Parent You Should Know: Ona Wetherall
Kimberton Waldorf School teacher finds joy at work and home
Ona Wetherall is the lead teacher for the Rosebud Garden Prekindergarten, governing team member, early childhood leader and parent association liaison at Kimberton Waldorf School in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She lives in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, with her partner and their 17-year-old Rowan, 15-year-old Ciara and 2-year-old Josephine, who are all students at the school.
What’s hard about juggling both parenthood and your career?
They both require continuous engagement. It can be challenging to be present sometimes and that’s hard especially when it comes to my children because time with our children is so precious and fleeting.
What makes balancing both easier?
First, a great partner! We both work full time, and it’s great to feel like we are both engaged with each other’s work and our home life and children so we can lean in and support each other when things are hard and messy and appreciate our life together all the more.
Second, tolerance and understanding from my whole family! Being a faculty child certainly brings its highs and lows and my kids (usually) ride the waves with amazing grace.
Third, great colleagues! Even if we’re lucky enough to love what our work is, which I do, what makes it great is who our work is with. My work is very much a relationship-based profession: with the children, my colleagues and with parents.
I am very lucky to be able to cultivate great relationships which helps bring my work joy and satisfaction.
What do you love about being a parent?
Having children extends us in so many ways: physically, emotionally, mentally and maybe most special of all, spiritually. My children give me the most awesome gift of seeing the world from different perspectives and help keep me motivated and inspired. I also love the awesome joy and selflessness that being a parent brings.
What do you love about your job at Kimberton Waldorf School?
I love my job for many reasons: engaging in the continuously unfolding social, emotional, physical and cognitive dynamic of child development; being able to bring myself and my interests to my work; working with and supporting parents; working in a holistic and engaged school community and getting to work with and support wonderful colleagues.
What’s one thing you hope your children learn from you and your career?
You can do anything if you do what you love and love what you do.
Meal: Crepes! We like them for breakfast and dinner, sweet and savory.
Dessert: Ice cream
Way to Spend a Weekend Together: We always have lots to do on the weekends, from continually ongoing house and yard projects to catching up on household chores. We do big breakfasts, board or card games, sometimes a nature walk, farmers market or meal out.
Book to Read Together: Family photo albums and yearbooks. Josephine’s current favorite, that was Rowan’s and Ciara’s, is “Punk Farm,” a twist on Old MacDonald.
Vacation Spot: We don’t really go on vacations or have a spot, but we love and have a tradition of family “adventures” which can be a few hours, a day, a weekend or a few days. We love finding adventures that offer new perspectives and broaden our understanding of the world and humanity.
This piece first appeared in the December 2021 issue of MetroKids.