Waldorf100: A New Film Celebrating 100 Years of Waldorf Education Around the World



From Waldorf Today:

The point of this film is to introduce the concept of the upcoming Waldorf100 Centennial in 2019-2020. The goal is to help families and schools around the world recognize that Waldorf education can, and does, have an important impact on the challenges we face in the world today.

Too often we get stuck focusing on our own school and its struggles, but there is a much larger ethos out there that we are all part of. Collectively we are working to change the world and make a better future.

The hope and aspiration of this Centennial event is not to simply have a big anniversary party. It’s to launch Waldorf education into the 21st Century with bold new sense of confidence and commitment to the future – a future that our children will help determine.

Paul Zehrer, Producer & Director, Waldorf100 – The Film

Visit the new Waldorf100 website here: http://www.waldorf-100.org/


SMWS High School German Program Featured in Boulder Daily Camera

High school students at Shining Mountain Waldorf School now have the opportunity to prove their German skills through an exam and earn acceptance to a German university.

German teacher Paula Blum said Shining Mountain is the first Waldorf school in North America to partner with the German government to offer the Deutsches Sprachdiplom program.

Read the full article here:




VITAMIN N IN KINDERGARTEN: Nature-Based Education | by Jason Sperling, Author & SMWS Parent

November 10, 2016| Guest Writers, THE NEW NATURE MOVEMENT

In Richard Louv’s recent book  Vitamin N, Louv shares 500 actions to bring more nature into our lives. One of my favorites is the suggestion that parents choose schools, such as Montessori or Waldorf schools, that support direct-experience learning often in natural settings. In the following interview, Jane Zeender, the Director of Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado, shares how Waldorf Kindergarten programs can impact children’s health and happiness.

Jason Sperling: What is Waldorf Education?

Jane Zeender: Waldorf Education was founded almost 100 years ago by an Austrian philosopher by the name of Rudolf Steiner, who was approached by the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory to create a new educational system that would raise healthy, balanced, human beings so that the world could avoid a repeat of World War I. Today, Waldorf education is the fastest-growing educational movement in the world, in both the charter and private schools, and our fastest growth is happening in China, which speaks to the continued need to educate children in this holistic way.

In Waldorf education, we not only focus on the intellect but also on the social/emotional growth of the child as well as the physical and spiritual growth of the child. All of our work with children is done with a deep understanding of healthy human development, so that we meet each child, at each age, with what speaks to them emotionally, physically, socially, as well as intellectually.

Our students graduate from our school with a solid understanding of who they are, with personal connections to themselves and others, and with the capacities and skills to go out into the world in service to humanity. Waldorf graduates are unique, healthy individuals with a strong sense of purpose and who find meaning in the world and in their lives.

To read the full article at the Children & Nature Network:


About the Author:

Jason Runkel Sperling found Running Wild family nature club in Boulder, Colorado, in 2015. He is a skilled and experienced outdoorsman who earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a youth – and went on to travel and live around the globe for 20 years, scuba diving, surfing, backpacking, skiing, rafting, and adventuring. He is the author of several books that help parents get their children outdoors, and reconnected with nature, themselves, family, and friends. Read his blog and all his books (for free) on www.jasonrunkelsperling.com.



Colorado German Awards Banquet Speech | 11.4.16 | Jane M. Zeender, School Director

Shining Mountain Waldorf School the first Waldorf School in North America to offer the German Language Diploma Program… and why World Languages are so important at our school.

Good evening! My name is Jane Zeender, and I am the current School Director of Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado. I am honored to be one of your guest speakers this evening, and my goal in the next few minutes is to educate, inspire, and maybe even provoke you to think about the German language and how vital learning a world language is in these interesting times of our current world order.

Nelson Mandela has said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language-, that goes to his heart.”   Johannes Kiersch, an early Waldorf World Language teacher, states: “The overall objection of language teaching in a Waldorf school is to give pupils individual experience of the reality of language. ….. It is a schooling of empathy.”

These two quotes reinforce the Waldorf School’s belief that learning a world language makes you a citizen of the world, and allows you to stand in solidarity with people who may have been raised far differently than you, and to see and understand the world through their perspective. And it honestly does not matter if that language is German, or French, or Spanish, or Swedish, which was my first language, or even American Sign Language, the language of the Deaf, which I learned when my daughter lost her hearing several years ago.

Taking the effort to walk in another’s shoes through our voices, or hands, or dialects, opens our minds, our hearts, and our feelings in ways that translators can never even imagine, and is one of the paths to peace in our world. Just imagine, if every citizen of the world committed to learning another language, and committed to understanding another culture, what would our world look like? What COULD our world look like? This is our task as educators, to teach our children another language so they can be messengers and promoters of peace.

The first Waldorf School, and every Waldorf school that has come after it, was founded as a model for restoring peace in our world and for educating young people who would help heal the challenges of our times, and work in human connection in service to others. Almost 100 years ago, a man by the name of Emil Molt, who owned the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory in Stuttgart, Germany, approached an Austrian philosopher by the name of Rudolf Steiner and asked him to start a school at his factory for the children of his employees, all blue collar workers. Their vision and dream was to create a new educational model that would eliminate the conditions that led to World War 1, and all that transpired in Germany and in Europe at that time. The context of this education would be to focus not only on a child’s intellectual and academic potential, but on their social/emotional, physical, and spiritual potential as well. To recognize that each of us is a unique spiritual being, with a destiny to pursue, and with the hope of raising balanced, integrated, and healthy human beings. This is the core of the Waldorf pedagogy.

