Born in California, Tammy Duncan has been playfully teaching since childhood. Gathering up neighborhood children to attend makeshift summer schools in her backyard where learning was achieved through skits, carnivals and even the occasional gambling casino! Struggling with dyslexia and being a younger, dreamy child in school, Tammy did not excel at academics; she was more interested in the arts and finding ways to engage people in activities that were different yet playful. After spending her early adult years working in the travel industry and exploring many cultures and parts of the world, she discovered the Waldorf philosophy in the late 1980's. This was like the proverbial "coming home" as it combined so much of what she already practiced in her life. She received her Waldorf teaching certification in 1997 from Rudolf Steiner College and opened up a Waldorf preschool. However, this was not enough. Tammy longed to have a broader understanding of education so while running her preschool she finished her BA in Education at Sacramento State University receiving an Adult teaching credential in Early Childhood Education along with a Public school credential in Multicultural studies from UC Davis. She has been a class teacher for the past 11 years at both public and private Waldorf schools in the Sacramento area. Coming full circle, Tammy has taught teacher training workshops at Rudolf Steiner College and is the founder of NESSENSE, an organization designed to bring fun and inspiring Waldorf training workshops to schools locally and around the world. Her hope, with the help of many talented colleagues, is to joyfully stimulate creativity and nurture the kid in all of us thus making this crucial career sustainable.
I am Margarita Hawk, I am a native of Mexico and have lived in the United States for the past twenty seven years. My education includes a B.A. in Tourist Administration and an early childhood diploma from Rudolf Steiner College. I am the proud mother of six children and I also have six grandchildren. I bring to Waldorf Education seventeen years of experience in the following areas:
Having taught Eurythmy in pedagogical and artistic settings on 3 continents for a few decades, Helga Michaels has devoted her life to making Eurythmy accessible to people of all ages across the globe. Recently retired from the Sacramento Waldorf School she now travels between the US and Europe teaching and doing coaching and choreography for kids and professional eurythmists.
Having had the great fortune to have been born into a Waldorf home in Colombia, South America, I cannot take full credit for the love of children and education that have been present in my life since early childhood. My parents instilled in me reverence and enthusiasm for life and also a great acknowledgement for the spiritual underpinnings of Waldorf Education. They were fervent contributors and dedicated parents of the Waldorf School movement in Colombia.
After four years of primary Waldorf schooling, I then received a bilingual education from Colegio Bennett and then a B.A. in humanities from Universidad Xaverina, a prestigious Franciscan university in the heart of Colombia and also my father’s alma mater. Years later, in 1999, I would become the Spanish teacher at the Waldorf School of Orange County, where my training to become a Waldorf teacher began, finally obtaining my certificate in the summer of 2004. I have had the enhancing opportunity to participate in trainings in my own country, USA, Brazil, Mexico and Europe.
Education and humor go hand in hand, and growing up in the warm valley of Colombia, surrounded by mountains and in close proximity to the mountains, is enough to make one giddy inside. Without knowing, destiny propelled me to a life filled with children and the humor and enthusiasm they bring. Throughout my fifteen years of experience as a Waldorf teacher, I have learned the value and necessity of making happy and meaningful memories while teaching. It is my passion to combine sound expertise based on years of spiritual research with inspiration drawn from those who know how to have fun the best: children.
When in 2011, I began with a dear colleague to visualize a way to bring this passion for the benefit of our rapid growing education movement, it became clear, that my upbringing, primary and higher education, had all been there as part of a higher world direction, and now, it lies ripe in front of me for the unfolding. It is of no coincidence to realize that throughout the world, Waldorf is a powerful source in education. Yet, Waldorf schools are facing strenuous challenges to meet the rapidly changing world, the social sphere and the demand for rigorous academia. I believe that it is time to have real faith in this spiritually based pedagogy and ascertain its gui9ding principals without dogmas and with practices grounded in present time. After all, one of the greatest gifts of Waldorf pedagogy is its adaptability. My goal is to transmit this passion into gatherings and workshops where educators can find inspiration, humor, and truly modern spiritual ways to reach their potential in the classroom and in their own personal lives.