Heard in the Parking Lot: Why Waldorf?

Written by Ian Cuevas

January 29, 2024

After sorting out some event planning, one parent, Maris, kindly agreed to share her experiences with us as a Waldorf parent who just moved to San Diego. Maris explained that being a Waldorf parent is “to be part of a community that sees the whole being of my child, and sees their creative beauty and potential, and holds who they are in the broader context of child development.”

“It’s not just about their education, it’s about their intellectual, emotional, social development, and that’s held by all of the adults in the school,” Maris said. “It’s a very reassuring and beautiful thing to see the whole context of who your kid is and who they will become.”

Maris explained that Waldorf’s commitment to the “small beauties in education and child development… teaching someone how to learn and apply that to everything, horizontally, across content, and how to have a discerning mind” led their decision to enroll their child at Waldorf. These ‘small beauties’ are not only found in the sign at the front of the school, but also in the classroom, where Maris’s child is being taught about King Divide, a fun and imaginative story for learning division. “There’s a mystical magic to learning.”

As teachers, we speak of calling on the children’s angels to guide and direct them to our school. And, often, as adults, when we look back at the happenings of our life, we see the many ways events were woven like a tapestry so that one particular meeting could occur.

– Mary Carmichael (WSSD Teacher)

Not having media exposure also makes Waldorf stand out against other options. “Every other school has iPads in the classroom,” Maris said. “It keeps distractions at bay while they discover who they are.” As a parent, Maris explained that Waldorf provides a safe space for their family and their child. “There’s something that’s very calming as a parent to have a place where you feel good about sending your kid. I don’t hold a lot of anxiety or angst about where they are at during the day.”

This sentiment is echoed by another parent dropping off their daughters at Waldorf. As a working mom with 5 kids and limited bandwidth, she explained that Waldorf provides additional emotional support, being treated as a whole person within their classrooms as they proceed in their education.

She noted the impact Waldorf curriculum and culture has had on her daughters. “It’s not all about being measured. They go on field trips; their curriculum is more experimental versus reading in a book. They build their own community. [My daughter] is in kindergarten, having soup and breaking bread with classmates. In strings class, the girls sing together, all four of them. As soon as the youngest is old enough, she’s going in!”

For these parents, choosing Waldorf seems to not only be about unique curriculum and education, but also about the importance of a holistic consideration of their children and building community around this ideology. Before leaving morning drop-off, a mural of tiny lost and found jackets and hats hang on a wall, reflecting the notion that care is also an art at Waldorf.


Devynne Diaz is a research professional focused on youth mental health services and equity. She is also passionate about youth empowerment and improving resources for this in the community. In her free time, she enjoys live music, reading, socializing with friends, and exploring art museums. After attending the premiere of WSSD X Swish Projects film series at the Mingei Museum last September, she offered to volunteer her talents to the school.

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