Unleashing the Magic Within

 

A Letter from Merlyn,
Our Four-Legged Wizard

Dear families,    

It is with a big smile and wagging tail that I welcome you to The Wizard School! I am Merlyn the Mi-ki, a rare breed that translates to "New Life" or "New Beginnings" in Japanese.

 

At the Wizard School, we inspire children to discover their soul powers, or unique magic to reconnect with their purpose, passion and voice so they can begin a new life or new beginning from this new perspective. While on this quest, individuals craft their creative expression, so they are able to harness and share their imaginations to make their imprint on our world. Each an every one of us have a  wizard within who possess a unique and deep wisdom. Through  this adventure and our practices in creative writing, collaboration and play, myth, story telling, laughter and meditation, we confidently embrace who we are at our core and learn to open our hearts to see the oneness and connection in all of existence. The Wizard School holds a mystical, friendly, joyful, loving and mellow environment (just like my personality)! We invite you to come visit us. I’ll be there to greet you with one raised paw! 

Meet Caitlyn Pezza 
Founder 

With a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Masters in Adolescent Education, and over 10 years of experience inspiring students of all ages in creative expression, Caitlyn has dedicated herself to the dream of weaving spaces for children and families to unlock the magic within them.

 

While on the journey of self-discovery and deeper awareness, Caitlyn discovered her gift as a poet and awoke to a her vision for the world, and her purpose on the planet.  The Wizard School is the womb she weaved to grow the unique inner wisdom of individuals. Over the past seven years, Caitlyn has been learning and listening deeply by engaging in the roles of teacher, mentor, and school director overseeing academic programming, teacher development, school systems, and admissions and community outreach, so she can better understand the experience and structure of education from a multitude of perspectives, as well as how children are developing within the school environment. The lessons and experience she has gained affirmed and grew her goals for The Wizard School. 

 

Writing is the key that unlocks the magic for Caitlyn. Her greatest expression of love and gratitude is to bring the craft to others. She is passionate and experienced in working with students at all stages of their journey from struggling to thriving. Caitlyn is especially gifted in working with students who may be challenged by ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and executive functioning. She works alongside a top child psychiatrist ensuring that her methods are effective for a variety of individuals. She has the ability to see the light in every soul and by meeting individuals where they are, she guides them through their unique development, and helps them to utilize writing and myth as a mirror, window and processing tool. 

Caitlyn is studying under a shamanic energy healer learning practices and principals in this work, and has studied life visioning and transformation with Michael Beckwith, Marissa Peer and Vishen Lakhiani.

Caitlyn's poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Southeast Review, Able Muse, Espresso Ink and others, her reading has been featured on NPR. She is especially inspired by history, science and nature in her work and plays with form.

Caitlyn loves to swim, cook, garden, and spend time playing with her family and  friends. She is a mother to a baby boy named Henry, and a little furry girl named Merlyn.

 

What is the Wizard School?

So, why are we called The Wizard School? What do we do? The word wizard derives from the Middle English word, "wys," meaning "wise, to know, to be aware." We, wizards, are skilled in magic. And what do we really mean by magic? The word magic derives from the Proto-Indo-European root magh meaning "to be able, to have power." Hence, at The Wizard School, we learn to know our power. And when we do, we can create a magnificent vision for our lives learning how to journey there no matter the challenges. We do this while mastering the craft of storytelling, using myth and the hero’s journey as our guide. 

 

In our workshops, students will embark on quests of self-discovery to uncover the unique gifts or magic they hold within their souls. They will imagine how to share these powers with our communities to create positive change, and envision their life purpose, or destiny. We learn through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of our mythical characters and understand that we are the story, the reader, and the storyteller all at once. We become aware that we have the power to create the lives or stories of our dreams. We gain self-confidence by uncovering and rewiring the limiting beliefs we may have about ourselves and what is possible for us in this realm. We learn to use myth and magic as a way to navigate our environments, and learn the lessons that are there for us to share. We discover that our greatest challenges and struggles are often the places in which we find our greatest gifts. We can use this insight like a sparkling wand to shine light into our darkest places. Through our practice, we learn self-discipline, self-awareness, self-responsibility, and self-remembrance, or our unique soul expression while developing a deep sense of wisdom. Our self-discipline practice allows us to turn within before we act, so the choices we make derive from expanded awareness, as we become more and more in tune with our authentic selves, and our intentions. We experience a new level of freedom, joy, bliss and a mastery over our lives as a result.

