Leading with Spirit Summer Leadership Workshops 2017

LWS LOGO plainAnnouncing a new professional development opportunity in administration and leadership for administrators, staff, trustees, faculty and parents of Waldorf schools this summer in NY, Ann Arbor and the Pacific NW.

 Join us for a week intensive this summer

Working Together in Community:

Conversation, Teamwork, Facilitation and Decision-making 

Waldorf Institute of S Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan, July 23 - 28

With Sian Owen Cruise and guest teachers


Principles, Roles and Practices in School Administration


Whidbey Island, WA, July 2 - 7

With Marti Stewart, Michael Soule and guest artists


Waldorf School Leadership and Governance

Alkion Center in Harlemville, NY, July 9 - 14

With Mara White, Lisa Mahar and guest artists


 For more info and to register

Go to www.LeadingwithSpirit.org

A part-time two-year professional development training program including:

  • Three week-long summer intensives,
  • Professional mentoring over two years,
  • Independent research projects and
  • Participation with a cohort of colleagues online.

Participants may register for summer intensives alone, or may enter the full two-year program.

Core Faculty

Mara D. White:

Marti Stewart

Sian Owen Cruise, PhD

Michael Soule, MA

Program Advisor

Christopher Schaefer, PhD



Chaos in Life: Cleaning and Caring by Linda Thomas

This article was published in the British journal, Kindling. Contact information is at the end of the article.



Chaos in everyday life – about cleaning and caring

Linda Thomas

When it comes to housekeeping, the concepts of disorder and chaos often get confused. In our households, order is often related to a certain regularity and clarity. I call a room orderly, when everything is in its place and I can easily orientate myself and find my way around without fuss. However, as soon as I start working in the room, or the children start playing around in it, the order very soon turns into disorder. Order seems to have this special quality of merging into disorder without much effort, yet the opposite never occurs. I have to consciously intervene in order to re-establish the lost order.

In the Kabbalah, the story of Creation tells us that God withdrew Himself, thus producing a void. The chaos that arose within this void formed the substance from which the world was then created.

In our homes, we very often face chaos. The mere fact that we have countless ways and means, in which we can structure our daily lives, puts us face to face with chaos. We have the opportunity of purposefully re-establishing order and structure where formlessness and haphazardness have taken over.

When I clean, I do not simply want to remove dirt, I consciously try to create space for something new. Removing dust and dirt, results in a void – this void I put at the disposal of helping spiritual beings who are linked to the place I am cleaning, that something new and positive may come about.

About fourteen years ago, I started an ecological cleaning company, in order to be able to finance the Waldorf School tuition for my children. In the very beginning, I was not only the “boss”, I was the only employee and also apprentice. I had so much to learn, not only about the right equipment and cleaning agents; it was important to learn how to conserve my strength, how to protect myself, and most of all, I wanted to learn how to respect the space of other people.

The attitude that we have, regarding the work we do, is of the utmost importance. If we are unable to lead the meditative spiritual life we wish to lead, we can try to find a spiritual attitude towards everything we do in our daily lives. In other words, if you are not able to do what you love, you should try to love what you do. Things that repeat themselves constantly either turn into routine, which can have a very dulling effect; or you can try to make an exercise of awareness out of the most menial task, and already you are starting on your spiritual path.

I found an anecdote I heard a long time ago, very helpful in this regard. In a monastery, there lived a monk who was quite simple and all the menial tasks were given to him, such as washing the dishes, sweeping and scrubbing the floors and so on. He did not mind this, did all his chores lovingly while always pronouncing little prayers while doing his work. “Dear God, as I wash this dish, please send one of Your angels to wash my heart and make it pure” or “Dear God, as I clean this floor, please send one of Your angels to help me, that every person who walks on this floor, may be touched by his presence.” For every chore, he had a prayer and he continued working in this way for a great many years. The legend says that one morning as he woke up, he was enlightened and people came from very far to listen to his wisdom.

