As someone who left the Waldorf community at the end of elementary school as a student and then re-entered it towards the beginning of adulthood as an administrator, I have a very clear feeling of what this means to me. It is a place where you can talk to someone and not necessarily agree with their point of view but believe that their intentions are good and true. It feels like a place where you can show up as yourself, and it feels like a place where you can learn about yourself. You feel a sense of belonging with others through the shared experience of working on honest personal growth.

In my experience outside of the Waldorf community, there is an impetus to maximize time and capabilities in a way that isn’t always true to one’s self. A positive result of such a focus is achieving things that can be seen as significant. A sense of belonging can be felt through contributing to those accomplishments in the field or subject material, but what can often be lost is a focus on personhood. When times are not great, when there is self-doubt, uncertainty, and loss, it can be hard to find a grounding force. There are times when going inward to find strength is important, and it is comforting to be able to do that in a space where others understand and support that experience.

Observing our high school students, I see a strong desire from them to exit the sandbox of school and enter the world. I am excited for them to have new experiences and to find their place in the world. I believe that along their journey, they will all find value as I did, and do, from the lessons I learned and am learning by being in this special community.

-Jonah Sulla-Menashe

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