 

In our society, children are not often given an opportunity to tap into the magic that exists within their imaginations, or to discover their true wisdom and connection to nature without any pressure, to ask big questions such as; what is my true purpose, why are we here, what gifts do I have to give to this world? Through the practice of creative writing, journaling, role playing, deep imagery meditations, spirit-animal employment, and sacred sharing from the heart, we can begin to dive into these questions in the relaxed, judgement-free cocoon of our classroom. Children may experience heightened enthusiasm, excited expression, drive, ambition, resilience, strengthened memories, creative problem solving and big visions for what could be in their lives and the world as a result of these workshops. 

 

Caitlyn created The Wizard School from her own journey, passion for fiction and poetry, and her experience in observing schools and mentoring the many uniquely gifted students who were struggling in them. Like many of her contemporaries, nothing in her youth addressed the longing for meaning or sacred mysteries, or helped her to understand the nature of human consciousness. She believes that what humanity needs most now is a gentle path of initiation into soulful adolescence and adulthood. When children are not guided through this process in a safe environment, they often turn to their own, at times destructive, devices to experience the world on a deeper, more magical level, or they hide from it all together. They will hear the call to adventure whether or not we are there to guide them on the journey. Caitlyn's greatest gift to give back to her community is weaving wombs for creativity and authentic expression, so that our children never lose the wisdom of the magic that they were born with, and so that our adolescents reconnect with their imaginations, truth and power to lead a life of bliss, creativity, and service.

The Workshops

Creative Writing Fall Workshops

Grades 1-2

 

We burst with excitement and joy as we allow our imaginations to run wild writing from inspiration and completing fun activities to access it. We will read and discuss stories and poetry together, learn the story structure, and write our own creating picture books and poems. 

 

Grades 3-5

 

Together we learn the art of novel writing. Students will be guided through imaginative exercises and learn to harness ideas for stories going on visualization adventures to tap into intuition and inspiration. We will also read together studying literature from the writer’s perspective, and learn how to share our authentic voices.

 

 

Grades 6-8

 

We will focus on the hero’s journey as a story structure that reflects our lives as we are coming of age. We will read stories that follow this structure from the writer’s perspective to learn how to express our individual journeys in either a fictional story or creative non-fiction structures such as the memoir, or personal essay. We will use mindfulness techniques that allow us to tap into our authentic voice and remove any blocks.

 

Grades 9-12

 

We will learn and explore writing in a variety of genres discovering our personal passion project and mission. We will read influential writings from the writer’s perspective that shaped our world, so we can emulate them in our own work. We will use mindfulness techniques that allow us to tap into our authentic voice and remove any blocks.

 

Mindset and Transformation Workshops

 

Chapter's 1 & 2: 

Grades: 1-2; Grades 3-5

During this exciting developmental stage, children are learning to communicate, and begin sharing what is going on inside of them. They are developing self awareness, understanding the world through questioning, accepting differences of opinion, language and thinking development, and social and emotional development. As school shifts, they may begin having desires to be perfect, or begin becoming self-critical sometimes comparing themselves to others. Fear, shame, and grief may also begin developing. They may learn to deaden their voice or hold it in out of fear, which inhibits creativity and expression. As such, this workshop is specially designed to nurture children's developing voices by encouraging questioning, exploration and immersion into myth from diverse cultures and perspectives, and sacred sharing. Children will learn how to unleash their imaginations through free flowing immersive prompts using movement, art, music and play. They will then learn to harness this onto the page by learning organized structures for creative expression. As we advance, children will be encouraged to break the rules, and change forms to suit their own purposes. Children will practice openly sharing their truth from the heart without fear of being wrong or rejected, learning to embrace "failure" as feedback for new ideas, and learning to hold space respectively for others. We also will explore and imagine spirit animals, discovering the magic of animal medicine in folk-lore and our world. All workshops are customized to the group of individuals in the course, and crafted to serve their souls. 

 

Chapter 3: 

grades 6-8

Middle School is the wondrous transition between childhood and adolescence. Hormones are ablaze, and major physical changes are taking place, while problem solving skills, flexible thinking, analysis, establishing individuality and personal value systems begin to strengthen. Children may begin trying on new styles, they may begin keeping secrets or not sharing as much with their families, and they also may pick up new hobbies. As the brain and body are experiencing such a surge of energy during these years, they may require more sleep, and they will also most likely remember any skill they learn for the rest of their lives. In these workshops, there is a continuation of the work from the earlier stages in developing their authentic voices. We will also nurture and develop their imaginations using role playing myth games like Dungeons and Dragons to support with imaginative problem solving, organizing, prioritizing and creating sound proposals, arguments and solutions to the worldly events and issues that interest them. Students will form a close-knit tribe with one another, so they can develop healthy communication and relationship building skills learning to create empowering communities or networks of positive influences. We will study myths and characters that are going through the same age of transformation, and students will write fiction, non-fiction and poetry to express their own. 

