On Friday, Oct. 4, I was able to make a visit to the Waldorf School of Garden City on Long Island, to shadow and exchange ideas with fellow librarian, Elizabeth Fanning. The WSGC library is large, housing books for both the lower and upper school levels. It was wonderful to experience one of Ms. Fanning’s library classes in person (I was there for the 4th grade class), as well as participating in the Parent Study of Anthroposophy, which took place in one of the library’s side study rooms. I will also be studying “How to Know Higher Worlds” by Rudolf Steiner, so I can discuss it with Ms. Fanning, as part of our ongoing correspondence and collaboration.
Additionally, I asked lots of questions about the mixed challenge and blessing of hosting a joint middle-high school book club. The group is reading Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, which I’m sure will be a hit (a very enjoyable read–and good choice for mixed abilities and interests, as it’s easy enough for 6th-8th grades, but engrossing enough for older teens as well). But there is always the logistical challenge of fitting such activities into the school day; they have opted to host it as an after-school club that parents pay extra for. Perhaps not a perfect solution, but it works to some extent.
It is always so much fun to interface with other teachers working in a similar school, but in a different context. I made further use of my time at WSGC by catching up with our former colleague, Crisanne DiDonato, and Gardening Teacher (extraordinaire) Jeannine Davis, who gave encouragement, inspiration, and ideas for collaborating with our Green Initiative here at The Rudolf Steiner School. We may even be able to organize a student visit to do some work with composting and biodynamic preparations.