Sueanne Campbell, 50, of Shelburne has taught kindergarten at Lake Champlain Waldorf School for 30 years. She completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner College in CA.
At Lake Champlain Waldorf School, teachers visit the homes of each new student before the start of the school year. Each summer, Campbell visits both new and returning students. Home visits offer teachers a glimpse of the child in their own environment, Campbell said. “It’s like a bridge from home to school,” she said. “It’s the first place that the relationship is formed between child and teacher, in the safety of their own home.”
It’s not about seeing how clean the house is, or what they are doing right or wrong, Campbell said. “It’s special time with the child,” she said. “The child shares their most special things with their teacher. He or she shows them their garden, bedroom, and favorite toys. They may even share a simple snack.”
At school, experiences during home visits spur conversation around the snack table when the children come back to school. One child will say, ‘Sueanne, do you remember when you saw the bunny in the garden when you came my house?’ Then another student will say, ‘Sueanne has been to my house too’ and I say ‘I’ve been to everyone’s house’ and they begin to share all of their memories.
Lake Champlain Waldorf School is an independent, non-profit, co-educational day school for preschool through high school students, and they are launching a new early childhood pilot program. “We are welcoming six children into our early childhood classrooms for a brand new three day a week program for three-year-olds,” Campbell said.
“Having younger children come to join already mixed age group (ages 3 ½ to 6 ½) creates a family like setting in our kindergarten,” she said. “The older children exhibit their well-developed abilities in helping to guide our youngest, and the youngest will bring rich and fluid imaginations to color our day.”
Lake Champlain Waldorf School serves children from birth through 12th grade. “Our experiential approach to learning cultivates a thirst for knowledge in our students,” Campbell said. “In all of our classrooms, from our young kindergarten children to our seniors, students are engaged and interested in any subject they meet.”
The school is hosting an all-school Open House from 10am to noon on Sept. 12. High school students and faculty will give tours of the early childhood, grade school, and high school campuses. Introduction to Waldorf Education presentation and questions at 11am.
For more information visit www.lakechamplainwaldorfschool.org.