I am Barbara Albert and I am so pleased you are curious about the impulse behind this workshop.
Without even knowing it, I had been getting ready to be a Practical Arts Teacher for my entire life. From my childhood, I learned to be good at working with my hands, to value handmade things, to have the confidence to try new things and then to persist when things didn’t come easily. I learned that it is OK to be a beginner. I believe that you don’t have to be the best at something to still enjoy doing it and to include it as part of your life.
Each summer I challenge myself to do something that is very much out of my comfort zone. In the last few years I learned to ride a bike (at almost 50 years old), learned to play the ukelele despite never having learned to read music and last summer I climbed my first 14,000 foot mountain. (Mount Bierstadt–even harder than I thought it would be–totally worth it–never need to do it again.)
I take all of the enthusiasm into my classroom where I teach Middle School Woodworking, Basketry, Leatherwork and Self-directed projects, a group of mixed-age students from our homeschool community and Handwork for around 300 students in grades 1 to 8. I have worked in many areas of our Waldorf-inspired public charter school giving me a broad view of our work including: assisting in the Kindergarten classroom for a year, starting the schools library program, helping to coach the Cross-Country Team, starting the competition math team and serving on several committees.
For years I have been visiting Waldorf Practical Arts Teachers at other Waldorf private and charter schools. Always on my drive back home I wish I could spend more time with these amazing educators, curious-about-the-world humans and downright talented people. I would daydream while driving down the road about hosting a meet-up with these teachers. “But who am I,” I wondered, “to be qualified enough to invite these folks onto my turf.” After many years of dreaming and courage building, I am ready to say, “I am exactly who I need to be to do this work. A person who believes that there is beauty and community, who is always striving to bring more into class with them, and with the organizational skills and space to make it happen.”
I am calling on all those skills I learned in my careers before teaching (banker, event planner, caterer, public speaker, non-profit board member) to create the very best kind of workshop that I can imagine for you! I’ve been studying, attending trainings and reaching out to our community to learn what is needed. I am excited to invite you to my corner of the world to talk about the things I love to talk about the most.
I look forward to seeing you in Fort Collins next summer!
Barbara Albert, Practical Arts Teacher, Mountain Sage Community School
What Mrs. Albert Says…
It is OK to be a beginner.Barbara Albert
I know you can do this hard thing.Barbara Albert
What a coincidence, handwork is MY favorite class, too!Barbara Albert