Working for Love

Albert Lamb (albertlamb@compuserve.com)
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 05:55:14 -0500

I do think this has been a very interesting discussion. When Peter Kyng
(who started this with his contribution from his son Tim's e-mail address=
)
was at Summerhill the school had been going for twenty years so the low p=
ay
for the staff was not connected to the school starting up. =

When schools first open their doors everyone makes a sacrifice because of=

the nature of things but over time these issues may have to be reexamined=
=2E
A culture where adults are expected to give more than they can afford wil=
l
eventually run into difficulties, even if the school can always find new
recruits to give of themselves for a while in this manner. =

Yesterday I applied for a teaching job in a therapeutic community here in=

England for highly disturbed boys. The money is livable but the hours are=

harsh, 65 hours a week. 10 hours a day three days a week, 14 for two and =
8
more on Sunday. They are taking for granted that people are going to do
this work with a sense of vocation and really for their own therapy. =

So I guess money is not the only issue. Time is another one. =

I personally believe you need a long term core group of staff to keep you=
r
community healthy and they will need a set up that allows them to be real=
ly
mature adults, which includes some financial security. Empowering childre=
n
democratically can leave the adults feeling disempowered and passive at t=
he
best of times if they aren't able to look after themselves. There really
needs to be a healthy adult culture.

But it is a hard thing because there often just isn't any money. The long=

term danger to be watched out for is the staff wages being kept low as a
subtle means of control. This may not be a danger in Sudbury style school=
s
where, Ias I understand it, there is no chief administrator holding the
reigns. =

Albert