Brussel, 15 October 2023

Strengthening the Cooperation Between Teachers and Parents
On April 28 2023, 85 parents’ and teachers’ representatives from 23 countries gathered in Conegliano in Italy to empower cooperation between those two pillars of a Waldorf school community.

Fostering collaborative action between teachers and parents

In Conegliano, the teach­ers were rep­re­sent­ed through the Euro­pean Coun­cil for Stein­er Wal­dorf Edu­ca­tion, while par­ents came either through the Euro­pean Net­work of Stein­er Wal­dorf Par­ents, as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from their nation­al par­ents’ asso­ci­a­tions, or as indi­vid­u­als tak­ing the task of bring­ing the impulse from the meet­ing back to their schools and coun­tries. Both groups agreed that par­ents can sup­port teach­ers by giv­ing them trust, respect­ing their requests, and tak­ing on tasks and respon­si­bil­i­ties. They also agreed that teach­ers should involve par­ents in deci­sion-mak­ing, help them cre­ate par­ents’ groups, and use par­ents’ capac­i­ties to the ben­e­fit of their school and wider school community.

Teachers and parents finding the right way to communicate

Dur­ing the meet­ing, teach­ers and par­ents iden­ti­fied that set­ting up effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels is a key towards ensur­ing mutu­al sup­port between the two groups. They rec­om­mend­ed that it is best to organ­ise oblig­a­tory events at the schools for teach­ers and par­ents, that meet­ing in per­son is always bet­ter for resolv­ing mis­un­der­stand­ings, that teach­ers should be cre­ative and patient with explain­ing Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion to par­ents, and that the focus of joint work should always reach back to their com­mon inter­est, which is serv­ing the chil­drens’ needs.

Empowering the role of Steiner Waldorf parents in a school community

The Euro­pean Net­work of Stein­er Wal­dorf Par­ents (ENSWaP) was for­mal­ly found­ed in 2007 and has since gath­ered almost 10.000 indi­vid­ual mem­bers across Europe. Their mis­sion is to empow­er par­ents and give them sup­port to become pro­duc­tive fac­tors in their Stein­er Wal­dorf schools’ dynam­ics. ENSWaP pro­vides resources to par­ents, space to share ideas, and gath­ers par­ents once a year for a con­fer­ence on a spe­cif­ic top­ic. This year, the HERMMES con­fer­ence in Conegliano served as ENSWaP’s con­fer­ence, as ECSWaP is one of the part­ners in the HERMMES project. In 2024, the par­ents’ net­work will meet in Zagreb to dis­cuss future skills for a dis­rupt­ed world.

A question? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Georg Jürgens