Many memories of things my father and mother once said have come back to me. We are seven brothers and sisters, and one of my brothers often came to the breakfast table in a very bad mood. My dad used to ask: “Did you get out of bed with your left foot again?” Many years later, I turned this remark into an exercise. When I wake up in the morning, I try to put myself in the upright position straight away and then very consciously, I try to always put my right foot forward when I get out of bed, thus doing something positive to start my day.

I started doing things in this way, and after a certain time, I made a very important discovery. There exists a great difference between cleaning and caring. When we clean, we remove dirt, and the result of cleaning sometimes does not even last five minutes. At the Goetheanum, you have barely cleaned the hallway, and already someone walks over it, leaving footmarks everywhere. The same goes for parents with young children. For this very reason, many people consider cleaning a frustrating and unrewarding activity, a troublesome necessity.

Yet, we should try to do this task with our full awareness, with all our love. Once we learn to consciously penetrate each little corner with our fingertips, then cleaning takes on a nurturing aspect and becomes caring. And what is so wonderful about it, is that the result of caring, lasts considerably longer than the result of removing dirt! When we have taken special care of a room, the little bit of fresh dirt which is brought in, is barely disturbing, one can live with it. The radiation is totally different from areas where layers of dirt and grime have built up......Lately a new cleaning culture, which we should really try to prevent, is trying to establish itself. There is supposedly a spray for everything – you spray and you wipe away – not much water is needed! One does indeed remove a small quantity of dirt, but instead of caring for a surface, you leave a chemical layer behind, containing quantities of dissolved dirt.

While caring for a room, we do not only come into contact with the physical world. The whole atmosphere changes, the room is filled with light. Especially children react strongly to this transformation and they also seem to perceive the change directly. We once gave a big house around here a very thorough spring clean. Returning from school, the ten year old boy immediately wanted to know whether the walls had been painted, as the house seemed so bright and shiny.

Only we can decide how seriously we take this occupation. For me, caring for a space is very fundamental. Every living organism thrives on caring, be it a child, a plant, an organism like the Goetheanum, a school, our personal household and very important, our relationships. After a workshop, one of the participants told me about her experience of the healing influence conscious caring for household can have. She had been married for fifteen years and somewhere along the line the relationship got caught in a rut. Their barely five year old house was already neglected even though it was not even quite finished. No sooner had she started applying what she had learned in our course, did her husband also start finishing things around the house. Later he told her, that as soon as she started caring for the home again, he not only felt respected but he also felt that she was aware of him again.

Consciously caring for the home enhances our sense of perception and this is what enables us to release the elemental beings, thus creating space for something new. We are constantly surrounded by and in contact with elemental, as well as countless other invisible beings. We release the elemental beings by consciously perceiving that which surrounds us – when we remove dirt, wash our hair, air the room or light a candle. A totally different atmosphere is created when we leave the burned porridge pot overnight on the stove, or when we choose to ignore the specks of cream that remain on the wall after whipping it.

We release other elemental beings through diligence and gayety, through contentment and composure.

All elemental beings can not be treated in the same way. In a school where we cleaned, there was one room with a particularly bad smell. I tried everything to get rid of the smell: my ecological cleaning agents, chemical agents, with my steam-cleaner I tried to clear even the smallest crevice. Nothing helped, the smell remained. I then assumed that I was not kind enough to the room. With loving care I again went through the whole procedure, even singing whilst cleaning. As there was still no improvement, I accepted that I would have to learn to live with it. I few weeks later I arrived at the school feeling hot and tired, and as I opened the door to the room, the odour was so intense and seemed so aggressive that I became furious. I ripped the window open, stamped my foot on the floor, shouting: “I have enough of you! I AM HERE, and there is not enough room for all of us – get out!!” Like a fury I went through the room, angrily cleaning it from top to bottom. The odour was gone! A few months later a colleague took over the job and after explaining the attitude to have toward these beings, she also managed to keep them away.

The opposite of caring is neglect. I perceive neglect as something creeping. It starts in all those little corners we do not penetrate. It comes creeping from behind the cupboards, from under bed and behind the curtains where we find so many cobwebs.

