Posts by thewaywardshepherd

Physical Education Curriculum at Spring Garden Waldorf School

»Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Curriculum | 0 comments


Photo courtesy of Debi Palermo

Photo courtesy of Debi Palermo

Body awareness and movement are intimately connected and interdependent in academic and social learning. This is why athletics are a key piece of the holistic curriculum at Spring Garden Waldorf School. Learning is not all in our heads and the goal in Waldorf Education is to support whole child development using heads, hearts and hands. This includes getting those hearts pumping!

There are many ways in which we support movement and physical education at Spring Garden dependent upon the developmental stage the children are experiencing within any given grade.

Early Childhood

BalanceBoyFor our Early Childhood students, age 3-6, the focus is on unstructured, large-motor play and exploration outdoors, which has been proven to have a myriad of benefits. Children at this age use their wills and imaginations to propel themselves through activities and have no need for imposed structure to guide or direct their strong impulse towards movement. If anything, structure at this age, in regards to movement, serves to distract from the eagerness and joy with which young children naturally take to vigorous play.

Primary School

Our Primary School students, grades 1-3, also need very little encouragement to engage in physical movement and, for this reason, three recesses are given for unstructured play time outdoors. At this age, however, there is a benefit to a more structured introduction to movement and sports within physical education, as it teaches multi-step instruction following, cooperation and sportsmanship.

Competition, however, is kept out of physical education curriculum for now as Waldorf Educators feel children of this age are not developmentally ready to manage the emotions and discipline required for competitive sport. Therefore, physical education classes for primary school students focus instead of group game play.  And Extra Lesson movement classes focus on individual growth and achievement in the task at hand, such as mastering a pogo stick or learning to jump rope.

Elementary School

Once our students reach Elementary School, they are ready to ease into the idea competitive sport. By Fourth grade, physical education classes shift slightly from the focus on cooperative games to ones where some competition, typically in groups, is present. Fourth grade is also the first year SGWS students go camping, to focus on outdoor physical education experiences to challenge and advance their body/ kinesthetic, visual/ spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal skill sets in ways that are not always as prevalent during class time.

GreekWrestlingWhen students reach Grade 5, a new world is presented to them in the form of a traditional Greek Pentathlon, which is a curriculum-focused and relevant introduction to events in Track and Field. The Pentathlon competition is an introduction to organized sports and following this experience they begin to learn the basics of other organized sports. Physical education classes introduce skills for volleyball, kickball, softball, basketball, gymnastics and more.

In sixth grade, our students participate in a curriculum focused, physically challenging event called  the Medieval Games.  This event challenges their spirits and physical beings with very difficult and down-and-dirty events such as a rope climb, tug-of-war, mud jump, zip line and more. Sixth graders are also offered elective placement on practice teams for both track and field and basketball. While neither of these elective sports teams is required curriculum at Spring Garden, students are encouraged to choose one of these teams in preparation for the formal team play in Middle School.

Middle School

LadyJaguarsOur Middle School students are asked to represent their school in local competitions against other private schools in the sports of basketball and track and field. These participation is an elective offering. Both of these sports have girls and boys teams.  In addition to the important ongoing development of large motor skills, the focus of these activities is to encourage personal discipline and fortitude, develop interpersonal and cooperation skills, and foster sportsmanship.

Middle school students are also encouraged to work with other, younger students in physical education.  One example is when middle school students are assigned first and second grade “buddies” to help on the ice rink during scheduled skating field trips, a tradition in many Waldorf schools.

And in this way, the cycle begins again for our younger students who begin the process of their own physical education experience at SGWS, with a much-admired mentor and much desired fun.




read more

Come Experience the Waldorf Difference

»Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in School News | 0 comments


EarlyChildhoodSGWSSpring Garden is part of the long­standing Waldorf tradition, drawing attention for what the New York Times calls, “a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands­ on tasks… Implementing the right thing at the right time and following a multi­disciplinary approach to teaching, which is supported by modern­ day scientific research about successful learning.”

We have many visiting opportunities for families in our upcoming school year. We offer two types of informational tours.

Three times a year, we have Open Houses, a casual visiting day for interested families to come and learn more generally about Waldorf Education and Spring Garden Waldorf School — the only accredited Waldorf School in NE Ohio. Drop into our welcoming school community for self guided tours to see student work, visit classrooms and speak with faculty, staff and current parents.

During the 2016/17 school year, we have three Open Houses:

  • Sunday, November 6th, 2016 – 1pm-3pm
  • Sunday January 22nd, 2017 – 1pm-3pm
  • Sunday April 8th, 2017 – 1pm-3pm

We have more in-depth tours available monthly while school is in session. Nothing shows the power of this type of education like seeing it in action. Our In Session Class Tours, also known as Walk Through the Grades, provide parents a unique opportunity to see how our teachers employ this innovative approach to education.

During the 2016/17 school year, we have nine Walk Through The Grades events:

  • Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, October 12th, 2016  – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, November 12th, 2016  – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, December 14th, 2016  – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, January 11th, 2017  – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, March 8th, 2017  – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 – 9am-11am
  • Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 – 9am-11am

Interested in one of our events?  

