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Faculty Spotlight: The Wizard is In

Russell Harris: Movement & Games

What do you teach?
My class is movement and games. I attempt to teach my students how to function in a community and how to process anxiety. Simply put, in general, if a person is just and fair during a game, then that manifests in their lives in other places. If they learn to process anxiety and move through it rather than lock up and freeze like a deer in headlights, then hopefully, that too will manifest itself in other places in their lives. Somewhere in there I make them do push ups. It’s a wild and weird place.

How long have you taught at MWS? What did you do before this?
This is my second year teaching at MWS. Before being drawn here, I worked as a circus instructor and performer for roughly a decade. Before that, I spent time working in a call center for a non-profit organization, and prior to that I worked in IT.
What is the relationship Waldorf Education has with Circus Arts?
Being only my second year, I shy away from professing to speak on exactly what “Waldorf Education” is. With that being said, the sanctity of play and of imagination thrive in both. Waldorf Schools from Early Childhood through 8th grade constantly look for ways to involve movement and imagination in the learning process (as Kit Canright about the graph she has them plot in the festival hall!!!). I can explain that their flip will spin faster if they tuck harder and talk about the differing spinning speeds of circles based on size, I can count in French or have French music on in the background and it sneaks into their heads. Waldorf Education excels in finding abstract ways to get information into a child’s head and circus arts just…fits.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I have my own time to myself and have done my chores and simply need to decompress? Video games and drawing.
What is your favorite food? 
I love a good BLT.
Is there anything else you would like families to know about you?
I will always do my best to do what I feel is right by your children. I will always try to be better than I was the day before. I will not always succeed, and I know I will need your guidance from time to time.