I'd joined our founder's group for DVS a couple years after Amy had started,
so I've got nothing to say special about first meetings - I wasn't there.
But, for any meeting with people who have a vague understanding of the model
(and that will be just about everybody at a public meeting) you'll need to
explain and give examples a LOT.
My own experiences:
- keep it positive - talk about how good the Sudbury Model is, not how bad
the traditional model is.
- SVS: 30 years in business, lots of successful students - this is your
- Don't be discouraged by the people who don't get it - most people aren't
ready to trust their kids this much, just figure you're planting seeds and
let 'em go. Not to mention the out-and-out hostile - just let 'em go.
- Make a short list of points you need to make, whatever it is that gets you
fired up about the school - that kids learn best under their own steam, that
learning to navigate in a democracy is a critical skill, whatever it is that
get you excited. Stick mostly to those things - your enthusiasm is critical.
From: Alan or Laura Gabelsberg [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 12:32 PM
Subject: DSM: 1st meeting advice?
Hi all. Laura here. I am in the process of planning my first "information"
meeting of people interested in forming a founding group to start a new
Sudbury school in Houston and I thought now would be a good time to see what
advice you folks on the list might have along those lines.
So far I am viewing the purpose of this meeting as pretty informal - the
purpose being to meet, to network, and to determine the level of interest in
forming a founding group, and lastly to decide what steps may need to be
I plan to talk very simply about what I know of the SVS model and what may
be involved in forming a founding group. I also thought about opening up the
meeting agenda for ideas from the participants if there is enough time, or
maybe just a Q & A session.
I am open to hearing any suggestions anyone may have on how to run an
effective FIRST meeting like this (or how NOT to run one!) The meeting is
planned for May 19th and so far I think it will have a good turn out. The
local ads I have placed don't come out until May 1st and I already have
appx. 20-30 coming just from word of mouth. So it may be a fairly large
group of people if the ads bring out a good response as well.
Thanks in advance for any tips or thoughts on this subject.
Citizens for Enlightened Education
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