At the Waldorf School of Garden City, the school day begins with a seminar called a Main Lesson. During this concentrated period of the day, students take one class at a time - a new intellectual adventure each month. Main Lesson blocks are devoted to the in-depth study of major academic topics, each strategically offered at peak correspondence with a student’s stage of development. The careful placement of these classes is the foundation for an education that promotes personal growth and social confidence while providing strong academic rigor.
Main Lessons are taught in a seminar format. This rhythm allows the teacher time to enter each subject in depth and to approach it in a variety of ways, time to enliven each topic with poetry, painting, modeling, and drama. Intellectual learning is always combined with artistic, rhythmical, and practical work. Every student participates in an interactive learning experience which inspires thoughtful preparation, daily participation, collaborative problem solving. Students are encouraged to explore divergent ideas, challenge assumptions, and even lead class discussions, which help them develop outstanding listening skills and the confidence to speak with clarity and nuance.
Most Lower School and Middle School Main Lessons are taught by Class Teachers while seminars in the High School are taught by High School teachers who specialize in the respective Main Lesson subjects.