Re: DSM: Sharing the SVS model

Julianne Madrid (
Wed, 8 Nov 2000 13:28:46 -0800 (PST)


I also work in a public school and I agree that there
are many committed people who work there. It is my
struggle currently to figure out how to deal with
making a living in the system we have (at least for
now) while striving to maintain my own integrity in
the matter of respect for young people, etc. The fact
remains that this is the system that the majority of
young people in this country go through. I don't
think attacking the teachers is the way to go about
it. Unless we can continue to have conversations that
open up the SVS model, for example, as possibilities
in the minds of others, SVS will remain a nice idea
for a few kids. All that keeps public schools the way
they are is our conversation about what is the "best
way" to educate our young. Maintaining a conversation
for something greater is very powerful.
Julianne Madrid

--- Rick Stansberger <> wrote:
> Kathleen,
> Dawn was pretty harsh on you below, and I bet a
> fiver she's never been a
> teacher, or she wouldn't have said it that way.
> I've been a teacher since 1974,
> and I'm telling you, though, that she's right. Only
> when teachers drop the
> blinders and stop hiding behind all the alphabet
> jargon (IEP's, PPO's, ISS's)
> and admit that they're killing initiative and
> curiosity in kids -- only then
> will the soul murder stop in schools. There is
> absolutely no physical reason
> (money or facilities) that every public school could
> not adopt the sudbury
> model. No physical reason, but many psychological
> ones. The first step is to
> look at how we harm the kids and lie to ourselves in
> order to keep on doing it.
> Rick
> Kristin Harkness wrote:
> > I know you need to believe this because, how else
> could you live with
> > yourself? Think about it. How else could you go
> to work each day and
> > collect your paycheck, benefits, and live with
> yourself if you had to
> > abandon whatever misguided sense of mission you
> think you have to mold the
> > next generation if you accepted the fact that you
> are the enemy. What would
> > life mean to you had to accept that not only are
> you the enemy but you're
> > just a cog in a colossal machine which
> incarcerates and oppresses children?
> >
> > You may kid yourself and maybe even some of your
> "students", but you will
> > fool no one who has had the benefit of watching
> children grow up as free
> > citizens. It is clear that you actually believe
> that the kids in your class
> > are free and are treated with respect by you so
> much so that they would
> > actually choose to attend your class by their own
> free will as if they
> > actually had a choice in the matter. So I offer
> you this challenge. On a
> > beautiful spring day when you have scheduled a
> test, give your "students"
> > the option to leave the institution to go where
> they want, and do whatever
> > they want without any penalty whatsoever. We all
> know, your class would
> > empty out in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we also
> know you don't have the
> > power to offer them real freedom, because if you
> actually took this
> > challenge, you would be fired in the next
> heartbeat, thereby underscoring
> > the undeniable fact that you are nothing more than
> a cog in this oppressive
> > machine.
> >
> > Just as some slave owners were "nicer" than
> others, you may fall into that
> > category of "teacher" who is perceived as nicer
> than the sadists of your
> > profession. But make no mistake about this. In
> my opinion, you are little
> > more than a guard of children who have been
> incarcerated by the state
> > through no fault of their own.
> >
> > Dawn Harkness
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: <>
> > To:
> > <>
> > Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 8:09 AM
> > Subject: Re: DSM: Sharing the SVS model
> >
> > >In a message dated 11/7/00 10:34:03 AM Mountain
> Standard Time,
> > > writes:
> > >
> > ><< Teachers would be
> > > authentic with other teachers and with their
> students.
> > > Kids would have a real say in how the school is
> run.
> > > Kids wouldn't shirk their studies because they
> would >>
> > >
> > >I work in the public school system. We're not
> the enemy. Contrary to
> > popular
> > >belief, there are some of us who don't believe in
> choosing for our
> > students.
> > > Yes, we do have to be "up front" with the
> administration, faculty and
> > >parents. And, that does create problems for us.
> Given the lack of say about
> > >policy in our system, we have great limitations.
> But giving the students
> > >freedom and respect for fifty minutes is better
> than not giving them any at
> > >all. These wonderful beings literally soak it up
> as though it were the
> > last
> > >drop of water in the desert and make wonderful
> use of it. The best part of
> > >it is, that they can also take it with them to
> their next class with a
> > >control freak of an instructor, and use it there
> in an assertive manner.
> > >Kathleen Richardson

Julianne Madrid :)
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." --Mahatma Gandhi

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