On Wednesday, the Waldorf School of Baltimore launched the 2022-23 school year in a most special way.
In Waldorf education, much energy is put towards ensuring meaningful childhood moments are recognized, honored, and celebrated. The Wildflower Ceremony within the Opening Assembly on the first day of school is one such rite-of-passage beloved for its ability to pull at the heartstrings of the school community, most especially, those with students in the bookending grades.
Leaving the Children’s Garden (Waldorf’s preschool and kindergarten classes) and entering Grade One is a considerable change for children. The students quickly discover that the confidence they have developed in Kindergarten is now needed when they are called, one at a time, by their Class Teacher to enter the elementary school in front of the entire community, thus embarking on their 8 year grade school journey.
Here, as with most things in life, it helps to have a friend.
Waldorf Tradition calls upon its eldest grade to mentor the youngest, and this ceremony plants the seeds of that relationship which will bloom throughout the year. The flower exchange seen here, whereby each first grader is presented a posy of flowers, is a way for the oldest students to welcome the newest as they cross the threshold from one phase of childhood into another.
Seeing each eighth grader guide their first grade “buddy” into school, just as they were escorted and encouraged eight years ago, is a powerful example of coming full circle which holds real significance for students, Faculty, and caregivers alike.
Learn more about the Waldorf School of Baltimore’s holistic and joyful approach to education, www.waldorfschoolofbaltimore.org