldorf early childhood education with particular attention to the following areas:

Mood for the young child; how do qualities such as love and warmth, reverence and

wonder, joy and humor, gratitude and purposefulness live in the environment?


Care for space and materials; how is an awareness of the importance of order and

aesthetics and need to provide healthy sensory development opportunities for the children

expressed?


Rhythmic breathing of the day; how is the balance between free imaginative play and

guided activities, between individual and group activities and is there a feeling of flow

between activities?


Adult models worthy of imitation; how does the student work out of imitation and demonstrate uprightness, ego presence and consciousness of being an example in her

movement, speech and relationships?


Self-development; how is the student taking up inner work?


Summary of Observations


What is going well? What are the student’s main strengths?


What were the areas of focus for the observation and conversation during the visit?


What suggestions were offered for further development?


Are there any specific topics that you suggest SCC faculty address during the remaining course of the student’s training?


_______________________________________ Date ______

Visiting Mentor


Please send the completed Mentor Observation Report to Holly Koteen-Soule, 130 5th St Langley, WA 98260.


When SCC has received the completed report, a check for the stipend will be sent to you by mail. This may require your sending us your mailing address and filling out a W-9 form for our Business Manager prior to the mailing of the check.


Thank you!

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood Program

5 - Practicum Guidelines

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood


  1. Preparing for the Practicum

  • Students will discuss practicum possibilities with their faculty advisors to determine the best placement.

  • Faculty Advisors will make contact with Supervising Teachers and provide them with clear guidelines, forms for documentation, and expectations for compensation.

  • Students will have at least one consultation with the Supervising Teacher prior to the practicum.

  • Students are expected to read the school’s Faculty Handbook in order to be aware of the expectations of the school with regard to dress codes, timeliness, safety, discipline and working with diversity.

  • Students are expected to contact their Faculty Advisors if they have questions or concerns during the course of the practicum.


Typical Practicum Activities


Activities at the beginning of an EC Practicum


  1. Observe and try to get a sense of the class and its rhythms and routines

  2. Begin child observation assignments

  3. Assist with clean-up at the end of the day

  4. Lead a song, verse or movement activity

Activities that EC Practicum students are expected to lead


  1. Bring a fairy tale at least 3-5 times

  2. Tell a nature story

  3. Tell a personal story

  4. Prepare and present a puppet play

  5. Bring a circle at least 3-5 times


Additional Required Activities


  1. Attend an EC Parent Evening

  2. Attend an EC Section meeting

  3. Attend a Full Faculty meeting.

  4. Support the Supervising Teacher as much as possible

  5. Meet with the teacher regularly (daily, if possible and at least once a week) to review the work together and to talk about the children or questions that may have arisen


B - CHILD OBSERVATION Principles and Guidelines

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood


Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, let them go forth in freedom”

-Rudolf Steiner

Principles of Child Observation


Prepare the space inwardly: We want to build a mood of reverence around the whole process of child observation. Inwardly ask the child if you may study him/her and carry the child in your consciousness. Include him/her in your Backward Day review, and picture the child before sleep, perhaps with the question, "What do you need from me?" or "How can I come to know you more deeply?


Look for qualities: The child is on an ever-growing, ever-changing the path of incarnation. In child observation, we want to look for qualities and see how they are expressed rather than why. Rather than looking "at" the child in an analytical way, allow the child to reveal him or herself to you. Try to "get inside" the outer phenomena you perceive, as a way of understanding it. Artistic work is a help here; express what you perceive in the child through drawing, sculpting, poetry, or movement. Try to step into the child's shoes - walk her walk, speak her speech.

Notice polarities: See something, then look for its opposite and how it expresses itself. For example, if you notice the child's fears, look for the moments when the child is not fearful. What kinds of situations are these? How does the child exhibit courage?

If your memory is vague, notice what you are missing in the picture you are building of the child, and look more closely on the following day. Consider also why a particular aspect is missing. Through practice, this capacity to see and to remember will grow.

