Green Conscious Kids and Green Conscious Beings are here so you all can easily see all the hot, frisky and deeply serious events going on around, and created by, Prof. Johanna Sophia and the awesome people of all ages who participate. Of course, it’s all about sustainable living and creating crazy-delish fresh foods that enable even more frisky self-confidence because they make us so boundlessly healthy!
Kids and big people can come to art classes and music classes or to learn about the whole planet, its people and languages. Parents are here to get advice and support each other in creating more positive, creative environments for their kids and to learn about Waldorf education. Inevitably, our quest for a more peaceful, jumpin’ joyful, intensively sensual and truthful era on the planet leads us to tackle all sorts of related issues.
Teaching, Speaking, Waldorf-Related Experience:
Born into a Waldorf family as the daughter of Sabine Duering-Puetz and Gotthilf-Michael Puetz, I have been seeing the world from a Waldorf perspective all my life. As a child, I attended the Waldorfschule Benefeld, grade 1, and subsequently the Rudolf-Steiner-Schule Bochum, grades 3 – 11. My parents both remained Waldorf teachers and my father became the founder and/or co-founders of many Waldorf schools and institutions.
At age 14, I spent 3 months in Oslo, Norway, with godmother Gertrud Herzberg – wife of Christian Community priest A. Herzberg. I learned to speak Norwegian quite fluently and focused on studying piano.
As of age 14, I took singing lessons with my godfather, Juergen Schriefer, the dedicated inheritor of the Werbeck School of Singing. These singing skills were employed in my stage and film career as well as in all my pedagogical work.
At age 17, I took a break from school and accepted a 1-year (9 months) internship offer at Camphill Aberdeen, Schotland: I was considered a fully responsible co-worker with two girls under my guidance; also was 1st grade teaching assistant. My English was fluent enough to be perceived as British by those who did not know me.
At age 18: I became the kindergarten assistant teacher at the Waldorf Kindergarten Homburg/Saar (6 months) under the guidance of the founders, the Guenther family.
At age 19, I was accepted into the first class of the Institute for Waldorf Paedagogy Witten-Annen (it’s founding year – founded by Gotthilf-Michael Puetz, Eginhardt Fuchs, Johannes Kiersch). For practical training, I substituted for the 6th grade class teacher at Waldorfschule Evinghausen and taught a full block of Geometry. I taught English and French to several grades as well. I was 19 years old and teaching a full-time teaching schedule, on my own.
(I did not complete the Teacher Training Program at Witten-Annen at the time due to an invitation to perform under Peter Zadek at the theatre in Bochum (Schauspielhaus Bochum) which led to a career on stage, in TV, and in Film – see separate CV)
At age 27, I moved to Harare, Zimbabwe, where I founded Stage Studio a school for movement and dance. I designed its entire curriculum for multiple teachers, age groups, and styles. At Stage Studio, I taught, among other things, Drama, Movement for Actors (a newly conceptualized movement program free of external, preconceived form but fully exploring body and space as well as interaction with others), and Movement for Young Children – the children’s classes were based on a combination of modern dance, circle games and Eurythmie. Stage Studio operated for 4 years until I moved to New York.
I was invited to become the movement and coordination teacher to special needs children at St. Catherine’s School in Harare, using mainly Eurythmie and rhythm games.
At age 43/44, now a recent mother of two, after a career in Acting, Choreography, Writing, Directing, Filmmaking and Teaching as Adjunct Professor at various universities (see Narrative CV), I went back to Witten-Annen to complete my diploma in Waldorf Teaching, participating in all required courses and writing the thesis “The Multicultural Waldorf School – Concept for a ‘Planetarian’ School of the Future”. While at the Institute, I also accepted a teaching position at Rudolf-Steiner Schule Billerbeck, Witten, teaching 6th grade as well as English classes in high school grades.
Following my Thesis presentation and public lecture “The Multicultural Waldorf School” at the Institute, I was invited to Romania, to create a Seminar for Language Teaching Methodology for Waldorf teachers of the region and to teach French and German to students at the young Waldorf schools in Bucharest founded after Romania’s independence.
Returning from 3 months in Romania, I was asked to ‘rescue’ a problematic 1st grade at a young Waldorf school in the US, the High Meadow School in Kingston, Rhode Island. From January through June I taught Main Lessons, German, French, Movement & Acrobatics, and Music in this first grade. At the end of the school year this first grade presented, among other skills, a play in German (“Krach die ganze Nacht” written by J. Sophia on the basis of “Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen”), a play in French (“Bijoux” original play written by J. Sophia), a recorder and singing concert and rhythmical games. This first grade’s beautiful watercolor paintings also contributed to the art auctioned at the school auction. In addition to teaching 1st grade, I created and taught a Seminar for Recorder Playing for Teachers.
While raising my children, and until my father’s death in 2008, I participated in and co-created many watercolor painting workshops of my father, Gotthilf-Michael Puetz, at his studio and for the city of Chemnitz, Germany.
During the years 2004 through Spring 2010, I homeschooled my children using the Oak Meadow Waldorf-based homeschool curriculum whenever my children were not in Waldorf schools in Germany (Bochum and Chemnitz), the US or Namibia.
In the Spring of 2007, my new organization Sophia’s International Learning Center in New Berlin, New York, offered a group Waldorf homeschooling program for a handful of children of different ages. This program operated very successfully for 3 months through the end of the school year and completed its trial run with a public concert presentation and the play “Cages” by Dean Mayers. Unfortunately, continuance of this model was not financially feasible.
Thus, in the Fall of 2007, I was homeschooling just my two children again and traveled with them and two German exchange students through the US, visiting 17 different Waldorf schools. Articles about this journey appeared in Freunde der Erziehungskunst (Friends of Waldorf Education) and The Gazette, Norwich, New York. A book about this trip has been published in a trial printing (SILC-Books) under the title “Freedom-Fun-Genius – Turning Learning into Adventure” and will be reissued under the title “Once Around The USA – A Family Field Trip”
Slide Show Presentations about this trip are offered under the title “Once Around the USA”
February of 2008 took me to Namibia to help out at the teacher training seminar of the Waldorf School Windhoek – teaching art, clay sculpture and the concept of being the artist in the classroom. At the same time, my main task became working with the 10th grade, creating and staging their 10th grade play production – we studied acting and very successfully performed “The Skin of Our Teeth” by Thornton Wilder (adapted to Namibia by J. Sophia) at the Waldorf School and at other public venues in Windhoek. Furthermore, a Slide Show Presentation about this trip was created under the title “A Visit to Africa – Desert and City Life in Namibia”
Since 2006 I have welcomed troubled youth from Waldorf schools in Germany into my home and Sophia’s Center to give them a new angle on life and learning, help them find their own initiative, and to complete meaningful projects granting success experiences. Most of these students also increased their English language skills significantly.
Articles about this work can be found under www.anthroposophie-im-alltag.de, specifically http://www.anthroposophie-im-alltag.de/leben-im-alltag/2009/rohe-natur-norm-oder-form/ These articles are in German. Many additional articles can be found in Eco-local-living magazine and other English language publications.
Some of my pedagogical concepts and considerations, based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy and writings as well as my own, can be found in my Thesis, in Freedom-Fun-Genius, and in the many articles I have written.
For the last two decades, I have coached parents and future parents how to include more healthy foods in their lives, how to turn their interactions into positive wording rather than negative ones, and how to have a and maintain a close relationship with their children, discussing health, love, sex, politics, culture, career, and purpose. I have seen many beautiful success stories and I look forward to creating many more.