Then most houses have certain drawers......There is the oven, the vent above the stove, the windowsills where we have our collections of stones and plants. By and by it seems to take over until we can no longer stand it. Then, like a flash we speed through the house in an attempt to put everything back in order.

Many mothers and fathers feel overwhelmed and under pressure to keep the house tidy and clean. A young mother once told me: “I have been working hard the whole day, and by the time I finally had the kitchen cleared after supper, nothing seem to have been done at all. We tried to reconstruct the day, and this it what it looked like: She intended cleaning the parents’ bathroom upstairs. Just as she wanted to start cleaning, she remembered that she used the cleaning agent to clean the basin in the laundry in the cellar three days ago. So down she went to the cellar, only to discover a very smelly cat-litter box right next to the washing machine. Of course that had to be cleaned and refilled immediately. She closed the soiled litter in a bag which was taken into the garage. There she discovered piles of old newspapers and other paper, which needed to be bundled for the paper recycling which was to be collected the following day. After looking for the string for a while, she remembered that her son and his friends used to it build a cable car in the attic. Up the stairs she went and fortunately, as a bonus, she found a pullover, which has been missing for several days, next to the string... By the time she had finally bundled all the paper, it was time to start preparing lunch. Then followed a dentist appointment and music lessons. That evening, when she finally stood in the bathroom to brush her teeth, she remembered that the cleaning agent was still in the laundry.

Often it is not the work we have done which tires us, the mere thought of all the things that still need doing really exhausts us.

I know that it is not always possible to plan things in advance, because there are always those unforeseen things that happen. Yet it can be a great help, once we have decided to do something specific, to prepare everything we will need for the task the evening before. The will is activated in a totally different way once we have made up our minds to do something and then sleep over it. The household should not be a compulsion. Men and women should be master of their household and not the other way round. Yet it is important that we do not try to fool ourselves. It is the way a task is fulfilled that distinguishes the maid from the princess.

The image of the equilateral triangle helps me a lot when it comes to balance. There is thinking, feeling, willing; you, partner, children; time for work, family and yourself. The only person that knows what that triangle looks like is you.

We so often say, “I must do this, I must do that, that absolutely needs to be done….says who? You say it and I say it. We are the ones who overtax ourselves with those high expectations and demands we set ourselves. Another reason for being overwhelmed is that we do not have enough faith in all those invisible helpers who surround us. There are angels, elemental beings, the spirits of our homes…..When we get up in the morning and greet the day, nothing prevents us from asking the angels to help us to at least spend part of our day in harmony. (Perhaps until 8am, just to ensure success!) When I was in Sunday school, the pastor told us that the angels up there in heaven are totally bored because they do not have enough to do. So many requests are addressed to them which they are not allowed to answer. And then all of a sudden there is a child, or in our case, an adult who stands by the window requesting help to create harmony in the home. FINALLY! We have something to do, they say, and rush in to help us!

Before I started being the housemother of the Goetheanum, I use to regularly stand in for the person who was responsible for cleaning the toilets. I used to start at 6 in the morning, cleaning 64 toilets every day, often singing to make the job easier. For cleaning the toilets, I have my own method. There is the daily care, and then the thorough cleaning once or when necessary twice a week. Then the toilet gets cleaned from top to bottom, the whole bit. This of course requires a little more time. As the bending, cleaning, turning, bending again use to make me quite dizzy, I decided to clean the toilets kneeling down. Once you kneel down in front of a toilet, something changes. It is quite subtle, there is a change in attitude, the way one perceives it, the way you do the work, the encounter with the elemental beings. Once the job is done, I have to get up again…..I tried to also change this into a conscious exercise of putting myself in the upright position. This experience was so rich and fulfilling, that even today, if I have the choice, I will rather clean 20 toilets than vacuum clean a carpet. I love this work also because I always consider it a special gift when I am able to use a toilet that is clean and well cared for.

