Social Inclusion Approach

We were thrilled and honoured to have had Kim John Payne, M.E.D. come and work with faculty and staff for our Professional Development days in August. Through Kim’s guidance we are renewing our commitment to the Social Inclusion Approach, a method for addressing anti-social behaviour in the classroom, on the playground, and throughout the community as a whole. The Social Inclusion Approach is being used in Waldorf Schools across North America, and was first introduced at VWS in 2005. The faculty is actively taking this work up and has already set many new impulses into motion throughout our school. Kim will be returning after Christmas to offer a presentation for parents.

This is what our teachers are saying about our work with The Social Inclusion Approach:

Kim John Payne’s quiet and warm voice, his thoughtful movements and honest glances around the circle, set the atmosphere for two full days of shared experiences and insights into not only what it means to be an educator, but possible answers to many questions. He provided us with practical tools to have at our fingertips, thoughts to share with our colleagues, and a few one-liners that kept lingering in our heads for days after the meetings… ‘A lie is an unfulfilled wish’ and ‘Social growth can only come through social resistance’ are two examples of these keys to opening doors to a world of new insights and actions.

Those two days have been a seed planted, as an inspiring gift to the college of teachers, to be shared with the whole community of people our school embraces. The seed will surely grow over the next few weeks, months and years, as we all keep providing it with social warmth, refreshing water and thoughtful food.

~Marlies De Ceuster, Grade Five teacher

Strengthening the foundation of our school by recommitting to the tenets of Social Inclusion as presented to the faculty and staff by Kim John Payne is enlivening. In our day and age it is paramount to be engaged in consciously creating a culture of respect and kindness within our school. I believe such a culture is both needed and wished for by all, and that it will be another reason for everyone to love our school and want to be here. It is satisfying to take steps towards becoming an “engaged and compassionate campus” which will most surely bring about long term stability, growth and joy. I am confident that with Kim’s ongoing support and continuing guidance that we will achieve our goal. I am grateful to the school leadership that supported Kim John Payne’s visit to VWS.

~Andrea McKenzie, Grade Four teacher

Kim John Payne’s Professional Development workshop sparked the year off with a mood of great positivity and shared purpose. He offered us pearls of wisdom, reminded us about certain practices and pedagogy, enlivened discussions with humour, and shared images and stories that moved and inspired. He left us with a myriad of insights that were practical, logical and stemmed from his rich and varied experiences with children. The workshop invigorated my thinking and I feel ready for an incredible year.

~Raja Chrimes, Grade Three teacher

Working with Kim John Payne provided so many inspirations and practical tools for healthy social working across the grades. I am particularly looking forward to having my students involved with other grades, to share their experiences of growing up in the school and to, in turn, guide them through whatever challenges will come up during the year.

~Phil Fertey, Grade Eight teacher

We are building an inclusive, compassionate and engaging school community with transparent processes. We work to support simplifying children’s lives, creating a rhythmical day so they can relax and feel held by the adults in charge. We are striving to create a safe harbour where expressions and resolutions can be heard and met.

~The Early Childhood Faculty