Waldorf Handwork Educators

Who WHE Are

We began in 2013 as a small group holding in person summer conferences in a retreat setting in Southern California for anyone who self-identifies as a teacher of handwork in a Waldorf environment. In 2018 we held our first February conference, in 2019 our first homeschool conference, and in 2020 our first Austral-Asian conference. Our organization has evolved over the years! In order to meet changing needs, we pivoted to online conferences in July 2020. With this new growth came a new name, and a renewed purpose.

Today Waldorf Handwork Educators has expanded to offer a wide variety of programs. In addition to our July and February conferences we now offer professional development opportunities, handwork skills classes for home-based learning and new teachers, and a two-year handwork teacher training program. We also offer handwork curriculum for homeschoolers and new teachers in classroom settings. Offering these programs online allows us to welcome colleagues from around the world, creating space to learn from the diversity of our shared experiences.

Waldorf Handwork Educators is dedicated to:

 - Offering the highest quality, forward-thinking professional development and teacher training for handwork teachers in Waldorf schools and other educational settings.

- Bringing the Waldorf Handwork curriculum to homeschooling parents and home-based programs who seek to bring handwork to their children in an effective, lively, and developmentally appropriate way.

- Working collaboratively with Waldorf handwork teachers around the world to establish an international peer-learning network.

- Balancing the outpouring of the school year by reconnecting with colleagues and rediscovering balance, passion, and purpose.

- Offering online programs to increase accessibility for handwork teachers worldwide.

- A reputation for warmth, acceptance, and collaborative, respectful group dynamics. 

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Our Community


Founders and Directors

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Elizabeth Seward

Elizabeth Seward has 35+ years teaching Handwork and other subjects in public, private, and homeschool Waldorf settings. She was co-director of a nationally recognized Waldorf teacher training institute from 2000 - 2003. Elizabeth is a trained Waldorf class teacher in the grades. She holds a PhD in Education, an MA in second language learning, and an MA in Education and Spirituality. She is author of Teaching Through Stories: Jane and Jeremy Learn to Knit


Shellie Smith

Shellie Smith has been an educator in public and private schools for 17 years. She has been teaching handwork grades 1-8 at the Haleakala Waldorf School on Maui since 2010. Shellie completed her Waldorf handwork teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner College.  She is author and illustrator of A Twisted Tangled Tale , A Handwork Fairy Tale

Core Faculty

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Betty Staley

Betty Staley has been a Waldorf teacher for over fifty years in kindergarten, grades, and high school. As one of the founders of Rudolf Steiner College, she directed the High School Teacher Education Program and taught foundations courses in Anthroposophy. Betty helped to found a number of Waldorf high schools. She consults with Waldorf schools (public and private) and is an international lecturer on Waldorf education, adolescence, and parenting.  She is the author of eight books including two on adolescence - Between Form and Freedom and Adolescence, the Sacred Passage. Her newest book, Tending the Spark, Lighting the Future for Middle School Students, has been a study topic in many schools.

Website: bettykstaley.com

Yoriko Yamamoto

Yoriko Yamamoto (she/her) was born and raised in Tokyo. 

She teaches Handwork in the San Francisco Waldorf School. She also teaches Japanese folk toy art, Temari, using cotton thread she dyes herself using many plants from the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from Yokohama National University (BA), San Francisco State University (MA) and Rudolf Steiner College Handwork Teacher Training.


Dahlia Haberman

Dahlia has been an educator all her adult life, starting as  a preschool teacher in 1980 in a Kibbutz in Israel. Currently she has been teaching Handwork to grades 1-8,  in the Davis Waldorf School, Davis, CA, since 2005. 

Dahlia completed her Handwork Teacher Training in Israel in the School of Education, Oranim and in the Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks. Dahlia comes from a long line of makers and her life mission is to empower children and adults to become creative makers.


Camille McHaffie

Camille McHaffie teaches handwork at the Edinburgh Steiner School in Scotland and oversees the school’s costume department. She earned her B.A. in English and German in the U.S. and later trained as a class teacher in the Edinburgh Steiner Teacher Training Course, subsequently completing her Handwork Teacher Training in
Berlin, Germany. Camille’s current area of research focus is the early development of the Steiner-Waldorf handwork curriculum at the time of Hedwig Hauck and how that influences the current teaching of handwork. Her other areas of interest are quilting,
developing her pattern making skills and learning how to repair treadles.