Observe and describe what you see: You do not need to use these suggestions and the guidelines as a checklist. Instead, try to see both the wholeness of the child and also the specifics. Try not to speculate about the child's inner feelings, motives, reasons behind the outer behavior or appearance. Avoid interpreting, speculating, diagnosing or labeling. Accept calmly what you experience and observe the child without an agenda to fix or change the child. Adding your own anxieties will only further burden the child. Strive to allow the child's being to reveal itself. When you describe the child, do it in such a way that others can form an image or living picture.



"When you have love for the other, their whole being will be illumined for you."

Rudolf Steiner


Guidelines for Child Observation Sound Circle Center Early Childhood


  1. The Bodily Nature and Foundational Senses

  1. Overall Bodily Gesture and Form of the Child: Head, body, size, shape,

skin, facial features, proportion, posture, orientation, feel, color


  1. Movement: (Try to walk or move like the child). Walk, skip, jump, run, sit, stand,

grasp, gesture, consistency, movement relationship, orientation to gravity, dexterity, speed, flow, coordination, tone

  1. Balance: orientation to gravity, control, coordination, above/below,

forward/backward, left/right


  1. Touch: grasp, feel, presence, texture, pressure, preference, temperature, food


  1. Life: sleep, eating, relationship with other, fears

2. Soul Nature:


a. Willing: Imitation, impulses, strength


b. Feeling: Social relationships, fantasy/imagination, emotions


  1. Speech: quality, flow, expression, articulation, singing, origination of voice, sounds not yet developed


  1. The Child's Play: role, playmates, themes, consistency, flexibility, materials,

concentration, preferences, outdoor, indoor, fantasy/imagination


  1. Thinking: quality of consciousness, memory, orientation in time, capacity for

planning, engagement and focus, pictorial imagination


3. The Biography: birth, family constellation, birth order, birthplace, milestones, childhood illnesses, allergies, home life, childcare, life events


  1. Reflections: Changes in child, changes in you, behavior, relationship, questions,

revelations


C - Student Responsibilities for Practicum Documentation


The Practicum Journal is a tool for the practicum students to document their daily experiences and learning. Other suggested way to use the Journal include documenting:

Daily rhythm of the class

Drawings of the classroom and outdoor spaces

Child Observations

Notes from regular conversations with the Supervising Teacher


Students will share their Practicum Journal with their advisor at their Practicum Review, but the journal is not an assignment that needs to be turned in. It is primarily for the student’s own use.


Students will need to turn in their Practicum Self-Evaluation and their School Life Observation Report at the end of their Practicum to their Advisor. On the last day of the Practicum, students will have a final conversation with their Supervising Teacher and make sure that the Supervising Teacher has received and signed the Weekly Practicum Activities Forms and will return those to the SCC EC Director along with the completed EC Supervising Teacher Practicum Evaluation Form.



D - Responsibilities of the Practicum Supervising Teacher

Hands-on experience with children is one of the most important aspects of our teacher education program. The faculty and staff of Sound Circle Center are very grateful to our colleagues in WECAN member Waldorf Schools and WECAN member Early Childhood Programs for their willingness to support our students in becoming successful Waldorf EC educators. SCC offers an honorarium for the work that you do with our students, knowing , however, that what you give them cannot actually be quantified.


Below, you will find a summary of the expectations of our SCC Practicum Supervising Teachers:

  • Set up an initial consultation with the Practicum student prior to the start of the Practicum and invite the student to observe the class for a day or two

  • Meet daily or at least twice a week with the student to review the work together

  • Allow the student to tell the story or fairy tale for one week

  • Allow the student to lead circle for at least one week

  • Give the student feedback and suggestions on how to improve their storytelling and circle work

  • Give them opportunities to ask questions and share with them suggestion to support their development

Complete the Supervising Teacher Practicum Evaluation form and return it to the EC Program Director as instructed on the form.

