Lower School
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Storied Knowledge

In the elementary years, Waldorf makes lively use of a time-honored practice: teaching children through stories that recount the deeds of heroes, the qualities of animals, the history of a people, cultural wisdom and spiritual truths. Stories also promote solid learning in every academic subject from the alphabet and basic arithmetic through zoology and Greek history.

First grade is the commencement of formal schooling marked by children's new interest in learning. Students establish good habits of classroom life and work that will form the basis for all subsequent learning at school. The students and teacher build the foundation for an ever-deepening relationship while forming a socially cohesive group during this special year of beginnings.

Rose Ceremony
Lines & Curves
Alphabet
Main Lessons
Class Teacher

Class Teacher

Joshua Gartland

Joshua was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and was raised in the suburbs of New York City. He began tap dancing at the age of six, competing occasionally at the national level. He began acting in high school and received a BFA in Theater Performance from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Joshua then moved to New York City where he worked on a number of productions with the Present Company Theatorium as well as a national children's tour with the Chamber Theater. He became a mime for a brief while and studied under Paul J. Curtis in the American Mime Theater. It was September 11th, 2001, however, that gave Joshua perspective. Soon after, he shifted focus and began working at OM Yoga where he eventually became the senior manager of one of the largest yoga facilities in the country. Joshua received a degree in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College before eventually taking a first grade through four years at the Waldorf School of Garden City in Long Island, NY. Joshua now lives in Decatur with his wife, Sara, and his two daughters, both of whom are WSA students and his new son born in 2013. Joshua enjoys books, athletics, singing, dancing, and of course, performing.

Learn More About Waldorf Pedagogy ( link | pdf )