Do you enjoy teaching? Are you interested in guiding children to reach their fullest potential? Helping to raise the next generation?

Picture teaching the same group of children for their entire preschool, elementary, or high school journey — getting to know them, and their families well, and teaching life skills.

If this sounds exciting, then becoming a Waldorf teacher may be the career for you!

A teacher outdoors saying,

What do Waldorf Teachers do?

What a Waldorf teacher's day looks like varies depending on what level you teach, as some of the core subjects may vary depending on the level. You can teach at the preschool, elementary, or secondary school level.

Regardless of what level you teach, there are some common daily duties.

A checklist of a Waldorf teacher's daily duties (see the explanation below for text)

As the above image shows, the typical duties of a Waldorf teacher include:

  • Teaching core subjects (ie. math or science), artistic subjects, and skill building

  • Creating activities or assignments and documenting progress

  • Leading discussions and activities

  • Communicating with students, families, and fellow teachers

Waldorf Schools vs. Public Schools: What's the Difference?

You may be reading this and thinking, "what's so special about Waldorf?". Here's some key differences

A Venn diagram showing the difference between public schools and Waldorf schools. See below for the text description.

As shown in the Venn diagram above:

Public schools

  • Academics start in kindergarten

  • Focus on results rather than process

  • Use of lots of textbooks, tests, and worksheets

Waldorf schools

  • Academics start in grade 1 or 2

  • Focus on teamwork and asking questions

  • Children create their own learning materials

Quiz

True or False: Waldorf teachers use a lot of tests and worksheets.

Why is Waldorf Important?

Jennifer Lopez on a game show, asking

Waldorf teachers take a more holistic approach to education that focuses on more than just academics. The goal of Waldorf teachers is to nurture competent individuals who:

  • Create meaning in their lives by focusing on artistic subjects

  • Become action-oriented by learning many practical life skills

  • Become freethinkers through the emphasis on discussion, debate, and analysis

Let's get to work!

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Where can I work?

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Waldorf teachers can work at any of the roughly 130 Waldorf schools in the United States or the about 30 Waldorf schools across Canada.

How do I become a Waldorf teacher?

To become a Waldorf teacher, you'll need some level of education and specific Waldorf teacher training, depending on where you live and what level you'd like to teach. Here's the breakdown:

USA Requirements

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  • Preschool: Waldorf teacher training

  • Elementary: Bachelor degree and Waldorf teacher training

  • Highschool: Bachelor degree and Waldorf teacher training

Canada Requirements

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  • Preschool: Early Childhood Educator training and license and Waldorf teacher training

  • Elementary & High School: Bachelor degree, Bachelor of Education, and Waldorf teacher training

Check out organizations like the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) to find the availability of Waldorf teacher training near you.

What's the average pay?

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The average pay range depends on where you live and what level you teach. In the United States, the average pay is $51, 262, whereas in Canada, the average pay is $71, 301.

Quiz

Julie really wants to become a Waldorf teacher but she only has Waldorf teacher training. Which education level can she teach at a Waldorf school?

Pros and Cons of Waldorf Teaching

If you're still having a hard time deciding whether to become a Waldorf teacher or not, consider the points below:

Pros

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  • A strong sense of community

  • Encouragement of creativity and curiosity

  • New and challenging curriculum every year

Cons

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  • Possible lower pay than at public schools

  • Few extended health benefits (ie. dental care, vision care)

  • Work to do outside of work hours (class prep, meeting parents, etc.)

Take Action

Don't You Squidward

Are you ready to start your journey as a Waldorf teacher? Here are some steps you can take to get started:

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

AM

Alicia Morris

Registered Early Childhood Educator