In the meantime, enjoy this Coffee and Conversation presentation, also by Michael Gannon, about the whys behind Waldorf’s approach to at-home and in-school media use in elementary students.
In Waldorf education, we celebrate Michaelmas — a traditional Christian celebration of the Archangel St. Michael — observed in the Northern Hemisphere since Roman times on September 29th and typically honored by a feast. Michaelmas is also held around the equinox and has been associated with the beginning of fall and the darker, colder days to come when all of mankind will need strength to survive.
St. Michael is a symbolic leader of the force of good over evil, courage over cowardice, and of watchfulness of languor. The celebration of Michaelmas teaches the importance of overcoming fear and strengthening resolve.
Spring Garden, and many other Waldorf schools, celebrate Michaelmas by performing a play in the saint’s honor. Our performance’s is a story of King George and how with St. Michael’s help he is able to save the town from an evil dragon. We also fly kites with dragons on them to symbolize taming the dragon and overcoming fear during this “festival of courage.”
The exact story of the play we perform for Michaelmas is not told the same way in biblical or legendary tradition, but it is a variation on a theme of Michael being a warrior saint. The Archangel St. Michael does fight a dragon, in heaven and not on earth, in Revelation 12: 7-9:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels”
There is an earthly legend, however, of a dragon fighting saint, but it is the story of St. George. St. George was a Roman Soldier tortured and beheaded for his faith in 304 and declared a Saint in 494. He has had many fanciful stories told about him, but the most popular tells of St. George saving a village by slaying a dragon that makes ongoing demands for sheep and maidens.
But it is not the literal story that represents the importance of the day, but the idea behind the story of good triumphing over evil and light triumphing over darkness. Humankind has many battles over darkness to attend too, many dragons to slay, and this is an essential lesson for our students.
Each student must face their own difficulties in life, both internal and external, and Michaelmas both educates and empowers the children to find the courage to take on and defeat their personal dragons. And so, we celebrate Michaelmas in the Waldorf tradition to remind ourselves of the strength we need in the coming season and in our personal lives to defeat darkness and let hope prevail.
First Grade: Gnomes
Second Grade: Meteors
Third Grade: Peasants and Farmers.
Fourth Grade: Knights
Fifth Grade: Chorus, Voices for Meteors
Sixth Grade: Chorus
Seventh Grade: Chorus, Voices for Gnomes, Ringing of the Irons
Eighth Grade: The Dragon
Parents, families, and friends are welcome to join us for kite flying! Weather permitting, the play will be performed on the outside stage; otherwise it will be performed in the gym.
Tuesday, September 15
Miss Kathy’s 2-day students
Grades 1, 4 and 6
Wednesday, September 16
Grades 3, 5, 7, and 8
Thursday, September 17
Miss Kathy’s 3- and 5-day students
Nancy will be shooting beautiful studio portraits of each child, which will be available for purchase on a secure, password protected website. We will also be shooting class photos, which will be included with each package purchase or available for purchase without buying portraits.
We will have a scheduled re-shoot day Wednesday, September 30. We would be grateful for parent volunteers to assist in taking children to and from the photo shoot area. Please let Hazel know if you’re able to help.
What to wear: Solid colors work best, though black and white should be avoided. Patterns, wording, and pictures on clothing tend to be too distracting, and a bit too busy. Girls photograph best with their hair down, not in ponytails or braids. Headbands and clips or bows are fine, just try to avoid anything too large.
Information about online viewing and ordering photos will be distributed as soon as it is available.
If your child subsists on PBJ and granola bars, you may be a little panicked at the notion of a nut free school lunch and snack. But never fear! Here’s a comprehensive resource of nut-free lunch and snack ideas. A heartfelt thank you to Board member, Elaine Ristev, for this wonderful blog post contribution.
Lunch Main Dish
Vegetarian Main Dish
Hard Boiled Egg
Fruits & Vegetables
Check out the 7DayVegan website for Great Lunch and snack ideas such as Lentil Veggie Wraps, Marinated Tofu Sandwich Filling, Chickpea Salad Rolls, Apple Swirl Loaf,Maple Banana Bread, Creamy Hummus, Hemp-anola Chickpea Sensation Patties, Hide-the-Lentils Tomato Sauce (with pasta), Spicoli Burgers, and “Nice” Krispie Squares.
Hopefully these recipes will make packing lunches easier!
Whether you are new to the school or a veteran parent, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to best spend your time volunteering. Many hands make light work, and everyone has a gift to offer. We look forward to spending time with you!
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions from parents about service hours.
Why are service hours important?
Service hours help reduce overall operating costs for the school while providing students with a positive role model of community service. They also build our community by providing opportunities for parents and teachers to become better acquainted in a supportive, informal setting. Our record of service hours is also meaningful to foundations and other community funders that offer grant support.
How many service hours are required?
The number of service hours required is based on the student’s enrollment status and is indicated in the contract. A buy-out option is available; contact the Finance Director for more information. The maximum service hour requirement for families with one or more full time students is 30 hours.
What are work days?
Work days hours are spent doing cleaning, maintenance and general upkeep of the building and grounds. Work Days are scheduled according to the season and to the building’s needs, and they are announced to the community by email. The Parent/Guardian Contract requires each family to complete 20% of their Contract Service Hours on scheduled work days. For most families, the work day commitment is six hours.
Where can I learn about service hour opportunities?
We communicate service opportunities on the website, in the Tuesday Note, and on the chalk board near the school store. If you have questions about how to fulfill your service hours, please ask a member of the Administrative Team.
What tasks count toward service hours?
Helping with the Annual Auction Benefit, the Children’s Festival, classroom laundry and other classroom tasks, baking for school events, work day hours, participation on a committee (Site, Festivals, Parent Council, School Store), office tasks, and grounds support are all ways to fulfill hours. Please let us know if you have a special skill or expertise. Our Board of Trustees is always interested in talking with volunteers with finance, legal, human resources, marketing, or development skills.
Where will my hours be most effective?
Of the 30 hours for most families, 6 hours are required to be work days. We recommend a minimum of 3 hours for the auction, 3 hours for the Children’s Festival, and 3 hours in support of classroom.
How do you track service hours?
Parents are responsible for keeping track of their service hours by documenting them in the Service Hours binder located in the school office. Record your activity as soon as possible to keep your record up-to-date.
What happens if I don’t complete service hours?
Parents are billed for unfulfilled service hours at a rate of $30 per hour.
- Monster Dash: 9:15 a.m.
- Trick-Or-Trot: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
This spirited costumed run is only $25, and the Trick-Or-Trot is free. All proceeds benefit Spring Garden Waldorf School.
Register by Saturday, August 22, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE race registration for a friend.