Last year I was in Norway to give cleaning workshops. The morning courses were in English and in the afternoons they were repeated in German. The first afternoon a woman came to me and asked me if she could still participate, as she had not signed up for the course. She mentioned that she really considered it quite a cheek that someone had to come from Dornach to tell them how to clean. Yet when her husband came home from the course and announced that she had to wait with the dishing up as he first wanted to clean the toilet, she simply had to come and see who had caused such a miracle. Her husband had never cleaned a toilet before….

Once I start talking about cleaning, I can continue for hours. And it truly is a never-ending subject. How do we clean? With what do we clean? How can we learn to discover the deeper meaning of cleaning and learn to love it? How can we educate our children (and sometimes our partner!) to pay attention to the small things and to carry an action through to its end? For instance, how do we teach them that, after wiping the table clean, the cloth needs to be rinsed, wrung and hung out to dry, rather than just dropping it into a heap in the basin, still covered with butter and bread crumbs.

This reminds me of another anecdote. A few years ago I was asked to give a lecture about my work here in the Goetheanum. The day before the lecture, an elderly gentleman phoned me to tell me how happy he was to hear that I was going to talk about something as practical as cleaning. He personally knew Hanny Geck (who helped Rudolf Steiner with the carving of the Representative of Man) and she had told him this story: Whenever Rudolf Steiner was called away from his work on the statue, he would always sweep up all the woodcarvings and chips lying on the floor and place them in the garbage can. Although she had often offered to do this, he insisted on doing it himself. One day she asked him why he took the trouble to sweep up everything even if he had to leave for only a few minutes. His answer was something like this: “While I am working, everything I work with is part of my working material and I am master of the situation. As soon as I stop working and leave the studio, everything that lies on the floor is garbage and therefore belongs in the garbage can, because the beings who feel at home in garbage, are not the kind of beings we want around when working artistically.

Finally I would like to tell you about an experience which showed me, that we should never underestimate the importance of lovingly caring for our surroundings, and the opportunity it can give us to create space for something new. These are the precious moments that enable us to constructively contribute towards peace and renewal.

I was requested to do a thorough cleaning of a home for juvenile delinquents because they were planning an open door day. As I was shocked by the state of extreme neglect and filth the house was in, I wanted to know who was responsible for the upkeep of the place. “The youths” replied the educator. “But who teaches them how to do it?” “The educators do that”. I then wanted to know if there was an area that was cleaned by the educators, and he showed me the rest quarters for the people in charge of the nightshift. Of course this was no better and I told him so. It annoyed him slightly and he wanted to know whether I wanted the job or not. I said that I was very eager to do it, but not with my own employees. My offer to come with all my equipment and material, but to clean with the youths and educators, came as a bit of a surprise. As this had never been done, he had to consult with the board first. I incidentally mentioned that the charge would be Fr. 3000.-if I came with my employees and Fr. 600- if I came on my own. The offer was accepted but then I had yet another condition. Because I have never worked with youths and I am neither a pedagogue nor an educator, I believed that I would need the support of their guardian angels. Therefore I wanted to meet the youths and learn their names before working with them. I was invited to have breakfast with them.

There were ten young boys aged 13 to 18 living in this house, and as five of them spent weekends with their family at a time, the work was planned for two weekends. The house has three stories and the whole stairwell was painted with the most horrific, demonic pictures in black and very bright colours.

Our job was to clean windows, heaters, doors, floors, showers and toilets. Yet once they started, they wanted to clean everything. They started removing posters and stickers from their walls and wardrobes. One boy even took his whole bed apart and in the process found a whole pile of missing clothes. Another wanted me to show him how he could clean his hi-fi set “ecologically”……Of course they could not work without music, and some music it was! To me it sounded like a mixture of an express train and a machine gun. The boy who chose the music actually told me it filled him with energy, although I could not see a trace of it. He wanted to know what I like listening to and I told him that I still liked listening to some of the old sixties’ music that I listened to when I was his age. All of a sudden I heard Cat Stevens’ “Morning has broken” and it sounded like a symphony in comparison to the earlier “noise”. I was even able to convince him that it was easier to clean a window to the rhythm of “Morning has broken” than to the “tu-dum, tu-dum, tu-dum” we heard before.

