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Former teacher wants to start Waldorf school

For about six years now, Barbara Moore has wanted to start a Waldorf school in Pinellas County. A former public and private school teacher, Moore, like others, has found a philosophical home in the Waldorf method. "The Waldorf schools sustain the wonder, the reverence for the natural world, the curiosity about life that children already have," Moore said. "They produce socially conscious people who feel connected to the earth, who feel part of global harmony.

"They aren't just aiming to give isolated facts. They're aiming to give children the feeling of what it's like to be an animal with four legs, what it's like to be Martin Luther standing up to the Catholic church."

Moore, who started the now-defunct Children's Place private school in Clearwater years ago, had to leave there after she divorced because she couldn't make a living. She wound up selling high-tech electronic components to companies that build kidney dialysis machines and computer modems, but teaching is still her love.

And when she gets back into it, she wants it to be with a Waldorf school.

"If you don't have children's interest, you don't have the children," Moore says. "I think about those beautiful books the Waldorf children make, and then I look at what comes home from public school. Mimeos, fill-in-the-blanks. It isn't beautiful. It isn't something the child has lived with, something the child has put himself into."

Twice before Moore has found small cadres of people who had some interest in Waldorf. But no school came of it. This time she and two others are talking about a play group for preschoolers that could grow into a school.

"What I want for myself is a chance to really have a hand in improving education. And I want to see if there are teachers, parents, people out there who are interested, or curious enough, to find out what Waldorf is."

Moore and her cadre plan to stage an informational meeting on Waldorf in July. For more information, call 581-6195.