Re: DSM: An alternative teacher at a traditional school

John Axtell (
Mon, 18 Dec 2000 12:22:51 -0800

Dear Anna,

It is wonderful hearing from you.

Being an "alternative" teacher in a "traditional" school is a real
blessing to yourself and your students.

Alternative teachers in alternative schools face very few real
challenges and the value of their contribution to the school is minimal
compared to the opportunity you have where you work.

I can think of no higher calling than to be an alternative teacher in a
traditional school. It is a great service to your students. The key, it
would seem to me, would be to integrate as much alternative teaching as
the traditional administrators will allow. After all if you get fired
you will have accomplished nothing. One of your students may well become
a leader of your country.

I do not think it is so important where the students sit, the
administrators and parents may simply not be comfortable with the
students sitting on the floor.

I think it is important that you reach into your students and bring out
of them their ability to think for themselves but to learn to
communicate that thinking in a way that is acceptable in your culture.

What grade do you teach ?


John Axtell

Anna Babina wrote:

> Hello everybody!I'm a teacher from Moscow (Russia). I'm working for a
> traditional school with strict rules, curriculum, authoritative
> mistress etc. But at my lessons I try to create warm atmosphere and
> democratic rules. I don't make tests, students may miss our "English
> time" as I call it instead of "English lesson", students may do
> whatever they want when they come, I just offer them activities,
> discussion topics and consultations.But I have problems with
> administration. I always hear things like "How can you afford their
> sitting on the floor? They don't respect you!" etc But I feel that
> students need these English hours and some even enjoy this time. I
> also do.So here comes my questions. How should an alternative teacher
> behave at a traditional school? Or may be you find it a useless
> work?Anna

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