Reflections from NESWEC Students
Cristina Cooke: now a kindergarten teacher in Ringwood Steiner School
I warmly recommend the NESWEC course for the high standards of the experienced tutors, who guided me towards feeling confident in meeting the challenges and needs of today's children and school settings.
Thanks to this course, I have grown as a human being in so many ways and especially in knowledge, in skills and in inner resources. It has both contemporary issues and tried and tested Waldorf methods at its heart.
Antonella Borri: now running a kindergarten on a biodynamic farm in her home country, Italy.
When I decided to enrol myself on the NESWEC training I thought I would have learned a pedagogy to be able to educate children. During the training I realised that it was much more than that, it was very inspiring, and gave me a lot of tools to work on myself. It was a wonderful journey, and it is still, because once I completed my training what I learned shaped my everyday attitude. I am so grateful to all the amazing NESWEC teachers that guided me.
Ziggy Jones: Steiner kindergarten teacher in Leeds completed Levels 4 and 5 with NESWEC
I came to teaching in different way to most people in that I was previously working as a professional driver. After entering the world of parenthood I soon realised the joy I experienced being around children, their positivity and different ways of viewing the world. With my wife's support I decided to train as a teacher in order to help shape the future in my own way.
The NESWEC course runs at weekends and holidays which enabled me to attend while still working. It soon became the highlight of my month. The starting point is: "How do children develop, and how do we best support them in our early years education?". Everything else, the importance of rhythm and routine, use of authentic materials and 'open ended' toys, building community, teacher self-development, value of domestic tasks and absence of electronic devices (to name a few), are based on a deep understanding of what growing children need in different phases. I was shoved out of my comfort zone on occasion - being required to perform in front of others-but it was ideal preparation as children can challenge and delight in extremes. Thankfully now I am teaching I bring a bit of NESWEC every day.
Laura Macrae: former Steiner kindergarten teacher in Edinburgh completed Levels 4 and 5 with NESWEC
Having completed 2 mainstream qualifications in early years and working with young children for several years I already felt quite comfortable in my work with nursery children and wondered if another qualification was really going to be worth the effort. However NESWEC is different, weeks into embarking on the 3 year course I felt I had a deeper understanding of myself and a new curiosity about what my purpose in life might be and it's this 'inner work' which makes the course unique and gives you an opportunity to grow not only as a teacher but as a human being too. Since completing the course in 2015 I've travelled extensively and taught kindergarten children in Waldorf inspired settings at home and abroad and last year I became a mother. NESWEC has opened so many doors for me, if you're intrigued by a different way of learning do find out more.
Isabella Mancini: Steiner kindergarten teacher in Nottingham completed Level 4 and Level 5 with NESWEC
The NESWEC course was a profound journey that led me to a deeper understanding of childhood development and of myself. Very experienced teachers passed on interdisciplinary skills that have been my pillars in teaching. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from such inspiring, high quality teachers. The qualification allowed me to be a lead kindergarten teacher in a Steiner Waldorf kindergarten. I love what I do and what I continue to learn in this journey with the children, with their parents, with my colleagues and with the community. I take home a deep sense of respect for the unfolding of life, for the challenges that allow me to grow and for the openness amongst colleagues to share mistakes or difficulties and learn from them. As the course says it is truly a heart, hands and head experience. I learned through interactive lessons, through craft activities, through the models of behaviour set out by the teachers, how those three aspects are all equally needed and how important it is to integrate them in my daily practice. This has been a life changing course and I recommend it to anyone interested in holistic education and self-development.
Rebecca Mihill: working in the York Steiner School kindergarten and completed Level 4 and Level 5 with NESWEC
I studied the NESWEC course and found it immensely helpful in clarifying all the questions I ever had about Steiner pedagogy within the kindergarten. I went on to become a kindergarten teacher and the course really equipped me in every area for this role. It has had a lasting impact on me in all aspects of my professional and personal life.