Gateways 2017 Conference
The Senses as Windows to Connection with the World
Keynote Speaker: Stephen Spitalny
Friday April 21, 7pm to 9pm
Saturday April 22, 9:00am to 2:30pm
Sunday April 23, 8:30am to 5pm
A Conference on Early Childhood for Parents, Educators and Caregivers
Workshops led by local experts
It is through the senses that we relate to the world around us, as well as to other human beings. The foundational senses develop first and are prerequisite to the later development of the higher senses. Upon the strength or weakness of the lower senses, the human being will meet the world with certainty and trust, or hesitation and fear. The healthy development of the senses continually transforms into new capacities as a child grows. What can adults do to support sense development?
The child’s physical environment has a role in how the senses unfold. How can experiences in nature support sense development?
About Stephen Spitalny
Early childhood consultant and writer Stephen Spitalny offers inspiring lectures, workshops and mentoring to teachers and parents around the world. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz (California) Waldorf School for 24 years. Steve’s mixed-age kindergarten included children from 3-years-old until they were ready for first grade. Since the mid-1990’s, he has given workshops, lectures and courses on many themes for various institutions and groups throughout the world. Steve is on the faculty of WISC (Waldorf Institute of Southern California), a former Board member of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America) as well as former editor of Gateways, the bi-annual newsletter of WECAN. His many articles have been published in Gateways, Kindling and various other publications. Steve has 3 published books. Read his blog at http://chamakanda.blogspot.com/ and his website http://chamakanda.com
Friday – $25
Friday and Saturday – $125 or $200 for couples
Friday, Saturday and Sunday – $200
Please note that we cannot accommodate babies and children in the lectures and workshops.
Childcare for children ages 3-9 is available on Saturday at the Toronto Waldorf School. A fee of $15 per child applies. You can reserve spots while registering online. Spaces are limited.
If you have any questions, please contact us here.
FRIDAY APRIL 21, 2017
6:30pm – Registration Opens
7:00pm to 9:00pm – The Senses as Windows to Connection with the World
We have more than the five traditional senses. Modern science has added to the list. A helpful lens of human development was provided by Rudolf Steiner, who spoke of twelve senses that human beings use to relate to the world around us as well as to other human beings.
This lecture will offer a clear picture of each of these senses and how their healthy development transforms into new capacities as a child grows.
SATURDAY APRIL 22, 2017
8:30am – Registration Opens
9:00am – The Nature of Sense Development
It is through the senses that we relate to the world around us, as well as to other human beings. The foundational senses develop first and are prerequisite to the later development of the higher senses. Upon the strength or weakness of the lower senses, the human being will meet the world with certainty and trust, or hesitation and fear. What can adults do to support sense development? The child’s physical environment has a role in how the senses unfold. How can experiences in nature support sense development?
11:00am – Break-Out Groups
11:45am – Lunch (bring your own or purchase at registration)
12:30pm – Workshops Led by Local Experts
2:00pm to 2:30pm – Closing Plenum
SUNDAY APRIL 23, 2017
8:00am – Registration Opens
8:30am – Singing
9:00am – Sense Development Through Nature
Nourishing the senses through Nature – how we can support a later life of connection through early childhood outdoor experience.
12:00pm – Lunch (provided at no extra cost)
1:00pm – Eurythmy
2:00pm – Making Bottlecap Shakers
From simple found objects we will make a handheld percussion instrument.
4:30pm to 5:00pm – Review and Closing Plenum
Participants will pick one Saturday afternoon workshop from the list:
Beyond sticks and carrots: developing true connection with your young child
Discover a communication style that makes for fewer conflicts and easier resolution in your interactions with young children. See how to go beyond negotiations, threats and bribery. Shame and blame approaches do not create the results anyone wants. The basic theme is discovering how to truly connect with young children. You will go home with real tools for a more harmonious life!
Stephen Spitalny, early childhood consultant and writer, former WECAN Board member, kindergarten teacher and WECAN publication editor from California. Stephen is the keynote speaker at this conference.
