Earlier this month, we had our senior mentor Chris Bennett visit us for ~ 2 weeks. Chris mentors and guides our teachers regularly. Even during the four years when he could not come down to India, he mentored the teachers online, always available and generously giving of his time, knowledge and wisdom..
The 2 weeks he spent with us was wonderful and very enriching for all of us.
Apart from the individual observations and mentoring sessions for our teachers, we were also very lucky and grateful to Chris for conducting a few group training sessions for our teachers (which was also attended by teachers of Advaya Shaale).
He also gave a talk to the school parents about the state of development/ mindsets of adolescent children and what to expect at that age. It was particularly apt and useful for parents of our recently started High school offering.
Two weeks of class observations, feedback, teacher development meetings and individual encounters have set everyone on fire! We really miss him. Wish he was still around to tell us what we should or should not be doing.
His feedback was always constructive and practical, providing solutions to problems, always keeping the child at the Centre, and doing right by the child.
Our learnings have deepened and there is a new found confidence and enthusiasm amongst the teachers. This article cannot be concluded without a mention of his razor-sharp wit and great sense of humor. He made us sing, he made us laugh. We recited poetry, and algebra was made 'easy'!
With our hearts full, we wished him well. Fare thee well Chris, till we meet you again...
About Chris Bennett:
Chris Bennett was a Waldorf student in England for Grades 5-8, and, after completing a degree in Aeronautics, went to Emerson College in Forest Row, UK, graduating from there in 1972. He has been a Waldorf teacher ever since, alternating between class teaching in the Grades and High School (mainly Maths), in Austria, the UK, Hawai'i, Canada and California. In 2017 he graduated his final 8th Grade at WSOC [Waldorf School of Orange County]. He has been working in Waldorf Teacher Education for more than 25 years, in Europe, North America and Asia, and is currently the director of the WSOC Teacher Training Program. Since 1999 he has been visiting India once or twice a year to work with the Indian Waldorf School movement.