4th CONFERENCE NAPA, CA 2019
“This year, the Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association held its 4th annual conference between February 17th and 20th, and was hosted by the Stone Bridge School in Napa, California.
The guest speaker was the renowned teacher of German, Kati Manning, who, fortunately for us, also speaks Spanish.
The main theme was the role that the teaching of foreign languages plays in bridging cultures and promoting communication as spiritual activity. As these bridges are built and come into use, they awaken a sense of curiosity and sharpen our interest in that which is unfamiliar and different, and, ultimately, these bridges foster peace in the world. By stimulating and enriching imaginations, so that intuituve learning becomes as flexible as a physical and spiritual organ, tolerance and compassion flourish.
Over 10 workshops were offered to 40 teachers, native and non-native speakers alike, some with many years of teaching experience and others with less, ranging from kindergarten to high-school levels and representing Waldorf schools from around the country.
The outstanding attendance of workshops, presentations and morning song sessions, as well as the active and creative participation of the teachers reflected our appreciation and gratitude for the excellent organization of the event, as well as our deep sense of renewal and enrichment. Everybody agreed that these types of meetings are extremely valuable, indeed essential, to developing and enhancing our skills as Spanish language Waldorf teachers, especially given the fact that there is currently no training program for the teaching of Spanish in U.S. Waldorf schools.
There were teachers who were unable to attend the conference due to financial constraints; others drove great distances to be there, and others flew from the other side of the country in order to attend. Some participated thanks to the financial support of their schools.
It was a true pleasure to witness how the teaching of Spanish has grown on the West Coast, thanks in no small part to Diamela Wetzl, who has devoted the past 40 years to mentoring and pioneering Spanish language teacher-training programs, a task that continues today with the work of Elena Forrer.
Special thanks are due to the organizers who donated their time and continue to share their passion for this association and for the teaching of this beautiful language. Thank you, Barbara Wauters, Alberto Correa, Ximena Sierra, Diamela Wetzl and Elena Forrer!”
Febe Chacón Fernández
Spanish Teacher, San Francisco Waldorf School