Drop ins are welcome, but we’d love to get to know you a little first. Click HERE to Register.

Can’t come on these dates?

Click Here to Watch a Vrtual Tour of our school.

Schedule a private tour – Please call 330-666-0574 or email


read more

Weed and Feed – Wed., June 29th

»Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in School News | 0 comments


vegetable-garden-tips-2_miniWednesday, June 29th, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, will be our second SGWS WEED and FEED event. Anyone wishing to participate comes to school and weeds in the big garden from 10:00 a.m. to noon, then we will all enjoy lunch. Mr. Grimes is cooking!

Last week we enjoyed alphabet soup, crusty bread with butter and salad. As the garden grows we will incorporate produce from the garden into our lunches.  Feel free to bring your own additional food if you prefer a heavier lunch.  

Please reply to RSVP via email to Edward Grimes for our June 29th lunch.


read more

Work at Spring Garden Waldorf School

»Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 in School News | 0 comments


MissKathySpring Garden is growing! We recruit and hire people of any gender, race, color, ethnic origin, or any other protected class or group to all the rights and privileges of all its programs and activities.

Join our growing school. We are now hiring for the following part-time positions:


Strings Teacher

Spring Garden Waldorf School is seeking a part-time Strings Teacher who will be responsible for providing instruction to students in grades three through eight, beginning in the fall of 2016.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced Strings Teacher who demonstrates skill and knowledge of multiple aspects of teaching strings including music theory, music arrangement and transposition, and basic instrument maintenance.

The successful candidate will demonstrate that he or she can create a dynamic, lively and well-structured curriculum and learning environment that is engaging and enlivening.  We also seek a colleague committed to building strong collegial and parent relationships, and one who is committed to self-development.  Bachelor’s Degree required; Waldorf Training and Experience preferred.

If you would like to join our outstanding faculty, please send a resume, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation to, or mail to SGWS, 1791 S. Jacoby Rd., Copley, Ohio 44321.


Early Childhood Assistant

Duties include assisting the lead teacher, setting up the classroom, preparing snacks, and providing disciplinary support.  Bachelor’s degree required.  Hours are Wednesday through Friday, with both morning and afternoon positions available.

If you would like to join our outstanding faculty, please send a resume, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation to, or mail to SGWS, 1791 S. Jacoby Rd., Copley, Ohio 44321.


Aftercare Specialist

Duties include providing after school care to students from Pre-K through Class 8.  Applicants should have direct experience working with children and an education background.  Work hours:  Monday through Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and several designated dates for school events.

If you would like to join our outstanding faculty, please send a resume, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation to, or mail to SGWS, 1791 S. Jacoby Rd., Copley, Ohio 44321.


Grades Support Person

Duties include providing support to grades classes during main lesson and subject classes and supervising students during transitions and recess. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:20 to 12:20. Bachelor’s degree required; Waldorf training and experience preferred.

If you would like to join our outstanding faculty, please send a resume, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation to or mail to SGWS, 1791 S. Jacoby Rd., Copley, OH  44321.


Substitute Teacher

While the hours for substitutes vary, the earliest start time is 8:00 a.m. and the latest end time is 3:30 p.m.  Substitute teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, a current FBI/BCI check, and a Substitute Teacher’s License (though holders of a current Ohio Professional Teacher’s License or Non-Tax Certificate are exempt from having to obtain further licensing).

Submit resumes to, and include the name of the position you are applying for in the subject line.

read more

Meet Class One Teacher, Kristen Oberhaus

»Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Curriculum, Early Childhood, School News | 0 comments

image002We sat down with our new Class One teacher at SGWS, Kristen Oberhaus, to ask her a few questions about her life and love of teaching. Welcome to our new first grade teacher!

What is your favorite quote about teaching or education?

I have lots, but currently, but my favorite is: “EVERYBODY IS A GENIUS. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I have always enjoyed working with children. When I am teaching, I don’t feel like I am working, it is mostly joy I feel. That’s how I knew this was the career for me.

How did you first hear about Waldorf education?

I first read about Waldorf education in a book about parenting when my first child was only a baby. In my head, I thought, “Wow! That’s where I would have like to go to school.”

What is your educational background?

I grew up very close to SGWS and attended Highland Local Schools K-12. I went to Marietta College in southern Ohio. I started off as an education major, then switched my sophomore year to international business. I really liked to travel and envisioned my self living overseas one day.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for decades. I began teaching dance lessons at 16. I have also taught swim lessons, sewing, soccer, and Girl Scouts. Most of my classroom experience is at SGWS where I have worked since 2013.

How long have you been teaching at SGWS?

3 years

What is the most interesting thing you that most people don’t know?

I used to be a pretty good tap dancer.

Who is the person that has had a profound effect on your life and choice of path? Why?

My mother is very wise and she always gives me great advice, although I don’t always take it! She has been the greatest influence on me. My children have had the most profound effect on my life and have led me down the path I am now on. I may be in a completely different place had I not become a mother when I did.

What is your favorite subject to teach?


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Sewing, hiking, running, reading, anything crafty

read more