Sixth Grade – Karina Salvesen

Karina Salvesen

Mrs. Salvesen is a Waldorf School graduate. She attended Oberlin College, and completed her B.A. in Liberal Studies, Magna Cum Laude, at Purchase College. She took her Waldorf Elementary Teacher Training, as well as a Waldorf Remedial Education Masters degree at Sunbridge College. She holds a California Multiple Subjects Credential through the Dominican University of California. Karina has been teaching for over 15 years.

In her words:

I cannot imagine another vocation. As a Waldorf teacher, I am engaged. What a boon to be an educator, student, artist, scientist, scholar, mentor, nurse, event planner, colleague, and circus performer. Where else could I find so much diversity in my daily life? As a teacher I am constantly learning, stretching beyond my imagined capacity, meeting the challenges and reveling what children bring. Whether I am quietly researching nuances in grammar or sweating while I balance a headstand, I am fulfilled!

I first stepped into the classroom, nineteen years ago, as a twenty-one year-old assistant. I was immediately and deeply drawn to the children. A hundred questions filled me. Who were they? Who would they become? Why did they behave in such a manner? Why were they considered challenged? And most importantly, how could we, as the adults supporting them, guide them to become everything they were capable of being? How could they become “their best selves?” Like the clichéd bolt of lightning, I had found my destiny. Along with this clear path came a desire to unravel what informed my own education as a life-long Waldorf student.

Through my Waldorf teacher training I discovered how the curriculum met every facet of the child at each stage of development. Through my remedial training I developed a capacity for observation and a deeper understanding of pedagogy. Interestingly, through my studies, the pendulum shifted from unearthing my own experience into incorporating valuable aspects of main stream methods into my teaching. A growing appreciation for mainstream’s focus on accountability, sequencing and transparency blossomed. I recognized that the public method’s concrete, clear-communication and common language are vital components that balance the connectivity, beauty and reverence for humanity existent within the Waldorf schooling.

In my first visit to Novato Charter School, I was immediately impressed by the sweet school that sprang up out of the asphalt of an Air Force Base. It was apparent to me that the lush greenery of the gardens and the joyful cries of happy children were results of incredible work. I felt sure that I would find absolute clarity and organization in the staff, as well as camaraderie and colleagueship within the faculty. I felt sure that a tireless support of a parent community lay at the roots of the beauty and health in the environment. In every facet of its composition I recognized balance and harmony. I was right. I am delighted to become part of Novato Charter School for it is here that all worlds can exist.

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


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