There was a wonderful working atmosphere and we managed to get a lot done.

Upon my return the following Saturday, the most wonderful surprise awaited me. The five boys who had cleaned with me, asked permission to take Monday off and with their own money they bought paint and repainted the stairwell from top to bottom, thoroughly covering the walls with white paint. But they did not leave it at that. The complete surface was covered with naïve childlike pictures - houses with green doors, pink curtains and smoking chimneys.

Trees covered with red apples and cherries. There were daffodils and tulips and children flying kites under a beaming sun. There were even birds, butterflies and tiny little snails crawling in the grass.

These “tough”, severely socially damaged young people felt the need to create a world of beauty and harmony on those walls, filling void, the space created though their own efforts.



Kindling, the Journal of the Early Childhood Group, Steiner Schools Fellowship

3 Church Lane, Balsham

Cambridge CB1 6DS

Tel/Fax: 01223 890988

E mail: JanniSteinerEY@aol.com

Forming a Spiritual Organ in a School: LeadTogether Highlight #10, 10-27-14

The question of collegial leadership

We had a board/faculty meeting this week, a regular event to build good relationships between the two groups. One activity we did (highly recommended) was to split into threes (one board and two teachers) and explore one of the core principles of Waldorf education developed by the Pedagogical Section Council.

Our group chose #7 Spiritual Orientation. In our conversation we came to the sentence talking about the development of a spiritual organ in the faculty.

My experience with this is that the ability to develop a healthy spiritual organ in the faculty is founded on three things: the ability of each individual to practice his/her inner work and alignment with the light of anthroposophy; the ability of each individual to be successful at putting the results of his/her inner work into action in teaching; and the ability of the group to work together in meditative and social ways in developing a healthy working with spirit. Without these three the formation of a true organ of perception for spirit is not possible.

So what do schools do when the faculty is not experienced enough or trained enough or socially adept enough to create such an organ, our insightful board colleague asked? I described to him the practice schools have of forming a smaller group of dedicated, experienced, pedagogically successful, social and inwardly active teachers that can bring insight, hold the place of spiritual connection and provide a deeper foundation for the school.

His first question was: Wouldn’t that automatically create a stratum in the faculty and a set of consequent problems? We pondered this question for a while and realized that this is the basic social question that we all as individuals are faced – that when two people meet, one has more capacity than the other to consciously connect with spiritual insight and, to create a harmonious working with the other, must exercise true collaborative leadership in a way that the equality between them and the freedom of each is nourished. Otherwise, without the social capacity, the one with more capacity easily is perceived as arrogant or condescending.

This is the same dynamic that we have been challenged with in the movement for a long time – that the college of teachers has a difficult time exercising leadership in such a way that they work in harmony with the entire faculty. What is needed is for college groups to understand that their capacity for collaborative leadership is essential to their success alongside their capacity to be a spiritual organ.

Michael Soule


Resource List

Building Regenerative Communities: Strength in Collaboration

From the Introduction

Our intention in creating the guide is to facilitate conversations which promote deeper understanding, trust and community within and between organizations. We feel that such interaction may lead people to discover ways to collaborate that foster associative endeavors, perhaps discovering ways to share resources to support each others work.

The Guide provides a starting point for calling a circle and highlights a variety of tools from which to choose for setting up conversations. It contains several case studies which provide the content to initiate conversation. There are additional web, print and video resources to inspire and urge participants into deep discussion around themes of regenerative communities, associative economics and cultural renewal.

