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The transformative power of Waldorf Education

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The graduates, while Class 8 was singing the School Hymn.

(Being absent from the parents meeting for Toni’s graduation, I was volunteered to give the Parents’ Response. I said these words in the simple and intimate ceremony this morning with the lovely accompaniment of bamboo swaying and birds chirping in the background, and also with parents, teachers and students sniffing from crying because of the raw and heartfelt messages given by the graduates and teachers alike. Let me share it with you here.)

It would be hard to articulate here the experience of the parents of Mayba and Joy because nobody could really fully capture other people’s journey.  So while I will also share what little I know of their experience, I will focus more on what my family has been through and why we believe of the transformative power of Waldorf Education.

We have known about this school for some time, as some of its founders are dear friends even before we moved to Iloilo. But we became really aware of it when we needed it. Our son Toni, then turning 13, was advanced in his studies for two years due to acceleration in preschool because he was already a reader at age two. At 12, he was already showing signs of stress and school fatigue. He just finished third year in high school and would be entering the senior year. I was in a panic of thinking he would be in college at 14, knowing of the rat race in universities these days.

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Children need trees

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Field work at Chickabompalli, learning from the community. Photo by Shaiju Chacko

An amazing thing (among many!), at least for me, happened during the field work our group had for The Workshop 2015 (19th Praxis Commune for Participatory Development). The facilitators wanted at least each of the four foreign participants to join different groups. I was luckily made part of this awesome group composed of Shaiju, Nidhi, Nancy, Nitin and Afsar. Shaiju proposed for the group to be named Phil-Indies, marrying the names of the two countries represented.