RE: DSM: students rights

From: David Danesh (dave1968@mediaone.net)
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 12:27:37 EST


I encountered the magic of this first-hand visiting Cedarwood in the
fall. I went to visit the school (my first visit to a Sudbury school),
and there was a train of kids trekking off to a 7-11 convenience store,
so it was suggested I join them (the average age was probably 7 years
old). Most of the kids wanted slurpees. One of the kids didn't have
enough money, and claimed that one of the others had lied to him about
the price of the slurpee. You could see the meltdown ensuing. My natural
reaction was to walk over to them, intervene, and solve the problem. I
was about to do so, but the staff member held my shoulder and said,
"Wait."

Remarkably, within about 2 minutes, one of the other kids had proposed a
solution. He would pool his money with his flustered friend, and
together they would have enough to share the largest size slurpee. They
were both thrilled about it, and had fun sharing. This happened in the
first half hour of my visit and taught me so much.

I know this isn't directly related to the point of this subject thread,
but it seems relevant. It reminds me to give children (adults even) the
opportunity to work things out for themselves, within themselves, before
stepping in as the "authority."

Sincerely-
Dave Danesh

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
[mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org] On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 6:29 AM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: Re: DSM: students rights

At 9:00 AM 1/24/02, Ann Ide wrote:
>I have always wondered about how this works at Sudbury schools. Does
it fit
>with the model for staff to make offers?

The short answer: no.

The somewhat longer answer: it depends. ;-)

As I said, it's subtle. But if you have a relationship with someone -- a
friend -- and you encounter something you know your friend would be
interested in (because, well, you _know_ them); or if you see that your
friend is having difficulty, then sure, you'd say something (because,
well,
you care about your friend). On the other hand, if it's because you're
the
adult, and you think you know better, and the student -- who hasn't
asked,
who isn't talking to you, etc. -- could benefit from your great wisdom
and
years of experience, then I would question the offering of help.

The issue is one of maintaining a level playing field, so to speak; as
staff, trying not to pre-empt student's rights to decide for themselves
that they need something, and to go about meeting that need.

Hope this helps,

Bruce

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