Children and Nature: A relationship for the future
There is a lot in the news about going out with children into Nature. There is also a lot about “WHAT TO DO” with children in nature that is based on giving children information (In other words taking what is done in typical classrooms and doing exactly the same thing just outside in Nature). I will offer parents and teachers experiences to an awaken IMAGINATION as a doorway into a loving relationship with the natural world.
We will go inside ourselves, into our biography in terms of our own relationship with Nature as a child and we will go outside ourselves to explore ways to connect with the mature White Pine trees on the property. Every activity will include an artistic exploration using ink pencils and water brushes.
Elyse Pomeranz is a Waldorf mentor and former Waldorf class teacher . She is a graduate of the Arscura School of Living Art Biography program. She has developed a process of connecting with and listening to mature and ancient trees. She works with teachers, parents and children in workshops teaching communication with trees.
Listening to Movement in Space – cancelled
What if we used our limbs as organs of perception for the movement around our body, and in the space between individuals? This course proposes an experiential and artistic exploration of etheric forces through Eurythmy. We will tune our physical bodies to perceive in a new way. Be ready to move! Open to all. Please bring eurythmy shoes if you have them, otherwise socks are fine too.
Jonathan Snow completed the artistic and pedagogical eurythmy training in Stuttgart, Germany and The Hague, Netherlands. He is a certified Bothmer gymnast and Spacial Dynamics® Level I associate. He currently teaches at Toronto Waldorf School.
More Rhythm and Less Blues – cancelled
This workshop will be a presentation on what rhythm is exactly, and the value and need for it in both our children’s and own life. We will discuss practical ways to create a peaceful flow that encompasses all of the necessities of the day while eliciting cooperation from our children. The result of more rhythm is contentment and joy, lessening experiences of the blues. Please bring a notebook or paper and a few coloured pencils.
Karen Weyler has been a Waldorf Early Childhood Educator for over 21 years in many capacities and is currently the Parent and Child teacher at Trillium Waldorf School in Guelph. She is the co-director of the Birth to Three professional development program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre and leads such trainings in China.
Needle Felting Waldorf Flower Puppet-Dolls – cancelled
In this workshop we will needle felt spring Waldorf puppet-dolls. Needle felting is a very pleasant sensory activity as you work with natural wool. These dolls make great toys for kids, and can also be used as puppets in plays. Both parents and teachers are welcome. You can attend even if you are an absolute beginner in needle felting. You get to keep your doll along with the tools and supplies. Additional fee of $10 will be added at registration time to help cover the cost of materials.
Yelena Poghosyan is a Waldorf mom of two and is very passionate about crafts. Her favorites are needle felting and Waldorf doll making. Yelena is the owner of childhoodin.me – where she posts her works and craft tutorials. You can find some of her creations in the Paper Pipit shop.
Nourishing the Sense of Touch – cancelled
Wet felting workshop – using warm water, soap, wool fleece and our hands or feet we can transform soft wool into beautiful well formed and practical items with children. Learn basic wet felting techniques to create a spring gift. While you work we will deepen our understanding of the foundational sense of touch, and how it is related to the higher sense of the other.
Heather Church has worked in the Waldorf movement for 19 years beginning as a parent, kindergarten teacher, parent educator and leading in Waldorf Schools. At this time she is working independently with teachers and parents through mentoring, coaching, teaching and community building. Heather is currently the regional representative for a portion of the Great Lakes region including Ontario and Northern New York State and a member of the WECAN board.
Pay Attention AND Sit Still
The directive in this title is very difficult to achieve for many young children. In actuality, humans are only capable of paying attention OR sitting still! At school and in the home, we are observing more children who seek touch and movement to a degree that is disruptive to their own and their peers participation in work and play. They are searching for ways to cope with too much stimulation or overwhelming sensory input.
In this workshop, we will identify times when children’s needs for touch and movement are the greatest, and then share strategies to meet the children either within the group or on their own.
