Alum Corner with Tatiana Kuehn-Gunby

Tatiana Kuehn-Gunby took a gap year to travel to Southeast Asia after graduating from VWS, which inspired her to pursue Women’s Gender Studies. She is currently in her third year of General Studies with a focus on Math and Sociology at Capilano University. Tatiana’s dream is to teach High School Math, preferably at a Waldorf School, due to her positive experience with the diverse learning approaches in Waldorf education. She values the acceptance and community she experienced in the Waldorf School and fondly remembers fall trips and the Greek Games. Tatiana comes from a family with a strong Waldorf influence, with four generations connected to Steiner’s work.

VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS.

TKG: I took a year off after graduating from VWS and travelled to southeast Asia. It was a fantastic experience. It was eye-opening to be emersed in another culture that’s so different from anything I’ve ever experienced, especially seeing how women are treated so differently. When I came back from southeast Asia, I decided to go into Women’s Gender Studies because of what I experienced while travelling.

VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?

TKG: I am in my third year of General Studies with a focus on Math and Sociology at Capilano University. I also work part-time to put myself through school. It is my dream to teach High School Math (Hopefully at a Waldorf School). I knew by grade 9 that I wanted to teach, and by grade 11, I knew I wanted to teach Math.

VWS: What is it about teaching in a Waldorf School that inspires you to want to teach?

TKG: I always loved Math, but I think deciding to pursue it as a career had a lot to do with my education in the Waldorf High School. I found that the Waldorf School addresses so many different needs regarding the various ways in which students learn. For example, we used bean bags in grade 1 to help us understand and solve math problems. Not only was it fun for us at the time, but it also allowed the active learners to participate physiologically.

VWS: What is it about Math do you love? Not too many people can say that!

TKG: There are many things, but a huge part of my love for it is the aha moments! For me, it is just so satisfying to solve a math problem!

VWS: What advice would you give to this year’s graduates?

TKG: Take time to find your passion. Travel and see the world.

VWS: How did Waldorf education affect your life and your choice of career?

TKG: The Waldorf School has inspired me to learn about the world, whether it’s through University, through travelling, or both. Another thing that I feel that the Waldorf School instilled in me is a sense of self. In high school, you are completely accepted for who you are. You don’t have to dress or act in a certain way or act a certain way. You are just taken for who you are, and you are an integral part of the class and the school.

VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at the VWS?

TKG: The Fall Trips! It was a fantastic way to get to know both students and teachers in a more meaningful way. I also loved the Greek Games. It was nice meeting other Waldorf students from around BC!

VWS: You have quite a ‘lineage’ of Waldorf teachers in your family. Could you tell me about them?

TKG: Yes, there are four generations of Steiner influence in my family! My great grandfather worked with Rudolf Steiner and helped build the first Goertheanum in Switzerland in 1912. My grandmother went to Waldorf School in Europe and then brought eurythmy to Montreal, my mom did her Waldorf Teacher Training, my aunt is a Eurythmy teacher in Brazil, and my other aunt taught Art in Waldorf Schools in Germany. The Waldorf influence is powerful in our household!

Editor’s Note: Watch for Tatiana subbing and teaching at our school! Tatiana attended VWS from Parent & Tot to Grade 12.

Interview by Ronaye Ireland for Development September 1, 2016

Tatiana Kuehn-Gunby
Tatiana Kuehn-GunbyClass of 2013

The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.