DSM: Re: RE: Re: RE: sense of community

From: Ann Ide (ann.ide@rcn.com)
Date: Sun Dec 09 2001 - 13:31:06 EST


Hi, Joe,

I think the size of SVS is a factor, but perhaps the structure,as well.
There is no place for parents to be a part of things. We can show up at
certain activities, but have no part in the creating of them. I think it's
harder to "build" community when your not a part of the "building" process.
We have to accept this is part of the Sudbury model. As we are designed at
SVS, if the kids were to inititiate activities for parents it would be
acceptable. Otherwise, it involves outside of school time efforts and
energy on the staffs' part (and a very small committee of parents) . This
has created problems. Some parents wanting more. Staff resisting for
various reasons. Don't want to get into all that. The point I want to make
is that your structure of the Fairhaven Fellowship sounds like a wonderful
design for taking care of everyone by keeping the school separate and having
a way for parents and families to do many things, altruistic and otherwise,
and build a community of Sudbury families. I'm envious. So, go forth and
grow!

Ann
--- Original Message -----
From: Joe Jackson <shoeless@jazztbone.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2001 7:59 AM
Subject: DSM: RE: Re: RE: sense of community

> Ann,
>
> > Seems kids are very egocentric in early years, to me.
>
> Yes, roughly from birth to post-toddler (I hate Piageting kids - puts me
> off my breakfast). But it appears to me that there is an almost
> universal flowering of the nurturing instinct that happens a little
> later...
>
> Thanks for relating your feelings about "belongingness" at the school.
> It seems like the size of Sudbury Valley might be a substantial factor
> in the limits you seem to be encountering. While this is useful
> information to me for consideration as to the future of Fairhaven, I
> hope that over time your sense of isolation is diminished.
>
> -Joe
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> > [mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org] On Behalf Of Ann Ide
> > Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 9:21 PM
> > To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> > Subject: DSM: Re: RE: sense of community
> >
> >
> > Hi Joe, and all,
> >
> > How is my perspective limited at SVS? Well, sometimes I go
> > on campus to look for my kids at pick up time, and I often go
> > in to look through lost and found. I MIGHT hear something
> > from another parent whose kids tell them what's going on at
> > school; but mine don't. So news on what's going on at school
> > is very scanty. I occasionally look at the bulletin board;
> > and I have never seen anything of an altruistic nature on the
> > board or elsewhere. Never heard of anything either. I do get
> > a sense that kids care deeply about the school as a whole. I
> > guess I pick up on this from what I hear at the Assembly
> > meetings,school performances, and social events. But I can't
> > tell how they feel about each other, other than their
> > individual group of friends. My kids certainly don't know
> > everyone's names. They often have trouble even remembering
> > staff names! Jesse doesn't even know the names of kids he
> > plays with some days. I guess I'm thinking of community as a
> > sort of big extended family. Not quite the depth of love, of
> > course, but in that vein. Maybe this is too big an
> > expectation. Also, SVS is now over 200
> > kids. That changes things. I'm sure the bigger the school
> > the longer it
> > takes to get to know everyone and have these feelings. I was
> > mostly curious about the altruistic stuff. See a lot of it
> > in public schools and I was wondering if it was only because
> > it is adult initiated, and if that type of role modelling is
> > necessary. Your theory is interesting. Not sure what to
> > think of it. Seems kids are very egocentric in early years, to me.
> >
> > Ann
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Joe Jackson <shoeless@jazztbone.com>
> > To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
> > Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 2:14 PM
> > Subject: DSM: RE: sense of community
> >
> >
> > > What's up Ann.
> > >
> > > > How do Sudbury kids , in
> > > > your observations, experience community at school? Who
> > tends to be
> > > > included in that
> > > > community- just their fellow students and staff, or
> > parents,as well?
> > >
> > > Yes, all three.
> > >
> > > > Do
> > > > parents feel it?
> > >
> > > It depends on who you ask. I feel like when parents walk
> > through the
> > > school they are warmly received and part of things, however I know
> > > some parents complain that they feel like they aren't a
> > part of "it",
> > > "it" being a sense of community or belonging or whatever. I think
> > > that's entirely dependent on the expectations of the parent
> > and what
> > > "community" means to them. That's why I can't answer you first
> > > question up there.
> > >
> > > > Is their any altruistic activity? (I think it was
> > > > Joe that mentioned helping out local fire victims.) If so, is it
> > > > initiated by kids or adults?
> > >
> > > The fire victims thing was initiated by Romey. It was her
> > neighbors.
> > > Yes, there is altruistic activity. Last year the students put
> > > together this big revue production-type thing and went around to a
> > > bunch of old-folks homes and did it. They were really into it.
> > >
> > > They also had this big kitty-rescue drama last month where
> > there were
> > > these dying kittens under the school. They got a big trap
> > and trapped
> > > them one by one and nursed them back to health and dressed them in
> > > little outfits and they all survived and were all adopted
> > into homes
> > > of students. That's your feel-good movie of the year right there.
> > >
> > > Also, lots and lots of kids worked hard on the construction of the
> > > school in summer '98. That counts.
> > >
> > > > How do you think caring
> > > > about the world outside your own little one (ie school,
> > > > family) is learned?
> > >
> > > I think that's something kids are born with. Don't laugh, that's
> > > really what I think. Kids are the biggest humanitarians on the
> > > planet. I think sometimes they unlearn it while growing
> > up, sometimes
> > > not, and sometimes they relearn it. I know the follow-on
> > question is
> > > probably "does the model help preserve that which Joe considers the
> > > altruistic instinct within kids" and the answer is I have
> > no clue. I
> > > think most public school kids are pretty altruistic, too. I don't
> > > know if that has anything to do with the type of schooling.
> > >
> > > -Joe
> > >
> > > > Sorry. Lotta questions together, but all related. Like I said
> > > > before, can't tell much from my perspective at SVS.
> > >
> > > How do you think your perspective at SVS is limited?
> > >
> > > -Joe
> > >
> > >
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