Jenny Taylor joined the Waldorf community in 2003 as a new parent at Mulberry Waldorf School. As her children grew, so did her role in the school and her commitment to Waldorf Education. Jenny has been a supply teacher, a Kindergarten Assistant, a facilitator for the Parent and Child Program, and Lead Kindergarten Teacher and Early Childhood Faculty Chair. Outside of teaching, she participates in research about child health and education at Queen’s University.
Tammy Caldwell has been with the Mulberry Waldorf School Kindergarten since 1999. As with many teachers, Tammy’s children brought her to Waldorf Education, where she has seen her two daughters graduate from Grade 8. Tammy has held various leadership roles at Mulberry and has also been able to share her experience with students of the part-time Early Childhood Teacher Education program at RSCT as an educator and mentor.
Recharging Your Child’s Battery
During the formative years from birth to seven, a child’s sense of life is strengthened mostly at the hands of parents and caregivers. Through warmth, sleep, nutrition, rhythm and routines, the life sense is massaged and strengthened. Yet, in most of these arenas, the growing child finds many ways to resist our best intentions. Let’s explore strategies including the use of singing, humour, and imagination that will aid us in redirecting that resistance and allowing us to help these wee ones receive what we know they need and deserve. Many of these techniques may have the added benefit of dissolving discipline issues.
Jan Pringle has completed both Waldorf Teacher Training for the Grade School, and more recently, the Early Childhood at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She taught Preschool/Kindergarten at the London Waldorf School for the last nine years, leaving this year to start a home based child care called Forest Footsteps. Some of her passions include singing, strengthening the foundational senses, and fostering child development.
The Sense of Warmth as Portal to the Higher Senses – cancelled
Warmth opens the portal to the four higher senses; not physical warmth but soul and spiritual warmth. What is the difference between these two and how can we cultivate spiritual warmth in our relationship with our children? Following a short presentation we will work in pairs practicing the senses of Hearing, Word, Thought and Ego, ending with a group discussion of these senses.
Arlene Thorn facilities programs for adult learning, transformation and creativity. She works with Little Lions Waldorf Childcares in Thunder Bay in their ECE program and is the Board Chair of LifeWays Childcare Association of Ontario.
Wonder of Metals
“How like an angel came I down!
How bright are all things here!
When first among his works I did appear
O how their glory me did crown?
The world resembled his eternity
In which my soul did walk;
And every thing that I did see
Did with me talk.” –From ‘Wonder’, by Thomas Traherne
The act of creating in metal enlivens and reawakens our senses and helps us to rediscover the wonder of the beautiful forms in the world. The rhythmic hammering of our forging creates a soft voice in which the qualities of metals speak. Come shape a simple candle holder. You get to keep your candle holder. Additional fee of $10 will be added at registration time to help cover the cost of materials.
Leed Jackson, BSc Mathematics, earned a 3 year sculpture diploma from Emerson College. He apprenticed with a Master Jeweller. Leed has been teaching high school science, mathematics and metal craft at the Toronto Waldorf School for over 24 years.
Friday and Saturday
9100 Bathurst Street, Thornhill (North of Hwy 7/407)
About Toronto Waldorf School
Founded in 1968, our rich academic curriculum inspires students to evolve into confident, creative thinkers who are socially responsible and environmentally conscious.
Toronto Waldorf School offers Parent & Child, Preschool & Kindergarten, Elementary School and High School programs, and are authorized to grant credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diplomas.
We are a member of Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).
About Rudolf Steiner Center Toronto
Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto facilitates cultural renewal. We offer workshops and trainings in Waldorf Teacher Education, Remedial Education, Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy, Biodynamic Agriculture and the Arts. Here research into the spiritual nature of the human being brings practical insights for work, play and community.
LifeWays Ontario at The Christian Community
901 Rutherford Road, Vaughan (1 block west of Bathurst)
About LifeWays Ontario
LifeWays Ontario is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with LifeWays North America. LifeWays Ontario offers professional and personal development weekends for childcare providers, parents and early childhood educators.