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Bringing Balance to Education
Dina Fieck has been the Principal at The Alice Springs Steiner School since 2020 and her career in teaching has taken her around the world.
This extract was taken from the Centralian Today who spoke to Dina about Leadership and Wellbeing at our school.
‘I began teaching in my early twenties and welcomed additional responsibilities in schools. This led me to study a Master of Training & Development (UNE) & a Master of Education (Flinders University). I then worked in leadership roles at Mt Barker Waldorf School (Adelaide), Brooklyn Waldorf School (USA) and The Forest House Waldorf School in Hong-Kong (China).
‘Steiner schools have always had a collaborative leadership approach allowing teachers to be part of educational discussions and decision making. Teachers are encouraged and supported to bring new ideas for all aspect of the classroom teaching and playground management. I strive to practice authentic leadership and I have an open-door policy.’
‘Wellbeing at our school is our curriculum, which is consciously based on the developmental stages of the children. Even though the world is always changing, as are children, the development stages remained similar. We wait for children to be developmentally ready before introducing topics and when this happens, children learn faster and more efficiently. For example: we will wait to introduce fractions until Class 4, turning 10 years old, as we know it is the right time to move away from just whole numbers, or, for another example, we address the need for the 12-year-old to challenge the world around by the study of the Ancient Romans and debating.’
‘Our environment also supports wellbeing. Our classrooms have natural light, no devices, soft and organic materials. There is little plastic, and all classrooms have a cosy corner or a quiet space that children can retreat to if needed. Our classrooms are calm places that allow children to focus and rarely would you hear a teacher raise their voice. Of course, we also do want our children to run, play soccer, and shout but they can do that outside!’
‘We enhance wellbeing throughout our school through our curriculum and activities providing a balance in educating the academic, the emotional life and the ability for movement through sport and craft. When the child is happy, learning happens freely.’
Published in the Centralian Today. Thursday 29th of February, 2024.