I had been a parent at Imhoff Waldorf for many years when I was first drawn in as a high school teacher. I had opened our vintage shop, Rummage, when Carol popped in, we got chatting and before I knew it I had a second part time job as the high school art teacher.
From my very first lesson, with our pioneering class who were then in class 10, I loved the robust, dynamic and above all, caring atmosphere of the high school. I had taught before at Rustenburg and at Reddam and the Waldorf approach to high school teaching was what I had always dreamed of: more of a “Let’s explore this idea together,” than, “This is the way it is and you must accept it and learn it for the test”!
The high school faculty has attracted teachers who are independent thinkers, enthusiastic and gifted people with the courage and energy to pioneer, to try something new and to work with absolute dedication to create what became an incredibly special school. We poured untold hours into this project – hours of meetings, hours of extra study, hours of lesson preparation, hours of extra time taking outings to stage productions, exhibitions, museums, and hikes and visits all over our city, enriching what was being taught in the classroom with real experience. I can never hope to work with a more wonderful group of individuals.
The high school attracted students with a need for a school that would meet them as individuals, not just as another cog in a machine. We are so proud of the people our students become over the years at the high school and it is one of the great gifts of teaching to watch the self-conscious class 8 child become the self-confident young adult who faces matric with equanimity and heads fearlessly into the world knowing who he/she is and being proud of it. It is also one of my great sadnesses that I will not watch my present class 8 class and my own children complete this amazing growth process under the guidance of these teachers.
When the time came for my son to choose a high school, there was no doubt in his mind or ours that Imhoff Waldorf High School was the only choice. It is devastating to have had to look elsewhere for another school which I know can never offer him the incredible quality of education (and space in which to become himself) that he has had here.
It is an enormous loss to the whole school and to the greater community and it is possible that the repercussions will be felt for many years to come.
by Tracey Bester