In 1919, at the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Rudolf Steiner encouraged the original core of teachers to work into the future together by carrying the school forward in a new way.
He asked that they take on the rigour of establishing a new social form. He acknowledged that this task would be difficult, but he said that it was absolutely necessary for ongoing social development, that preparation begins for humanity to experience a new way of working with one another.
This form, often called the College of Teachers, was to be based on a spiritual beholding of one another, a working out of consensus, and a conscious attempt by the teachers to align themselves with the “being” of the school through disciplined meditative practice.
College of Teachers
The College of Teachers consciously assumes responsibility for the spiritual and pedagogical life of the School. Through active research and extensive study in weekly gatherings, the group seeks to uphold and apply the principles of Steiner education throughout the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School.
The College of Teachers is the educational decision-maker and guide of the school’s life. Decisions in the College of Teachers are reached on a consensus basis. This sometimes requires more time, but the values of equality and mutual responsibility are a true priority and this form of social working is a role model for students.
Teachers attend weekly meetings and are involved in policy issues, debates and decisions as to teaching and learning practices and strategies, assessment, and other matters relating to the life of the school. This results in the College’s members carrying the responsibility of decisions that direct the path of the school and are actively engaged in developing the ethos as a whole.
College of Teachers’ Structure
The College comprises all permanent teachers who have completed their provisional period at the school, who have indicated their willingness to take on the College’s responsibilities and have been accepted by the College.
The College Nominates one (or more, if a shared role is agreed upon) to be the College Chair.
The College also nominates up to three College members to the Management Team.
The College of Teachers is responsible for overseeing all teaching staff. From interviewing and recommendation of their employment to professional development.
Teaching staff are regularly appraised through the College procedures to ensure the evaluation of teacher competency, thus ensuring also that the quality of teaching at the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School reflects the highest aspiration of Steiner Education. This is a professional exercise that requires clarity, honesty, objectivity, tact and discretion. Borne in mind by all concerned is that everything we do must be in the best interest of the pupils in our care.
The Management Team
The Management Team, comprising the Business Manager and up to three College Representatives, meets weekly and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the School.
The Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall legal, financial and strategic direction of the school. To be elected to the Board, nominees must be current financial members of the Association of the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School Incorporated and have some of the skills and experience outlined in the school’s Constitution such as knowledge/skills in Anthroposophy, Steiner education, law, finance, property, business management and other areas of relevance. Board members are elected at the Annual General Meeting usually held in May each year. Meetings are held once or twice a term.