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Faculty Spotlight: Parvati Scantena, Preschool

We are thrilled to welcome Parvati Scatena to our faculty as our five-day preschool teacher starting fall of 2022. She has many years of teaching experience, and a vast range of experience as well, teaching children from high school age to toddlers. Parvati completed her certification in early childhood teaching from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California at San Diego. She has also taught at Waldorf schools in California and Minnesota, currently working as an early childhood assistant at City of Lakes Waldorf School.

Parvati was born in South Lake Tahoe, California, which gave her a great love of nature! When she is not teaching, Parvati enjoys gardening, biking, practicing and teaching yoga, biodynamic farming, and being with her family, which is very important to her.

What do you teach?
I’ll be teaching the 5-day preschool beginning in the fall.

How did you come to be a teacher at MWS?
After 20+ years of teaching in both the public and private settings, I find myself at MWS because of the love I hold for the young child as well as understanding the importance of life long literacy. The foundations of life long literacy are set in Early Childhood classrooms and I am quite excited to have the chance to work in the Preschool class as the Lead Teacher.

My family and I relocated from California in December 2020 and when I saw that there was an opening at MWS for an EC Position, I was overjoyed.

What is your guiding principle?
You must be the change, the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, has been my guiding principle. When I was teaching in high school, I had this written in my classroom to remind me of why I was there.

What do you see as the biggest differences between a public school or traditional private school and a Waldorf school?
Waldorf education is children centered. Children are looked at holistically so that the curriculum meets the whole child– the head, heart and hands. We inspire children to get to work in the world. Many private and public schools, on the other hand, generally seek to educate only the intellect. The Waldorf curriculum is delivered in a way that is developmentally appropriate, which doesn’t always happen in other school settings.

What is a typical day like in your preschool class?

Days are very rhythmic and held in a way that allows the children to move through the day with ease. The day flows like the breath, in and out. We will come in each morning and form as a group followed by play time. We come together again for circle time and a snack followed by more play time. We finish the morning with a story. From there, half day children go home and full day children have lunch, a nap and then play time.

If you could pass any words of wisdom to preschool parents, what would you share?

Self-care should be the highest priority. It not only nurtures the caregiver but it comes back and is a gift to the child. Take it easy on yourselves. We often put such high pressures on ourselves as parents and we need to remind ourselves to take it easy. Find support. Read Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Read Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy by Louise Bates Ames. She writes books for every age that have been very helpful for me as I navigate parenthood.


What is your favorite Waldorf festival?
Advent spiral is by far my favorite. Many people don’t know that this festival originates from Austria. Steiner saw an advent spiral and adopted it because of the significance it holds. The advent spiral is symbolic of the rebirth we experience in the dead of winter. When children walk the advent spiral, they go into the middle where they find light that they bring back out to the world. It is the most powerful and moves me the most.

Thank you, Ms. Parvati! We’re so excited to have you!