DSM: Student run meetings

From: Gayle Remisch (tegdib@yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 00:37:49 EST


I am very much interested in the diploma thread, however I wanted to
share something that has happened here at Banyan Tree recently.

At a meeting, I asked if the 'running of the meeting' be shared by all
those interested. We are a small school and the kids really couldn't
care less about the meetings. They resolve issues and deal with things
pretty well as they occur so our meetings tend to be calendar events,
brainstorming for ideas and usually short.

Feeling the need to have the meetings (to retain the 'democracy' of the
school,) we agreed when and where they should occur. I expressed that
I did not enjoy running the meetings by myself all the time and that if
we could share the responsibility I would enjoy it more. The kids
democratically decided that I had to run the meetings. I declined
saying that I disliked trying to keep the peace and hated having to be
the bad guy - throwing kids out of meetings who were habitually rude,
side talking and interrupting others. I told them that if they wanted
me to run a meeting then they'd have to pay me in advance - we
negotiated. I agreed to .05c per meeting attendee.

Needless to say we had no meetings for several weeks. Then all of a
sudden, the other day one of the kids came up to me with a nickle, then
another and then another, soon they had all come up and given me their
dues and the first one stepped forward and asked... when can we have a
meeting? Apparently they had all gotten together (ouu - a meeting what
a novel idea *intended jovial sarcasm*) and decided (democratically -
spontaneously - unanimously and without me) that they missed the
meetings and wanted to have them again. It was a social thing for them
and they missed the chatting and sharing of ideas. So we sat down, 10
min later and had a meeting. It didn't last very long, but everyone
had something to say and we all enjoyed it. We set our schedule for
the holidays and planned some trips and had a great time. I guess we
all just needed a break in order to appreciate our meetings.

We also decided to make the meetings more social - tea/coffee, snacks
and such, and to rotate where we had them. The next one will be at the
donut shop down the street. Luckily we're small and flexible.

Thanks for listening.

Gayle

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