It is given freely and may be shared broadly. It may be posted on websites to encourage its availability.  ~ Mary Christenson and Marianne Fieber, June 2014

Download the guide here:   Building Regenerative Communities_Conversation and Resource Guide.final

Sustainability: Associative Economics

1. Associative Economics

 The idea behind associative economics arose from the work and insights of Rudolf Steiner in 1922 through his work with the first Waldorf School, and in a series of lectures on economics. Steiner’s visionary capacity brought to light a new imagination about economic life and money; that consciousness applied to the nature of transactions in the conduct of financial life would allow us to transform our relationships with each other and with money and provide a new basis for transforming the entire economic system. Understanding this is essential in the development of a school. In the attached articles by Warren Ashe, Siegfried Finser and Werner Glas, authors share important insights on the effect on school finances of seeing tuition in a new light.  Going further, John Bloom in an interview segment from the film The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner, and in his book The Genius of Money, offers insights into the realm of social finance and Steiner’s ideas. Christopher Houghton Budd has numerous publications and research on Associative Economics on his website that goes even deeper into the realm of Associative Economics. And lastly, Gary Lamb offers in his book on Associative Economics, an excellent treatment of the background, history, details and practical applications of Associative Economic thinking for schools. To be familiar with this book and these ideas will help every school leader work with financial matters in a new way.


EconomicExplorations-Ch 2- Three Kinds of Money - W Ashe

EconomicExplorations-CH 1- Underlying Themes - W Glas

Associative Economics Gary Lamb, AWSNA

Center for Associative Economics Website

The Genius of Money, John Bloom

 Interview with John Bloom and Martin Large in The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner

From Co-Creation to Association by John Bloom

This is a continuation from the article Seven Keys to Sustainability in the April 2014 LeadTogether Newsletter.



...there is what happens to the speaker when he is fortunate to be listened to perceptively.  Another kind of miracle takes place in him, perhaps best described as a springtime burgeoning.  Before his idea was expressed to a listener, it lived in his soul as potential only; it resembles a seed force lying fallow in the winter earth.  To be listened to with real interest acts upon this seed like sun and warmth and rain and other cosmic elements that provide growth-impetus; the soul ground in which the idea is embedded comes magically alive.   - Marjorie Spock

Training Opportunities for Waldorf School Organization and Leadership: Summer 2014

Here are a few good opportunities for individuals to gain skills important to their work in the schools. Check out each of these interesting workshops:


Waldorf School Leadership and Governance Seminar

Saturday, June 28 to Thursday, July 3, 2014, Hawthorne Valley, Ghent, NY

With Christopher Schaefer, Ph.D. and Marti Stewart. Christopher Schaefer is cofounder of the Hawthorne Valley Center for Social Research and for many years a faculty member and development director at Sunbridge Institute. Marti Stewart is the long-time administrator of the City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis.

Waldorf schools work with a new pedagogy based on a holistic, age-appropriate image of child development. They also practice a new form of community life in which teachers, administrative staff and parents are partners in developing the community of the school. The working together of these three groups in the life of the school requires insight, social sensitivity and competence so that the school can be healthy and best serve the needs of the children. These one week professional development seminars offer teachers, administrators, board members and parents an opportunity to reflect on and work with the challenges of building a Waldorf school community that is vibrant, innovative and effective while honoring the unique contributions of each member of the community. Each seminar can be taken individually but, when taken in sequence, the series will build a deeper capacity for serving the community impulse of Waldorf education.

The seminars are based on the successful certificate and Master’s Program in Waldorf school administration and community development offered at Sunbridge College between 1993-2008 as well as the more recent seven-week part-time course offered in China for the burgeoning Chinese Waldorf school movement.


  1. School Leadership in Waldorf School Communities
  2. Models of Governance: the Roles of Faculty, Staff, Board and Parents
  3. Working Together in Groups and Communities
  4. Phases of School Development
  5. School Renewal.

Each day of the seminar will consist of a presentation, casework, exercises, drama and role-play and a seminar on inner development.

For more information click HERE.


Threefold Social Ideals & Spirituality in Waldorf Education - Part II

July 7- 11, 2014, Waldorf Institute of S. California, Highland Hall School, Northridge, CA.

