Back to School Gathering 9/13/14
Opening Verse: At the Ringing of the Bells by Rudolf Steiner
To wonder at beauty
To stand guard over truth
To look up to the noble
To resolve on the good:
This leads the human being to purpose in living
To right in his doing
To peace in his feeling
To light in his thinking
And teaches him trust in the working of God
In all that there is
In the widths of the world
In the depths of the soul…
It has for many years been the dream and intention of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School to grow from Parent Child to grade 5. I am happy to say that the class of children that I am privileged to shepherd will next year be the first class to be a 5th grade at PCWS. We are all very happy.
As the fourth grade teacher, I have been teaching Local History and Geography to my fourth graders since school began two weeks ago. When teaching history and geography, we start right where the fourth grader stands in the world and move out from there. They write about their own “high story,” draw a map of their bedroom, then move to a map of the classroom and school, while learning about the history of their school. Next we will explore the route from home to school, then the surrounding area, and finally the region and state.
As a part of this learning, I asked one of our founding teachers, Mrs. Kathy Faltin, to come and share the history of our school with the Fourth Graders. They listened intently as Mrs. Faltin told them that it all started in 1997 when a group of, as my students later put it in their collaborative composition, “ . . . warm hearted people interested in Waldorf education . . .” gathered together to start a Waldorf School in Northern Virginia. The school went through many struggles, such as finding a location. But the school was undaunted and found a home here in MVBC, where it has been for 14 years.
As PCWS fulfills its dream of growing to grade 5, we have outgrown this location. We will be moving again soon, and you will hear more about that later today. As the school has grown, so has our community. It is with the support of our parent, grandparent, and greater community that we have grown to where we are today. So I would like to focus on you, our community for a moment.
There are also many ways to learn about Waldorf Education here at PCWS. There will be all school events throughout the year, seasonal Festivals, such as Lantern Walks, the Fall Festival, Alumni bonfires, Grandparents day, and more. And for the real nitty gritty about Waldorf Education, come to the Parent Education Evenings. The first one is on October 2 and will include a panel of our own teachers talking about the grades in Waldorf Education in general, and specifically at PCWS.
If you ever have a question, your first link of communication is your child’s teacher and your parent handbook. Beyond that, your child’s teacher can direct you where to go.
In closing, I want to share with you the responses my students gave when we reviewed Mrs. Faltin’s history of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School.
I asked them, “How did you feel when Mrs. Faltin was talking about the history of our school?”
One student immediately said, “I felt like she was talking about a baby and the baby was crying, because it wanted to be fed, fed more grades.”
Another said, “I felt like what they started was special and that I want to continue it.”
The others all agreed that , “Yes, I felt it was special, too.”
Then one asked, “What did you feel Ms. Mansuri?”
I had to think for a moment. I finally said, “What I was struck by was the strength and will it took for those founders to create a school. That takes a lot of desire of will and determination. And here it is today. That school, we are sitting in one of its classrooms teaching, learning, and growing. We are continuing that dream and making it real.”
Victoria Mansuri, PCWS Faculty Chair & 4th Grade Teacher