DSM: RE: RE: RE: Unsolicited help

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 07:57:32 EST


Liz,

> > And also, comparisons with how adults interact with one another in
> > open society do not dictate how adults should relate with
> children in
> > a Sudbury School. They should not. The situations and
> objectives are
> > entirely different.
>
> You may have already said this a thousand times in your other
> posts, but could you please just fill me in one more time as
> to how the situations and objectives differ?

Sure! Know though, that these are my opinions; I am a parent of two
Sudbury students, and my thoughts in no way represent the model or
Sudbury Valley School or Fairhaven School.

We're talking about two situations: 1) How adults relate to one another
in open society, and 2) How staff relate to students in a Sudbury
School.

In relating to other adults, we are free individuals seeking happiness
in a world filled with strangers with whom we do not directly owe
anything, and who do not owe us anything. In the school, we are
employed by the parents with the direct purpose of fulfilling a certain
role in the lives of their children.

The role adults fulfill in the school is that of staff (the role of
staff cannot be fully covered here), the purpose of which is to see to
the day-to-day operation of the school within the Sudbury Model. The
purpose of the school, imo, is to provide an environment that best
provides the student the opportunity to lead their learning processes
and have proportional say over what the school is and does. It is up to
staff to ensure that the school operates to those ends.

> When a staff
> does not offer help to a child in a situation where they
> would naturally have offered help to an adult, what would be
> the justification?

Can you give a specific example? I think you have combined two
statements I made (1: that unsolicited help might or might not be an
appropriate thing for staff to do, and 2: the way adults operate as
staff in a school should not be dictated by how adults operate outside
the school), and it would help if I had a specific scenario to respond
to.

> Is this non-interference not sending a
> message to the child, i.e., you are a child and therefore you
> need to figure this out without help even though I would
> offer help to an adult in your situation?

I need a specific "help" to respond to this. As I have posted, I
believe it is a science - I don't think I can tell you what my personal
"rules" are for where I would offer help or encouragement and not.

Thanks, Liz.

-Joe

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