Testimonials

Tutoring 2022-2023

Language Arts, 5th Grade; Language Arts, 8th Grade; Painting, 5th and 8th Grade

Dorit Winter was our children’s amazing Language Arts and Painting teacher during their 5th grade and 8th grades respectively, in 2022-2023. They both thrived under Dorit’s leadership. The literature she consciously selected for them helped our 5th grader, who found reading to be a difficult chore, to become a passionate reader, and our 8th grader completed the year writing a college-level short story suitable for a writing competition. Both children learned to organize their work without parental supervision. The vibrant aquarelle veil paintings from the painting class revealed unknown talents in our children and made them honestly proud of their work. Perhaps a key for Dorit’s unique success is that Language Art and Painting are just a piece in her wholistic pedagogy. She helps her students grow as human beings through developing good habits, having thoughtful conversations and sharing deep wisdom of life. (Mother, Marin Waldorf School)

 

Language Arts, 5th Grade ~ parent’s testimonial

My daughter, Bianca, [quoted below]  had a semester of tutoring with Dorit when she was in fifth grade and needed more one-on-one instruction. She was able to receive rich and deep guidance in grammar, spelling, reading and writing.  Bianca gained more confidence and enjoyed the creative writing portion of the tutoring sessions which included creative, imaginative and pictorial writing.  She looked forward to the assignments and was eager to write and develop her stories. (Eleonora Maugere, mother of Bianca)

Language Arts, 5th Grade ~ student’s testimonial

Dorit Winter really taught me language arts which was not my strong suit.  In fifth grade I had tutoring with Dorit twice a week for the second half of the year.  It was an inspiring experience.  If I didn’t understand something, she would walk me through it step by step.  I very much enjoyed the creative writing sessions and its assignments.  Dorit helped me strengthen my writing capacities with rich concepts and exercises. She laid a strong foundation that is supporting me in my middle school years.  I would love to take more classes with Dorit in the future. (Bianca, 7th grade, San Francisco Waldorf School

 

Reading, 8th Grade 

I approached Dorit when my eighth-grade daughter needed to improve reading comprehension. After a few sessions, Dorit, with her experience and expertise, knew exactly how to help. From the very beginning, Dorit’s approach was not just about teaching, but about understanding and addressing my daughter’s unique needs. During sessions, Dorit directed my daughter to read fairy tales out loud, and then Dorit would ask her questions and discuss aspects of the story with my daughter. The stories and the discussion became progressively more sophisticated. After one semester of tutoring with Dorit, my daughter’s reading comprehension improved markedly, and she became more confident and a stronger reader. I highly recommend Dorit for her exceptional tutoring. (Mother, Marin Waldorf School)

 

Creative Writing, 6th Grade

My son was tutored by Dorit for 4 months while in 6th grade. To start, Dorit sincerely tried to understand the challenges my son was having and then outline a plan tailored to my concerns and my child’s needs. Dorit is friendly yet firm, outlining clear expectations for her students. Before tutoring, my son felt uncomfortable with all writing, and dreaded any writing assignment. Dorit helped him understand how a story is created by deciding on a setting, a character, and a problem, then adding detail. She showed him how to find different words to express the exact meaning of what he wanted to say and to keep a list of the new vocabulary he was learning. While the story he wrote required much assistance from Dorit, he came away feeling proud of the story and his work. (Shilpa Tilwalli, mother, Marin Waldorf School)

 

 

Summer Intensives

Eighth Grade Intensive, June 2023
Dorit’s planning sessions are deeply rooted in Anthroposophy. If you are looking for a strong foundation to your curriculum preparation through Steiner’s work, she’s got you covered. (Rising Percey, rising 8th grade teacher, Marin Waldorf School)
 
Eighth Grade Intensive, June 2021
As a Waldorf teacher, I strive to bring just what the students need at the right time and Dorit’s course did the same for me as a teacher, bringing me just what I needed to prepare for my first Eighth grade class–practical guidance based directly on this stage of child development.  (Aparajita Zutshi, rising 8th grade teacher, Berkeley Rose Waldorf School)
 
Eighth Grade Intensive, June, 2020
Dorit’s course was potent, practical and thorough. I came away not only with a well-curated, relevant set of resources to give me a solid foundation in the content of next year’s 8th grade curriculum, but also with a renewed sense for where my students are in their development. Dorit shared her teaching experience and curriculum knowledge in depth, giving inspiration to fuel me in my work. (Elisa Saltet, rising 8th grade teacher, Berkeley Rose Waldorf School)
 
Seventh Grade Intensive, July, 2020
I have had the privilege of attending Dorit’s summer intensives over the past three years. When it comes to preparing for the year ahead, nothing compares to the three days with Dorit. I leave with a sack full of essential golden nuggets that I gratefully pull out throughout my year of teaching. Not only does my class benefit from what I gain during the intensive, my own connection with anthroposophy and its relationship to the curriculum and child development deepens in ways that help me sustain my love for this job. (Mia Terziev, rising 7th grade teacher, Marin Waldorf School)
 
