Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)

Rick Stansberger (
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 07:42:16 -0700

Marko Koskinen wrote:

> The only way to make some real changes in the schools is to support
> teachers, form support groups and break the traditional isolation that
> is so too damn common among teachers.

Marko, this is work I would love to do -- but I don't know how.

Once I considered opening a private club just for teachers, a place for them to really
talk with each other and let off steam. But that's not focused enough. When teachers
party, they tend to gossip, get sentimental, get resentful, get drunk.

Teachers are not heroes, except to some students and parents. They do support an
oppressive system. They're usually self-deceived or naive, or they're afraid because
they can see no alternative. (There are a few who just don't care, or who really
enjoy the power, but they're probably only 20%, in my guess.)

Most teachers are not pioneers, and thus they're not the type to start a Sudbury
school alone. But they ARE cooperative people, and if pointed in the right direction
and given leadership, I think many of them would be able to drop the old habits and
become fine Sudbury staff.

It's the job of us intrepid pioneers (I'm including myself with an ironic smirk,
considering how late I came to the enterprise and with how much fumbling) to build
places these former lackeys of the mind-control system can become part of.

One of the members of our San Vicente founders group is a former industrial manager
who became a teacher "to see why the education system doesn't work." Once he found
out, he came to us. He's already shown himself to be an asset.

Teachers often become as sick of the system as kids do. The celebration in the
faculty room on the day before a holiday is as heartfelt as it is in any classroom
(only not as loud). Just like kids, teachers pray for school to be closed on account
of snow. In one school where I worked, we had "Calendar Frannie" who could tell you
at any time how many days of school we had left -- and in the spring, she could tell
you how many hours.


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