With Patrice Maynard, Leader of Waldorf Publications, former class teacher, former AWSNA Leader of Outreach and Development

The Revolution continues!  The imagination of social structures as living beings, the view of human spiritual development in different stages of consciousness, the revolutionary educational forms in Waldorf education are all reflective of the “realrevolution”: the one that begins in each of us.  We will continue the study of the threefold social organism (and the Inner Aspect of the Social Question lectures*), applying it to teaching through “social threefolding” - in the curriculum, in our classrooms, our faculty interactions, and all-school structures.  We will use existing structures from your schools - classrooms, faculty meetings, and all-school meetings - to identify opportunities along the path to aligning our education authentically with the spirit of our age.  Singing, role-playing and Eurythmy will expand our experience.


For more information click HERE


Personal and Organizational Renewal: From Survival to Success

June 29-July 4, 2014, High Mowing School, Wilton, NH

With Torin Finser, and Leonore Russell. Torin Finser is Chair of the Education Department at Antioch University New England and General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America. Leonore Russell is a eurythmist and consultant for organizational change.

Schools face many challenges today. “Peeling the onion,” one finds that behind external issues of deficits, low salaries, interpersonal conflict, and lack of support for leadership there is often an underlying need to rekindle the sources of inspiration and find a more collaborative approach. By bringing together the various groups represented in a typical school, this course attempts to model new ways of working together.

Our classrooms feature the magic of seeing the “whole child”; can our organizations learn to embrace whole-systems thinking?

This course is for parents, teachers, administrators, and board members interested in school renewal. Topics will include: group dynamics, leadership styles, the wisdom of human physiology and the planets, working with conflict, communication, mediation, artistic practice, and finding the balance between personal and professional demands. These themes will be supported through exercises from “Eurythmy in the Workplace.”

Participants will take up some of the current issues facing their schools and design strategies to work toward closer collaboration.

For more information click HERE.


Collaborative Leadership: Personalized Strategies for Effective Planning, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making

July 20-25, 2014, Sunbridge Institute, Spring Valley, NY

With Joachim Ziegler, PhD, Organizational Development and Leadership Consultant and Jessica Heffernan Ziegler, Executive Director, Sunbridge Institute

Are you a teacher, faculty or section chair, administrator, board member, director, staffer, or key volunteer in a Waldorf school or other non-profit workplace? Do you serve on an administrative committee, sit on the college of teachers, or play another leadership role? No matter what your individual position is in your organization, if you participate in a planning or problem-solving process, you have leadership responsibilities. In this highly useful course for decision-makers who work in Waldorf schools or other non-profit settings, our focus is on practical work. Through a process imbued with the anthroposophical understanding of the human being, and successfully applied in organizations from multi-million dollar nationals to Waldorf schools, you will learn how to improve your effectiveness as a member of your team.

Each participant is asked to bring to the course his or her own organizational question, project, or challenge. Using these real-life cases, we will apply these five core models for collaborative leadership:

Three main leadership tasks (maintaining and creating identity / creating space for healthy, stable relationships / assuring professional results)

Diagnostic and planning tools: how to look at the organization as a whole and understand the dynamics of intersecting segments

How to create processes toward healthy decision-making

The balance between power and trust

Models for negotiation and conflict

Your course takeaway will be an individualized action plan for the question, project, or challenge you have brought with you, along with an understanding of the necessary skill set with which to execute it.

For more information click HERE.


The following three workshops are being offered at the

Summer AWSNA Conference June 23-26, 2014,

at the Hartsbrook School in Amherst, MA.

Check out these and other workshops at the conference HERE.


