Robert Dyer says teaching at Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage was an instant fit.


“This is my dream job,” he said.


Winterberry Charter School uses Waldorf methods, which encourage a lot of hands-on learning and creative play. It also means Dyer will have the same set of students from first grade through eighth grade, allowing him to build strong meaningful connections with each student.


“The connection between teacher and student, teacher and family are really, really strong,” Dyer said. “The rewards are almost innumerable.”


Dyer says the school is fairly different from a regular neighborhood school.


“Our curriculum is designed to be from the ground up to match the developmental need of a child,” he added.


The student’s lessons are delivered in the form of a story. Currently, they are learning about shelters — figuratively and literally.


“Every year, you’re learning a new curriculum; you’re ripening and blossoming along with the students,” Dyer said. “I paint with them each week. We mold with bee’s wax. The way that we tap into artistic abilities in our school is different than many other places which seem to be stripping the art out.”


Dyer spends six weeks every summer in New Hampshire to undergo new training for the upcoming year. He says it’s a way to rejuvenate and adapt — something he credits as a key to his success.


“A dedication to personal learning and curiosity is very important,” Dyer said. “Since the only success you can find in teaching is seeking out great teachers and learning from the way they’ve had their own successes.”


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