For three days during our February break, Juniper Ridge hosted our second annual February Conference. It is a custom among all Waldorf schools nationwide to take time during President’s Week to attend conferences for renewal and reinspiration. Rather than travel to the Front Range as we did in our first year, we decided to sponsor our own conference. Considering the rock slide that closed I-70 near Glenwood Springs , this was a fortuitous decision.
As a keynote speaker we were very fortunate in bringing to Grand Junction Eugene Schwartz, one of the most prominent teacher trainers in the Waldorf movement. Mr. Schwartz has been active in Waldorf Schools since the mid 1970s, and has worked with children from Kindergarten through the high school level. He brings a depth of wisdom and experience, presented with great warmth of soul and humility. Mr. Schwartz invited the teachers to explore with him the theme of the four temperaments and how understanding them can guide the instruction in the classroom. His talks brought together the practice of deep observation and how it inspires the imagination to bring the teacher to a renewed presentation of the course material. We hope you were able to come to Mr. Schwartz’s public talk on Thursday evening, which was entitled, Today’s Children Need Tomorrow’s Schools. It could have given you insight into the work we were doing with him.
In addition to Mr. Schwartz’s keynote addresses, our own teachers offered break-out artistic sessions. Miss Angel led a group through silk dyeing. Mr. Rizzo introduced teachers to the craft of woodworking. Mrs. Cooper presented a music theory class, Miss Fun led a group in games, Ms. Rusling offered a very well-visited class in blackboard chalk drawing, just to name a few of the excellent offerings.
We reached out to our neighbor schools to join us. Four teachers from Paonia came, as did two teachers from the newly forming charter school in Salt Lake City.
All of our teachers came away filled with new impulses for the spring session.