How to become a Steiner National School Teacher
Steiner National School teachers in Ireland are highly-trained professionals who both satisfy the State’s criteria for teachers in Irish National Schools and are reflective, Steiner-Waldorf teachers. This is a relatively new situation, and at present there are a number of ways to become a Steiner National School teacher. This page is intended to help those interested in pursuing this path as the number of positions in Steiner National Schools increases and as the routes into this developing field become clarified.
Class teachers in a Steiner National School need to satisfy three different requirements: (1) a state-recognised primary teacher training qualification, whether in Ireland or another state whose qualifications are recognised in Ireland (including all other EU states); (2) registration by the Teaching Council, including satisfying the criterion of Irish language competency; (3) Steiner-Waldorf teacher training, whether completed or in progress. This means that there are different routes to becoming a class teacher dependent on your starting point, as follows:
If you have completed state teacher training in Ireland and hold Teaching Council recognition:
As there is no recognised Steiner training in Ireland, Lifeways is currently working to provide a recognised and accredited training course that will give state-qualified teachers sufficient insight into Steiner pedagogy to ensure that the Steiner ethos is maintained in the schools. In the meantime, three options are available:
A number of Steiner National Schools in conjunction with Lifeways offer an organised package of in-service training days on aspects of Steiner pedagogy along with mentoring from experienced Steiner teachers. This is organised in response to demand from serving teachers and focusses on the areas of most concern to them. Lifeways Ireland is working on a definition of what will constitute completed training within this model. However, our primary concern is that teachers following this model are seriously pursuing their own path of Steiner-Waldorf professional development in conjunction with experienced practitioners.
It is possible to complete Steiner-Waldorf teacher training in a number of locations in Britain and Northern Ireland (see http://www.steinerwaldorf.org/steiner-teachers/teacher-education/ and http://www.steinerwaldorf.org/?ddownload=20472). These include part-time models, often based on weekend residential modules. Some of these are explicitly geared to students who already hold state teaching credentials.
Those interested in teaching specifically in the kindergarten / infants years may wish to consider the 3-year training programme provided by the Irish Steiner-Waldorf Kindergarten Association ISKA (http://www.iskaireland.org/training.html).
From Spring 2017 there will be offered a short Continuing Professional Development Course for teachers in Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.
It is important to note that Lifeways does not have any formal role in relation to the accreditation of either UK-based teacher training or Irish kindergarten training.
We strongly encourage those with or completing state training who are considering working in Steiner schools to deepen their experience and engagement through, for example, attendance at school Open Days, placements in Steiner schools, participation in conferences arranged by Lifeways, etc.
If you have full Steiner training from another country along with a state-recognised primary teaching qualification from outside Ireland:
You may apply to have your foreign (state-recognised) primary teaching qualification recognised within Ireland. This is a matter for the Teaching Council, the professional body regulating the teaching profession in Ireland. As a general rule, teachers fully qualified in any EU member state should have their qualifications recognised in Ireland, while for teachers trained in non-EU jurisdictions applications are met on a case-by-case basis. For Teaching Council guidance on this: http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Registration/How-do-I-register-/
However in any case you will need to learn the Irish language to the required level; it is possible to “register with conditions” including learning the language within a 3-year period. See http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Registration/Registration-with-Conditions/.
If you have Steiner training but do not have a state-recognised primary teaching qualification:
You will need to take teacher training in the Republic of Ireland. This can be a Bachelors degree in Education or a 2-year Professional Masters of Education degree, this latter available both in universities and as an online course. NB that you will need to satisfy the Irish language requirement as set out above.
Lifeways (Steiner Schools Ireland) is happy to communicate with people exploring different aspects of this path so we can share experiences and understanding of the different possibilities and guide those who want to become Steiner National School teachers more effectively through the various possibilities. Inquiries, in the first place can be directed through this website contact point.