Jodie Jean Marston-Arellano

Jodie Jean Marston-Arellano grew up performing bluegrass and folk music in the Sierra Nevada of California. She has taught handwork, music, and pre-school, with training as a Waldorf Handwork Educator through the Rudolf Steiner College of Sacramento.  Jodie Jean lives in Talent, Oregon at Wildflower Farm, where she raises a small flock of sheep and sells handspun yarns. She teaches guitar, voice, and songwriting lessons from her home studio.

Website: www.jodiejeanmarston.com

Guest Teachers

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Kevin Avison

Kevin trained as a "mainstream teacher" in the 1970s & taught in Secondary & Primary schools before moving to Steiner education via a (curative) "home-school" for children with multiple special needs. From there, Kevin moved into Waldorf education, teaching classes in three UK Waldorf schools. He worked for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (the UK Waldorf association) full time after leaving teaching, establishing the Steiner Waldorf Advisory Service & travelling regularly to schools throughout UK & Ireland. He was for a number of years UK representative to the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education. He is author of "A Handbook for Waldorf Class Teachers" & an editor of "Towards Creative Teaching", "Tasks & Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum" & author of the introduction to the most recent edition of Karl Stockmeyer's compilation of Rudolf Steiner's indications for the first Waldorf School. Now retired, he serves on the governing Council for Elmfield Steiner School, responsible for teaching & learning. He and his wife Jane, a Waldorf school administrator, have two grown-up, Waldorf educated children, now in their 40s.

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Michael Howard

Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1946, Michael began sculpting at the age of fifteen. He studied sculpture at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and received a BFA from Eastern Michigan University, and a MA in Fine Arts from Columbia Pacific University in CA. He met the work of Rudolf Steiner in 1969 when he attended Emerson College in England. Since that time, he has researched the relationship between qualities of movement, sound, and form. Exploring the nature of metamorphosis has also been a central part of his creative activity. He is the author of 8 books including Art as Spiritual Activity, Rudolf Steiner’s Contribution to the Visual Arts, and Educating the Will. 

Website: livingformstudio.org

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Robyn Brown

Robyn has been a Waldorf Teacher for over 33 years. After taking a class from Kindergarten through 8th grade, she went to work at Sommerset school, a school based on Rudolf Steiner’s Curative Education work, then started her own program, Mulberry Classroom. Curative Education has been Robyn’s focus for the last 23 years. She offers a Curative Education Training Program, and a newer course, “Practical Applications of Anthroposophical Education,” which is designed to help teachers deepen their own understanding of Steiner’s education focusing on the needs of child development. Robyn teaches in many training programs, gives workshops, and mentors schools, teachers and parents around the world.  She authored an excellent book “A Practical Guide to Curative Education” based on Steiner’s Curative Education.

Website:  www.themulberrycenterforcurativeeducation.org 

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Cynthia Hoven

Cynthia Hoven has over 35 years of experience working with Anthroposophy, Waldorf education and Eurythmy. Since 1992 she has been a key professor at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, where she has taught courses in all these subjects and
founded and directed a full-time Eurythmy training program for 10 years. She has travelled and taught extensively both eurythmy and anthroposophy throughout the world and is enthusiastic about working in international settings. In 2015 she created a ground-breaking eurythmy resource online so that people everywhere can develop their own personal practice, and now also offers regular online webinars for people worldwide.

Website: eurythmyonline.com
Book: Eurythmy Movements and Meditations: a Journey to the Heart of Language

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Kate Hammond

Kate Hammond is a Waldorf alumna and has a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Applied Linguistics. She studied Bothmer Gymnastics in England in 1995. While class teaching at the Calgary Waldorf School, she also completed her movement training with the Spacial Dynamics Institute in 1999. She graduated from Emerson College with a certificate in Waldorf Teacher Training specializing in Early Childhood Education, and has taught kindergarten, preschool, parent and child classes, and infants. She has also taught adult literacy, children with special needs and movement workshops. She has had a lifelong interest in adult education and has enjoyed living in many anthroposophical communities all over the world.


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Melissa Koeneman

Melissa Koeneman lives on the island of Maui with her husband and two young children, a son and a daughter. She is originally from Portland, Oregon, although she has lived in Hawaii for 10 years and, prior to that, resided in Traverse City, Michigan. She is a Business Major with a focus on Leadership, and is working diligently towards her MBA. She has been involved with education for 10 years and Waldorf Education since 2016. Her husband is a Waldorf teacher and her son is a Waldorf preschool student. She loves farming and homesteading, children and animals, swimming, hiking, and spending quality time with her growing family.