Fifth Grade Intensive, July, 2020
I really appreciated the anthroposophical lens through which we looked at the bigger picture of where the 5th grader is and what’s in store in terms of their continued development through the upper grades.  Your overview of curriculum content was thorough and again, I value how each subject we discussed came back to acknowledging the growth of the whole child with specific indications as to how to meet individual as well as collective class community needs at this critical time of soul-life transformation.  Thank you for your insight and for providing materials and tools to help us move forward into our fifth grade year. (Rochelle Reed, rising 5th grade teacher, Alice Birney School, Sacramento)
 

Teaching

Guest Teacher, 8th grade Creative Writing Main Lesson, October 2021

Dorit is a master teacher. Over the course of three weeks my students were given scaffolded challenges that pushed them gently out of their comfort zones. They were engaged and interested. Dorit’s style of bringing and expecting excellence had them on the edge of their seats. Dorit’s lessons were thorough and memorable, with “formulas” for achievable success. Every minute of the morning was filled with meaningful learning. The students made tremendous progress with their writing abilities during this block. In our meetings, Dorit relayed very specific insights about the students which helped me in my teaching for the rest of the year. (Mia Terziev,  8th grade class teacher, Marin Waldorf School)

 

Guest Teacher, 7th grade Northern Renaissance Main Lesson, March 2015

Dorit brought her deep knowledge of art history and of child development to the teaching of the northern Renaissance in the seventh grade. It was wonderful to leave the class in her capable hands. (Laurence Jaquet, 8th grade class teacher, San Francisco Waldorf School)

 

From Notes by 7th Graders after a Block on Creative Writing, 2022-2023

  • You taught me how to describe things as they are, and that is a great value. Then the reader would picture that very object, and that would make the story just a little more believable. I hope to continue to learn more about wiring, maybe with you!
  • Thank you for teaching us! You are such a thorough and thoughtful teacher, I can’t wait to see you again.PS: I now pay more attention to repeated words in a sentence.
  • Thank you for teaching creative writing! I enjoyed it a lot, especially writing stories. I learned a lot too, generic to specific really helped my writing. My grammar improved, and I won’t forget my homophones again!
  • I really enjoyed learning everything you had to bring to the classroom. You taught in a very straight forward and easy-to-follow way. 
  • I really appreciate your teaching style and how you incorporate fun into each day.
  • The “correction dictionary” was something I have never done and it was really helpful.
  • I really enjoyed making verb lists; they made me realize how many more words one could use to describe a scenario.
  • I really enjoyed constructing stories and poems in your class. I feel that I got a lot better at not repeating words and knowing my homophones.
  • Being taught by you was amazing, educational and fun. I am trying to make my handwriting better because of your encouragement. Thank you!

Working with Faculty

Sage Advice, March, 2016:

Master Teacher Dorit Winter was at faculty meeting last week to share about her recent creative writing block with the 8th grade. Dorit’s emphasis on strong form and high expectations shone through, sometimes with a knowing grin. As a visiting teacher, she said she felt free not have to pick her battles… “I battled every one,” and that ran the gamut from punctuality to punctuation. “With impunity I raised the bar. Thank goodness for 40 years of experience,” she said. Clearly, Dorit enjoyed the 8th graders and pushed them to grapple with the rules and requirements of creative writing, and then some. She shared a few of the finished stories, which were impressive, and that showed that the efforts were well worth it. (Will Stapp, Business Manager, Marin Waldorf School)

 

Evaluation of Class and Subject Teachers, Halton Waldorf School, Burlington, Canada, November, 2015:

Thank you so much for getting us these reports in good time and for providing such a good level of detail. We appreciate your visit at our school and the feedback that you provided. (Louise Thode, Evaluation Mandate Group, Halton Waldorf School)

Thank you for visiting our school and helping with the evaluation process.  This is such important work and your deep insights have been very helpful.  We appreciated your clarity and forthrightness.  The practical suggestions have proven to be very valuable.  (Lylli Anthon, Faculty Chair/Enrollment, Halton Waldorf School)

Thank you Dorit for your clear, objective observations of our teachers’ and of our students’ work.  Your observations, insights, and suggestions were helpful to our teachers, to our mentors, and to our pedagogical leadership team.  Your positive and forthright approach made working with you a pleasure. Thank you also for your “little green book,”  The Art and Science of Teaching Composition.  This book is a treasure for the Waldorf 7th Grade Teachers and beyond. (Kathryn Humphrey, Class Teacher, Mentor, Lower School Co-Chair, Toronto Waldorf School)

 

“Seeking Clarity,” Three presentations (including 3 painting sessions) for back–to-school conference, Waldorf School of Orange County and other regional Waldorf schools, August, 2015:

Thank you for your continued inspiration and clarity of thought! (Robin Theiss, High School humanities teacher and Faculty Chair)

Thank you for the three days of working together. Everything you presented was insightful, and  Waldorf School of San Diego is using the six characteristics and inner work as a basis for an all-school meeting. (Bonnie Holden, Director of Pedagogy, Waldorf School of Orange County)

 

Study of Man: Two presentations for San Francisco Waldorf School back-to-school retreat for faculty, staff and board, August, 2015:

Thank you for being with our colleagues for the two mornings.  What you brought has galvanized a few things, namely a commitment in our high school faculty meeting to carry on with the Study of Man.  (Nick Wong, High School humanities teacher.)