“Making Decisions, Taking Action, Getting Results: Transparent leadership and self-governance in a Waldorf school from student council through faculty, collegium, administration, and operations”

With Cary Hughes, Rea Taylor, John Buck

Through presentation and hands-on activities, explore and experience implementing a new pragmatic approach to school governance that successfully embraces the philosophical underpinnings of Steiner’s Threefold Social Order and uses proven effective self-governance principles and clearly defined processes and protocols which result in an elegant and effective operating structure. Cary Hughes is the humanities teacher and dean of students at High Mowing School. He has been teaching for more than 30 years. As the mentor of High Mowing School’s student council, he guides and supports students as they create and participate in student government using the principles and practices of self-governance. John Buck, co-author of “We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy,” and head of Governance Alive LLC, has extensive leadership experience with government, non-profits, and corporations. John is certified in circle-organization method of governance called “Dynamic Self-Governance” and has been working with High Mowing School for the past 30 years. Rea Taylor Gill is the executive director at High Mowing School and author of A School as a Living Entity. Over the past 25 years, Rea has developed a revolutionary approach to organizational development and school structure and has successfully guided High Mowing School in the implementation of a replicable, effective governance, and operating structure.


 “Building Regenerative Communities”

With Mary Christiansen

Can Rudolf Steiner’s ideas for the renewal of social life stimulate creative new approaches to our school’s resource needs? What is a regenerative community in the context of a Waldorf school? Participants will examine several ways to facilitate group conversations working with these questions. Mary also will present an online Conversation Resource Guide and offer hands-on practice in small groups around a topic from the guide such as associative economics or conscious threefolding.

Mary Christenson is the Development Director at the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School where she has served for 20 years. She has a certificate in Waldorf School Administration and Community Building from Sunbridge College. She was DANA regional coordinator for 10 years, and board member of the Viroqua Chamber-Main Street Program for 10 years. She is co-author of an online book, “Building Regenerative Communities – A Conversation and Resource Guide.”


 “LeadTogether: The dynamics of leadership, governance and community building in a collaborative organization”

With Michael Soule

Collaboration was a radical form in the first Waldorf school and is no less so today. We are only beginning to realize its potential as a key to organizational health. How do we foster individual leadership in our schools, get beyond the usual organizational conflicts, and discover what Waldorf pedagogy offers for adult development? Participants will deepen their understanding of organizational dynamics, assess their own collaborative skills, and explore current research. This workshop is beneficial for parents, trustees, staff, and faculty.

Michael is a trained Waldorf teacher with an M.A. in Waldorf Education. He has been a class teacher, movement teacher, school administrator, board member, AWSNA regional representative, and Leader of programs and activities for AWSNA. He is currently the leader of the online collaborative community, Leadtogether.


Sustainability Resources

Resources for Sustainability

Dear Colleagues,

This month’s newsletter focuses on the theme of Sustainability and explores the question, “How can our schools become more sustainable in an economic environment that is growing more competitive and uncertain?” The lead article is a survey of the question and the second article, Seven Keys to Sustainability, outlines areas that require everyone’s attention as we move forward in planning for and responding to the future.

There are a lot of resources available on this important topic. We have included a few in the newsletter that we feel are informative and creative aspects of the whole. Below, we are sharing a list of the other related resources we have added to our resource library. We hope you find them useful and inspiring.

Michael Soule




The Genius of Money, John Bloom

Associative Economics, Gary Lamb

Freeing the Circling Stars, Christopher Houghton Budd

Economic Explorations, David Mitchell et al

Freeing the Human Spirit, Michael Spence


National School Choice Report for 2013

School Choice and Educational Freedom 2009, Gary Lamb

Waldorf Fundraising 101, AWSNA


The Three Kinds of Money, Warren Ashe

The Benefits and Challenges of Government Funding for Australian Schools, Tracey Puckeridge

Waldorf School Funding, from the Social Mission of Waldorf Education, Gary Lamb

Accessible Tuition for All, a review by Barbara Henderson

Accessible Tuition for All Primer, Bob Munson and Mary Roscoe

Underlying Themes in the Economics of Waldorf Schools, Werner Glas

Intimations of a New Economy, John Bloom

Waldorf Tuition: Gift or investment or Something In-between, by George Eastman

Three Tier Tuition Model of Brooklyn Waldorf School



RSF Social Finance

Associative Economics

Center for Social Renewal

Alliance for School Choice


Economics and Social Initiatives, interview with John Bloom and Martin Large from the film “The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner”