Letter of Reflection from 8th Grade Teacher Ted Curtin

Dear school community,

I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this school over the 16 years that I have been blessed to spend here with you. When I first visited the school – then in Bourne – on a parent visit 18 years ago, I was bowled over by the feeling of goodness that washed over me. Something important and beautiful was surely happening here! I was soon enrolled in the teacher training and eventually did my internship at the school under the guidance of David Gable and Nick VanSant, both of whom were generous with their time and expertise and encouragement. I could not believe my luck when I was offered the First Grade position for the following 2001-2002 school year. 

Mine was a late vocation - I was 46 when I stepped into that classroom; I calculated that, if I was lucky, I might be given the grace to take two classes through the grades. I have been blessed with two groups of amazing individuals as my ‘own’ students. Both of those 8-year stints went by so quickly! During that time I also had the opportunity of working with classes other than my own. My special pleasure was being asked to teach music to students in grades 1-5, before they went on to Mr. Gable’s orchestra and chorus. I loved helping to keep a repertoire of songs in rotation in the school so that they formed a common musical currency. But no matter what I found myself tasked with at the school, it was always a beautiful duty, made easy to carry out because of my wonderful colleagues and the lovely children, and the many dedicated parents who have been such an integral part of the school and of my experience here. What an amazing undertaking a Waldorf school is – sometimes I marvel that it is even possible in this challenging world that we live in. Bravo to you all for being here and for making it happen.

I have decided to take the next year to catch my breath and to try to sort out what is next in my life – though I have no idea what that may be! One thing that I know for sure is that I will miss the children and the school. I will be sure to show up at the Fair and other events, and look forward to seeing you then. My sincere thanks to everyone in the school community for everything that you have shared with me – with us – over the years.


Ted Curtin

Why Latin?

Way back when Rudolf Steiner was discussing Waldorf education with the first group of teachers he was asked about bringing Latin into the curriculum. He was supportive of the idea and thought that it should be taught a bit later in the elementary school years. Steiner saw value in the old Latin and Greek stories. And more importantly, he also stated that by teaching Latin that they could “relieve” the students from some of their German lessons. In other words they could learn some of their grammar in the course of learning their Latin. It was a way to sneak those enjoyable extra grammar lessons in.

The sixth grade is in the midst of finishing their grammar lessons for the year. They have been learning about the different endings for Latin nouns. Memorizing the endings is something that any former Latin students might recall with less than fond memories. For the sixth graders now, they must know their objects, indirect objects, subjects, and possessives, so that they can translate their stories. Lately, the class has been working on a story with Minerva. She is Athena in the Greek version. The Romans changed the names of the gods, so the students have to get familiar with Jupiter, Juno, Venus, and the rest of the gang.  Let’s just say that although the names have been changed, the lesson is still the same…don’t mess with the gods. Minerva changes Arachne, a Lydian girl who thought she was better at making tapestries than Minerva, into a spider. Hence, we have arachnids in English.

In the seventh grade class they finished their weekly vocabulary, with word lists from A to Z. Each week the students learned ten new Latin words. Funny thing though, some of the words turned out to be English words too. Gratis, dictator, and retro, along with many other words, came into English as is. For the word lists I make an effort to choose Latin words that have provided us with derivative English words. In this way the students are building their English vocabularies too. For example negotium, orno, and habito are related to the English words negotiable, ornate, and inhabit. The kids are also learning some of the key prefixes such as in, pro, per, and de which help them to figure out meanings of unfamiliar words. Hopefully it will all pay dividends at SAT time in high school.

As for the eighth grade, they have been learning their comparative and superlative Latin adjectives. From these we received English words such as superior, maximum, and minimum. Learning about the adjective forms also affords the opportunity to remind some members of the class that “bellissima” is translated as most beautiful and not beautifullest. Even the eighth graders need those kinds of reminders now and then.

Class 5 Attends Greek Olympics at Lexington Waldorf School

Having been a parent at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod for four plus years now, I have heard many stories of just how wonderful the tradition of the Greek Olympics are.

This year, as a Class Five parent (Lily Connors) I had the honor of experiencing first hand this fun filled event.

As the ceremonies began, each school demonstrated their Olympic presentation. It is my biased opinion, that ours by far, exceeded all others.  

What will remain in my memory is the last event, the quarter mile race, where Gareth Vos was cheered on by his classmates to capture first place. His classmates gathered around him as he collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.  What a proud moment for these children as they represented WSCC.

It is a gift to watch these children grow and develop together and complete the milestones of childhood as a group. They demonstrated true teamwork and support of each other.  

Although Waldorf does not emphasize winning or losing, it was refreshing to see all the children doing and giving their best in what was truly a memorable event for all.

Lastly, I would like to thank Ms.Joan Baugh for her twenty (20 ) years of dedication to the children and to this event. The students performed with grace and excitement and I firmly believe that this was due to the support and leadership they received from this fine teacher.  Joan...you will be missed.

~Laura Connors
Class 1 & 5 Parent