RE: DSM: Re: Greetings...

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 18:34:36 EST


> Joe,
>
> You left out one important part: That it is not the fault of
> the students in non-democratic schools that they act
> differently from students at Sudbury schools. Once given
> respect and trust, one will respond with the
> same. If one is not given respect and trust, one will not
> respond with
> the same.

That is my sense as well. Thanks Dana.

-Joe

>
> Dana Bennis
>
>
>
> At 01:23 PM 1/16/02 -0500, you wrote:
> Travis,
>
> Joe Jackson, a parent from Fairhaven School in Maryland.
>
> I found it interesting that you state that "those who operate
> with the impression that the students at Sudbury schools are
> so different from others... are simply fooling themselves".
>
> I work in lots of public schools each year, performing
> musical clinics, and I have visited a half-dozen or so
> Sudbury schools. As a result, I have formed a firm opinion
> that students at the public and conventional private schools
> at which I have worked are *entirely* different from students
> in Sudbury schools. (I _do_ think that teenagers today in
> all situations are vastly underrated by adults, however.)
>
> I find these differences manifest themselves in a variety of
> ways. I find that when conventionally-schooled student are
> attending even a non-mandatory class or clinic, they have a
> much harder time focusing than Sudbury kids. I also find
> that conventionally-schooled kids often know only how to
> relate to kids their age. They often have a special way of
> relating to adults where they put on this mask and basically
> speak a different language. I find that teens from other
> environments often have a need to destroy public property or
> hurt people; "raise hell" to a larger extent than the teens
> I've encountered from Sudbury schools, who similarly like to
> have a good time, but not by messing things and people up.
>
> My experiences with young Sudbury students leaves me with the
> general impression of people that speak with forthrightness
> and candor. I am always amazed to hear them speak from the
> heart with no regard for the age difference between them and
> I. I rarely experience this with children from other environments.
>
> While these are my observations, they are just that. My
> children attend Fairhaven because they want to go there, they
> are obviously so happy there, and because I see them learning
> what matters to them so much more rapidly than I learned what
> mattered to me, and doing it without having to endure the
> agonizing dog & pony show of trying to memorize what matters
> to someone else (which is what their friends in public school
> are going through right now).
>
> In other words, my goal in supporting their decision to
> attend is not necessarily driven by wanting them to be as
> obviously self-possessed, creative and persistent as
> essentially every graduate of a Sudbury school I've ever met
> is, but because I support and respect their decisions and
> trust that they have what they need to get to where they want
> in life if I can just stay right behind them, but never in the way.
>
> But given that, I sure do notice, in general, a huge
> difference in my experiences with Sudbury students and
> conventionally-schooled kids.
>
> - Joe
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> [mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org] On Behalf Of
> BBWIA13@aol.com
> Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 12:22 PM
> To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> Subject: Re: DSM: Re: Greetings...
> Ann,
>
> Thank you for your reply. To my knowledge, there is no
> prevalent movement among students here that pertain to
> parents. That is, if it does exist, it most certainly is not
> obvious to me.
> To further pursue this issue beyond your question, I
> believe that there are important concepts to keep in mind
> when addressing the parent/student relationship in general. I
> believe that students at this school, in terms of common
> characteristics all teenagers (or younger
> children) embody, are not unlike students in any other
> school. This must be taken in context. It is in the context
> of, as I mentioned, common characteristics, because it is
> obvious that all schools at times attract unique individuals.
> Those who operate with the impression that the students here
> are so different from others of their likeness, are simply
> fooling themselves. Indeed, I assume that all kids feel the
> same emotions at different times, and act in similar fashion
> every so often. It seems likely that they would all feel
> rage, love, contempt, envy, admiration, and many other
> feelings and emotions. I have personally experienced some of
> these emotions, a! nd it seems likely that they are extremely
> prevalent among all children, with little exception.
> I do understand that I am not a parent, and as a
> result I cannot begin to comprehend what it is like to have a
> child attend Sudbury Valley. It most certainly requires a
> tremendous leap of faith for all parents, something I sense
> too often goes unappreciated. I would imagine that there are
> parents who must feel similar. However, it seems to me that
> this "leap of faith" must be self-sustaining. Though it may
> be hard at times (I wouldn't know!), it seems to me that the
> role of parents, in the context of the school itself, does
> not include attempting to effect their child's experience or
> education within the confines of the Sudbury Valley. This is
> a concept that is extremely evident when one understands the
> baseline philosophies that Sudbury Valley operates upon.
> Again, I am not a parent. I would like to think that I
> take pains to be careful on the subject. To make sure not to
> say things that can only be said with validity coming from a
> parent, from their own perspective. I hope I have satisfied
> your request for information.
>
> -Travis W.
>
>
>
>
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