During a teaching career spanning over fifty years, Anne taught children at every grade level from first grade through junior college. She draws from this broad base of experience in her memoir/inquiry What Are We Going To Learn Today? Inspired by a passion for learning and teaching and by love for children, she describes the fundamental principles that support vibrant learning and offers evidence how our current education system, driven by scripted textbooks and high stakes testing, actually damages children and blocks development of their capacities, thereby stunting growth and healthy maturation and imperiling our future survival as a species.
Anne graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Dramatic Art and English from U.C. Berkeley at a time when tuition was essentially free ($150 a year!) and California's public schools were considered among the best in the world. After completing a master's degree in Theater Arts from the University of Minnesota, she was accepted by U.C.'s Graduate Internship Program, an innovative path into teaching for college graduates and professionals.
Inspired by passionate seminar discussions and wise mentoring, Anne and several of her program cohorts received grants for projects designed to integrate and build community among diverse groups of students, including the first “school within a school” pilot programs. Anne's work at Friend's Select School in Philadelphia and at Berkeley High in California are described in Terry Borton's Reach, Touch and Teach.(McGraw Hill, 1970).
In the public education phase of her career Anne taught high school and junior college students and led creativity workshops and classes for teachers at U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz, the California State Arts Commission and the Teachers Active Learning Center, San Francisco. Anne began to investigate alternative education that respected teachers and supported arts-based learning when many school districts instituted scripted textbooks and teaching protocols in the early 1980's.
In 1986, after being introduced to Waldorf education by her friend and mentor, M.C. Richards, Anne began on a path that allowed her to teach every grade (1-12) multiple times. In 1998, after pioneering a Waldorf High School in Santa Rosa for eight years, Anne met the first graders who would travel with her for the next eight years before becoming the largest class to graduate from Marin Waldorf School. Here's how she puts it in the Preface to her book:
“Although I deeply appreciate the insights that teaching in Waldorf schools opened up for me, my writing is not about the strengths or weaknesses of Waldorf education, but about some basic principles that I learned as I moved through eight years with one class of children. These children were my teachers as I learned to adapt to their needs at each stage. This experience gives me a perspective that is not available to most public or private school teachers, who are required to specialize in particular subjects or grade levels.”
After graduating with her students, Anne supervised beginning teachers for Touro University and became School Mentor at Live Oak Public Charter School. Her final three years before full retirement were spent as Education Director of Woodland Star Public Charter School in Sonoma, CA where she had the opportunity to share her experience with a receptive faculty and to work with them to ensure that all school policies supported healthy maturation for all children.
Anne is married to a fellow thespian she has known since their undergraduate days in Berkeley. She is the mother of three sons and eleven grandchildren.
Voices and Visions Interview, 3/14/17
Letters from Students