Chapter 4: 

grades 9-12

At this final stage of adolescent development, teens are pulling away from what's been given to them and starting to think for themselves. They are beginning to really imagine their life's purpose, the deeper meaning behind their existence, their identities, and where they imagine themselves going next as they prepare to leave the nest, and enter adulthood. There can be a lot of boundary testing, resistance or fear, experimentation, trying on different styles of being, desires to alter their minds, and explore aspects of adult life for the first time. They may be able to discover the character archetypes that are guiding their lives through self reflection. The "third-eye" is developed during this time: the place of dreaming, intuition, insight, learning to see clearly beyond the surface of things, the patterns that connect and the big picture. They may start questioning why they need school or why what they are learning is relevant to them at all. In these workshops, the life visioning framework is put into place. Our organizing questions are how do things work together, how do we see beyond ourselves, how do we make our lives bigger, how do we see what people are doing on the other side of the world, how do we learn to examine and self-reflect clearly without judgement to see what's there? How do we see the light in ourselves and in each other?  What motivates us, how is everything connected, how do I advocate for myself and manifest the life I want to define success in my unique way? A big task for us to learn at this stage is to see ourselves and others clearly and how we fit into the bigger picture. We learn that by creating a strong vision that is birthed from our intuition and the inner awareness of our soul power, we will be pulled through any challenge along the way, grateful for the lessons and development they provide for us. We choose to see the positive in everything, to love ourselves and others unconditionally, to create self discipline practices and daily routines grounded in graditude that serve our highest good. We become committed to making sound choices that serve our bliss and truth. We discover where our resistance and fears come in and uncover the limiting belief systems behind them ultimately rewiring our minds to limitless potential. We learn again from myth and the great philosophers and teachers of wisdom in our world.  We explore the hero's journey and see how it is just like our own. We create vision boards and purpose statements, and discover ways to unleash our authenticity to create unique and powerful expressions to influence our communities. Students will form a strong tribe with one another and will be encouraged to share their insights, epiphanies, and ideas in a supportive manner, and they will practice deep listening from the heart. We will learn meditation, yoga, and other methods of healthy and safe transcendence such as exploring in nature, so  that our insights, and dreams can be integrated and grounded into positive action plans and goals. 

The Parent/Adult Workshop:

Do any of the workshop descriptions above sound like something you'd like to practice in your own life? All of this work is so important for us to model as adults and parents so that we can be the best spirit guides for our children and assist in creating positive changes in our communities. In these workshops, we will learn life-visioning, soul discovery and integration, and develop the daily practices and routines to create incredible transformations that bring us back to our truth, and build the confidence, courage and enthusiasm to stay in it. Members are encouraged to connect with each other to form a supportive community that can hold space for each other on our journeys to self-discovery and actualization.

Private Lessons:

Private Lessons are available for all ages. In private lessons, personalized coaching is offered to help individuals to work through challenges and rewire limiting belief systems, routines and patterns. Private lessons are also offered for writing and English.

School or Organizational Workshops:

Caitlyn offers workshops to educators and organizations in topics such as, Get Your Students Started on Writing, Teaching The Hero's Journey, Life-Visioning for Teens and Children, and more. Workshops can be created or customized by request based on the needs of the organization or school community.

 

Ms. Pezza taught a few of my fourth grade students in her creative writing workshop during our after school program. I am always begging her for her lesson plans because I was blown away by how she got some of my most reluctant writers to love it and to improve their work with rich details and a sound flow of ideas. She even got them keep their notebooks on them, even taking them out on the the playground to record their observations!

Mrs. Melissa Lewis

Caitlyn Pezza’s poetry is marvelously smart, insightful, witty, and complex. Her feel for sound and meter is delightful, inventive, and sophisticated. Pezza is one of the finest poets I have worked with at the New School and I expect great things from her.

Jennifer Michael Hecht

 

I highly recommend Caitlyn Pezza as an English teacher and tutor.  Caitlyn was my daughter's 11th and 12th grade one on one English teacher and was able to accommodate all my daughter's special needs which included a very low reading level, dyslexia and auditory processing.  Caitlyn not only helped my daughter increase her reading level, but also broke down step by step the writing process, so that my daughter could learn and start mastering writing at a high school level.  Caitlyn worked closely with me and my daughter's outside tutors to coordinate my daughter's learning.  My daughter not only improved her reading and writing but also gained confidence in her ability to continue her education at the college level.  Caitlyn was extremely responsive to my daughter's individual needs. I'm sure any student would benefit from Caitlyn's tremendous skills and her empathetic approach.

Angela Wong

Get in Touch

I’d love to connect with you, so we can learn more about each other, and schedule a time to meet.

5617183052

 

The Wizard School

5617183052

18 Rutgers St
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040
USA

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