Practicum Documentation Forms


A - Activities Report Form

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Students: Please list below, by week, the main activities which you observed, or in which you were engaged and for which you had a responsibility (recess, story, main lesson, painting, rhythmic activity, faculty meeting, parent meeting etc.). Use keywords which briefly, but clearly identify these activities. Indicate whether you were observing or leading. Review these forms and have your supervising teacher sign them at the end of each week. You must return completed forms to your Supervising Teacher on the last day of your practicum. Please remind the teacher that these forms must accompany their written evaluation. Make a sheet for each week.


Student Name:

Supervising Teacher:

School: Name:

Practicum Dates:




Monday





Tuesday





Wednesday





Thursday





Friday





B - EC Supervising Teacher Practicum Evaluation Form

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Name of Student Practicum Dates



Supervising Teacher Name School & Classroom Name



Supervising Teacher Address, email, and phone



Please provide an overall assessment of this student’s potential as a Waldorf EC teacher. What gifts would this person bring to a school? What challenges need to be overcome, etc.? Specific comments on the student’s abilities in the following areas will also be very helpful, but please note that the categories below are meant as guidelines.


Please attach your comments on a separate sheet of paper. Sign and date this form within two weeks after the practicum has ended and send it to the EC Director at the address below. In addition, please sign the Weekly Activities Forms and attach those as well.


  • Presence (with individual children, the larger group, colleagues, and other adults)

  • Preparation (sufficiency of preparation and clarity of direction and purpose)

  • Sense of space, movement, and gesture (including posture)

  • Speech ( mood, tone and grammar, appropriate to the age of children, imaginative and lively)

  • Singing (confidence, ability to carry a tune)

  • Storytelling (ability to paint pictures with words)

  • Punctuality, reliability, and willingness to work

  • Professionalism

  • How did students respond to your comments?

  • Any additional comments?





Signature Date

Please send the completed evaluation form to Holly Koteen-Soule, 130 5th St Langley, WA 98260. Holly.koteen-soule@soundcirclecenter.org

C - Student Practicum Self-Evaluation Form

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Students: The completion of this form is required for course credit. Please turn this Your Self-Evaluation and your Observation of School Life Report Form with your Practicum Journal. Use as much space as you need.

Course: Practicum


Supervising Teacher:


Name of Student:


Guiding Questions:


  1. What was the most valuable learning in the practicum?


  1. How have you changed as a result of the practicum?


  1. What aspects of teaching came naturally to you? What gifts have you discovered?


  1. What did you experience as a challenge and how did you work with this?


D - Observing School Life Report Form

Sound Circle Center Early Childhood

Form Example (Please download the form through the link above)


Students: Use your journal to make notes during your practicum about the areas of school life below. Upon completion of your practicum, use this form to record your reflections. Use as much space as you need for your responses. Turn in this report with your Self-Evaluation and your Practicum Journal.



  1. Working with Parents

Parent communication


Parent meetings


Protocols in place for addressing parent concerns


Parent education activities



  1. Working with Colleagues

Mentor / peer support for teacher


Professional development and study


Protocols for dealing with challenges and/or conflict


Faculty & Section Meetings



  1. Faculty Organization

Collaboration between EC and GS


Faculty leadership structure


Teacher hours and expectations, meetings, committees



  1. Student Supports

Structures and processes for dealing with students who have specific learning or behavior needs



  1. School Site and Facilities

Aesthetics, functionality, child appropriate




  1. Community Building

Festival Life


Communications



  1. Diversity

Intention and/or strategic plans


Ongoing study and discussion in Faculty


Initiatives to transform curriculum, enrollment, parents



  1. Governance

Governance structure


Role of faculty in decision making


Relationship between faculty and admin/board



Additional Comments:



AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools

Below you will find the Core Principles of Waldorf Education as developed by the Pedagogical Section Council in NA and adapted for work in the schools by AWSNA. These principles are now used as the foundation for AWSNA’s accreditation process and will be discussed as part of the practicum review process.

Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights and teachings of world-renowned artist and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. Guided by these insights, AWSNA members have adopted the following seven AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools. These principles articulate the most important values that inform the policies and practices of Waldorf schools in North America and are held as a central tenet of our schools’ accreditation process.

1. THE IMAGE OF THE HUMAN BEING AS A SPIRITUAL BEING INFORMS EVERY ASPECT OF THE SCHOOL.

Waldorf schools work actively with insights from Rudolf Steiner about the incarnating human being. One core insight is that the human being is a threefold being of body, soul, and spirit. Waldorf education enlivens the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, artistic, and spiritual capacities of the human being as the individual moves through the phases of this life.

2. WALDORF SCHOOLS FOSTER SOCIAL RENEWAL BY CULTIVATING HUMAN CAPACITIES IN SERVICE TO THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY.

Waldorf schools foster development so that, throughout life, individuals are motivated to serve humanity with the strength of will, depth of feeling, clarity of thought, and the ability to work with others. The educational program is designed to strengthen these fundamental human capacities in our students.

3. ANTHROPOSOPHICAL UNDERSTANDING OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT GUIDES THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.

Waldorf schools work with the gradual development of the human being from child to adult. This development follows an archetypal sequence of three seven-year phases. During this time, the soul and spirit progressively take hold of the physical body. Each child’s development is a unique expression of the human archetype. Each phase has characteristic physical, emotional, and intellectual dimensions.

The educational program is developed out of this understanding. Core components of the educational program include the student-teacher relationship; the artistic approach; working from experience to concept; working from whole to parts; use of rhythm and repetition; and observation as the foundation for assessment. Each approach is tailored to meet the students in each phase of child development.

Thus, it is essential that teachers have formal preparation in Waldorf pedagogy or are engaged in such preparation

4. WALDORF SCHOOLS SUPPORT FREEDOM IN TEACHING WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE SCHOOL’S SHARED AGREEMENTS.

The educational program of each Waldorf school is founded on Rudolf Steiner’s insights about the growing child, informed by the teachers’ ongoing study of anthroposophy and their professional development in Waldorf education. The faculty of the school works collaboratively and cooperatively to develop, renew, and periodically review the educational program. Individual teachers work creatively with curricular, pedagogical, and assessment components of the program out of freedom and in a way that serves their individual students, the class as a whole, and the school community. This work reflects and respects the shared educational understandings and agreements of the faculty.

5 THE CONSCIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS FOSTERS INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY HEALTH

Enduring human relationships between students and their teachers and among the children themselves are at the heart of Waldorf education. The teacher’s task is to work with the developing individuality of each student and with each class as a whole within the context of the entire school. These relationships gain in-depth and stability when they are cultivated over multiple years.

Healthy human relationships with and among parents and colleagues are essential to the well-being of the school. Members of the community are invited to join in developing meaningful, collaborative, transparent forms for working together. Each individual’s self-development is encouraged since it is key to the well-being of the whole.

6. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN SUPPORT OF PROFESSIONAL GROWTH IS AN ONGOING ACTIVITY FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF, AND BOARD.

Members of the faculty, staff, and board work in an ongoing way to cultivate their spiritual development with the help of anthroposophical and other study. Waldorf schools create opportunities for shared educational study, artistic activity, mentoring, and research to further this growth and development in service to the students.

7. COLLABORATION AND SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PROVIDE THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE.

Waldorf schools are self-administered. This work is strengthened by cultivating a shared anthroposophical understanding of social interaction. Faculty, staff, and the board share responsibility for guiding and leading the school in the following manner:

a) The educational program is developed by the faculty under the guidance of the pedagogical leadership of the school.

b) Administrative activities further the educational program.

c) The board works strategically to enable legal and financial health in order to realize the mission and vision of the school.

d) Governance of the school is structured and implemented in a manner that both cultivates collaboration

and is effective.