Thank you again for the inspiring mornings yesterday and today. One cannot be reminded too often about what is the real background of what we are trying to do as Waldorf teachers. And your insights as you explored that background brought up again the idealism I, for one, have always carried. Now, I think we can start… (Joan Caldarera, High School humanities teacher)

The reason I love being at this school is that I can sit in a room with Dorit Winter and have these deep discussions that remind us of what we are trying to do here. (Josh Allain, Assistant Athletics Director)

Starting our year off working with Dorit was the perfect beginning. Dorit brought the Study of Man to us in a way that inspired us to continue without her. Now faculty meetings are a place of study. (Lisa Anderson, High School Administrative Coordinator)

 

“The Astral Fog:” Three presentation for Marin Waldorf School back-to-school meetings, August, 2015:

There was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for your visit from the faculty and I really appreciate what you have brought us; it is just the right way to start the year! (Dan McKinnon, Kindergarten teacher and College Chair)

 

Raising Spelling Consciousness; a workshop for teachers, June 2015:

The spelling workshop was very productive and Dorit’s clarity so refreshing. (Deborah Krikorian, 8th grade class teacher, Marin Waldorf School)

Looking at Spelling from a new angle of creating plans, practices and expectations toward student accountability is invigorating for any teacher. Dorit looks at the frustrations and concerns around Spelling and helps the teacher recognize small but significant steps to waking students up to precision in spelling.  Our course was attended by experienced lower and upper grades teachers who have approached Spelling from many directions, yet were stimulated to new thinking by the practical advice and fresh insights Dorit offered.  I am inspired to apply this approach to building accountability for basic skills and correcting common errors to my lessons in Music and Orchestra. (Carol Adee, Music Teacher, Marin Waldorf School)

I really enjoyed thinking more deeply about spelling, habits and accountability. Well done and thanks. (Wendy Baschkopf, 3rd grade class teacher at San Francisco Waldorf School)

 

Three Presentations on “Self and School” for Faculty at San Francisco Waldorf Grade School,  spring, 2015:

Your lectures were incredibly well received.  It was a transcendent moment for us. Thank you again for all your contributions.  We are by far richer for having you here this year. (Karen Nelson, Faculty Chair, San Francisco Waldorf School)

 

Mentoring

Dorit has been my mentor since I became a class teacher nine years ago. She observes my main lesson twice a year and we meet to discuss my teaching, the curriculum, and my students. Dorit’s insights and feedback have been instrumental to my success as a teacher. Dorit has guided me to a deep understanding of the pedagogical impulses behind the curriculum for each grade. Her advice has helped me to create healthy, effective classroom management strategies. Her congenial feedback has led me to direct my striving in positive, life-changing ways. My students have benefited immensely from her astute observations and recommendations. Dorit is able to “get to the bottom” of what a child needs in the classroom after observing one main lesson and she makes practical suggestions for helping the child thrive. I have had several difficult situations (both with students and parents) turn around after a visit and discussion with Dorit. I am forever grateful for her listening ear, interest in my students, and support of my work as a Waldorf teacher. If you are interested in excellence, Dorit will help you achieve it. (Mia Terziev, Class Teacher, Marin Waldorf School)

 

Working with Former Students

Veil Painting with Dorit, Sept.-Dec. 2015

Last fall, I was very fortunate to take a series of Saturday veil painting classes with two other adults at Dorit Winter’s home studio. Dorit is a master teacher, and a very fine veil painter, so I was delighted that she was willing to teach painting classes on Saturdays.

Although I knew the basics of veil painting, I just never seemed to find the time to paint on my own. Taking a painting class with a couple fellow students, helped motivate me. There was something special about painting for a few hours with two or three fellow students, and I enjoyed the warm camaraderie of taking an artistic journey with others of like mind.
Dorit is a marvelous painting teacher. She painted alongside her students and occasionally demonstrated technique, then let us have ample time to get into our own flow. Dorit offered personal instruction when needed, but we also benefitted as a group from helpful suggestions Dorit offered other individuals in our intimate circle.

If one has the opportunity to take a session of painting classes with Dorit, I recommend doing it without hesitation. Veil painting is a marvelous (and occasionally miraculous) artistic process; it forces one to slow down and go on an artistic journey of self-­-discovery that is always personally informative, and that sometimes can be even deeply transformative. I loved my painting classes with Dorit. I definitely grew artistically and personally from the experience, and I look forward to taking additional classes with her in the future. (Fiona Stewart