About Cat Greenstreet, M.Ed.
Circle keeping is my passion. Something miraculous happens in an intentional circle with others who want to come together to make things better in their own lives and in the world. I bring a unique composite of individual and professional capacities to my work as a facilitator.
I was an educator for almost 30 years, the last 20 as a Waldorf teacher, school leader, and teacher educator. My work is currently focused on facilitating Circles of Trust. I also love to write, garden, and play electric bass.
My undergraduate education was at Smith College and City College of CUNY, where I majored in English and education. I taught high school English for a year in the South Bronx, an exhilarating trial by fire. When I was laid off due to City budget short falls, I returned to school and earned an M.A. and M.Ed. in Teaching English in Secondary School and College from Teachers College, Columbia University. During that time and for years following, I taught English and writing to students on the community college and college levels, including adults returning to school, secretaries, business people, electrical apprentices, and firemen.
After our child was born, I found Waldorf education and decided to become a Waldorf teacher. To prepare, I attended Sunbridge Institute from 1989 – 91, after which our family moved to Austin, Texas, where I taught core academics to a class from third through eighth grade. I spearheaded a new high school, in which I taught English, drama, and music with my husband Wil. I was its first High School Chair.
I first encountered the Circle of Trust® approach before it had that name. In 2002 we moved from Austin to Chestnut Ridge, NY, where I became Director of Teacher Education at Sunbridge, my Waldorf alma mater. I was exhausted after starting the high school in Austin and challenged by my new role. More than one person told me to read The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer. Colleagues and I attended a workshop Parker was offering at Teacher’s College, which convinced me that I had to follow a path to become a facilitator. I attended multiple retreats and then the facilitator preparation program, offered by the Center for Courage & Renewal. The practices of this approach immediately affected how I worked with my students and colleagues at Sunbridge, not to mention how I interacted with family and friends.
After a two-year stint as the Lower School Chair at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, I completed mediation training at the New York Peace Institute and apprenticed with Elizabeth Clemants. I studied other circle practices, aligned with restorative justice: circle keeping with Kay Pranis and community conferencing with Lauren Abramson. These trainings have contextualized the Circle of Trust approach for me and given me a broad base of complementary facilitation skills.