willow class

with Roel Op'tEnde

our third grade

Third graders find themselves firmly on the earth as they approach their lives with a new sense of independence and separation.  The curriculum meets them with Ancient Hebrew Legends, practical skills and arts (such as farming, spinning, and building shelters), and an increasing sense of independence in literacy and mathematics processes.

willow class teacher

Roel Op'tEnde

Roel op 't Ende (1989) grew up in Schiedam, a suburb of Rotterdam, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. There he had the typical childhood of a Dutch boy: he ate a lot of cheese and had chocolate sprinkles for breakfast, went everywhere on a bike, and spent a lot of time outside in the rain. He spent his summers camping in Southern France, played soccer with friends, and enjoyed Sinterklaas every 5th of December. From age 12 to 15, he attended a professional dancing school, but after growing too much switched to boxing, which he still does from time to time.

After the dancing school, Roel had a great time at the Rotterdam Waldorf School (Rudolf Steiner College), where he could combine his love for theater with more intellectual endeavors. His favorite subjects were drama and history.

At Leiden University, he started studying psychology but switched over to history during his bachelor's degree after realizing he preferred fun over job prospects. It was the right choice; he enjoyed history so much that he got his master's degree.

Roel then spent eight years teaching history, social studies, and several other subjects at a Waldorf high school in Rotterdam. During this period, he quickly realized teaching is his biggest passion, and he began his masters in education, which he finished in 2017.

That same year he left for the US to work at Wasatch Charter School. There he met and married the loveliest lower grades teacher, and they now live happily ever after.

Let your child be a child. Let them play, get dirty, take risks. It's good for them.

—Braelynn ZoBell, Class Teacher