Shining Mountain Waldorf School was founded in 1983 by a very passionate group of parents who wanted this education for their children, and over a very short time built out our 12 acre campus in North Boulder, that today serves 300 children in preschool-12th grade. We teach two languages at our school- German and Spanish, and we begin teaching these languages in first grade. The children alternate between each language about every 6 weeks, and in 8th grade they choose one language to carry through High School. By the time our students leave 12th grade, they are conversationally fluent, and the majority of them test out of level 1 and 2 Spanish or German when they go to college. The reason we start so young is to not only immerse our students in these languages by ear, but to immerse them into the cultures that these languages arise from.

The Waldorf schools were founded out of the German cultural traditions, and although many Waldorf schools around the world have adapted their cultural traditions to their country, Germanic principles and ideals still are embedded at our school. I don’t have to be married to a Swiss German man to understand the importance of order, precision, beauty, and attention to detail in our school! In addition, we instill strong levels of respect, appreciation, resourcefulness, caring for the earth’s resources, and having fun at Shining Mountain, all values that resonate deeply with what many consider Germanic principles. All of these values, traditions, and principles are alive and well at Shining Mountain Waldorf School, and we are incredibly grateful to Emil Molt and especially Rudolf Steiner for their work almost 100 years ago in founding the Waldorf school movement, which remains the fastest growing educational movement in the world. Rudolf Steiner himself stated that “The gradual unfolding of language capability should occur in such a way that first of all a sense for what is naturally correct arises, and then a sense for what is beautiful, and finally a sense for the power language confers in the conduct of life.”

In closing, we are extremely proud and excited to be the first Waldorf School in North America to be a part of the German Language diploma program, and know that it will not only serve our students going onto university, but will help us attract and grow our High School. Many of the students in our High School who study German are interested in pursuing careers in the sciences and engineering fields, and know that fluency in German will help expand their opportunities, both in the US and abroad, over many years. Thank you to each of you for your dedication to teaching German in the United States, and to supporting our school in being dedicated to teaching German throughout our entire program. As Istated at the beginning of my talk, learning another language is a pathway to peace, which is so needed in our world today. Our work together is vitally important to the future of our children, and their children, and their children’s children. I am the proud mother of two teenagers who are learning German, and one of the greatest gifts of this language to my family was seeing my children speak German last summer with their Great Aunts and Uncles in Switzerland. German was the bridge to their connection with each other, and there is nothing more precious to me than seeing my children, and other children, cross over that bridge into those deep personal connections.

ZfA-ATG Newsletter

SMWHS German Program Highlighted!

The SMWHS German program is highlighted in the August issue of the American Association of Teachers of German newsletter, on page 31.

AATG August 2016 Newsletter 

We are now officially a partner school of the ZfA (Central Agency of Foreign Schools abroad).


Daily Camera | Boulder County history: Shining Mountain school reflects on its past

8-28-16 | Enjoy this article from The Daily Camera featuring Shining Mountain’s early days!

Boulder County history:  Shining Mountain school reflects on its past



HS German Video Receives 10th Place in National Competition!

Congratulations to Emma Schaefer and Ava Lowell from Shining Mountain Waldorf High School who placed 10th in the national “Step into German” contest organized by the Goethe-Institut. Students chose a song by German “Newcomer of the Year”, Joris, and produced a music video for it. Emma and Ava decided to sing “Herz Über Kopf”‘ themselves for the video. Voting for the videos was held online.They each received a German “Wundertüte”with a T-shirt, a book on German young people’s popular jargon for 2016, a breakfast cutting board and a CD of music by Joris.

~Paula Blum, High School German Teacher

Photo By Melissa Chilson



Shining Mountain Handwork Teacher Theresa Baker Featured on The Modern Domestique

theresa1The Modern Domestique has a new podcast out that features an interview with Theresa Baker, our handwork teacher at the Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Theresa talks about the importance of handwork, and how this educational philosophy not only teaches skills to the student, but also furthers cognitive development as the child grows.

theresa2Head on over to the The Modern Domestique blog to have a listen and to read more!  http://bit.ly/20ZuiQX


News from AWSNA

As one of AWSNA’s many efforts to increase the visibility of Waldorf Education and provide a national voice on education and reform by increasing their digital presence, AWSNA has launched a new blog called “Essentials of Education”.

AWSNA invites you to subscribe, and to share the blog broadly in your social media forums. Go here to subscribe:http://blog.waldorfeducation.org/

Go here to read the most recent blog post, “The Benefits of Productive Solitude”: http://blog.waldorfeducation.org/…/importance-of-productiv…/


SMWS High School German Student Music Competition – Vote Today!

Please help high schoolers Emma Schaefer and Ava Lowell, from Shining Mountain Waldorf School, win a trip to Germany. Their video is one of 10 finalists in the Goethe Institut’s national Step into German competition. Students chose a song by German “Newcomer of the Year”, Joris, and produced a music video for it. Emma and Ava decided to sing “Herz Über Kopf”‘ themselves for the video. Those present at the Shining Mountain Waldorf spring assembly would have heard their beautiful rendition.

Help Emma and Ava get into the top five by voting for them. The musician, Joris, will choose which of the top five will win the trip for two to Germany.

You can vote once every 24 hours from now until April 28. Please pass this onto your friends and family to help them get as many votes as possible.

Here is the link.


You scroll down to the video from Shining Mountain, click on “Video ansehen und abstimmen.” That opens up the video so you can view it. It also brings up a voting form. You have to fill in your name (last name, then first name), school (optional), city, state and email address. We want people to grade it a 5 = super!

Vielen Dank,

Frau Blum