Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]Difficulty of deciding where to teach

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Wed May 8 19:47:00 2002

Hey Peter,

This is Mark, Ann's husband.

I'm touched by your commitment and wish to encourage you to follow your heart. You seem to be onto what matters to you, and so I wish you well in your journey.

Make requests,

Mark
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Ann Ide
  To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
  Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 5:54 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]Difficulty of deciding where to teach

  Hi Peter,

  My name is Ann Ide. I'm a parent at the Sudbury Valley School. Our income is certainly not quite elitist; but I know what you mean. It is a privilege not all can take advantage of ( even us just a little while ago ). Anyway, I don't have much to offer you except maybe to suggest you read John Gatto's books, if you haven't already. He also has a website (sorry, I don't know it offhand). He did a LOT of work in public, inner city schools in his own alternative way that might interest you and give you some ideas.

  BTW, what does nbsp stand for?

  Ann
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Peter Hunt
    To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
    Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 2:17 PM
    Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model]Difficulty of deciding where to teach

     I am new to this group.

    I used to teach in London in a comprehensive all boys secondary school. I gave that up a while back to start teaching English as a foreign language.However I am now considering going back to teaching science again in a secondary school.

    The only problem is that I am no longer convinced that compulsory education is a good thing.It is one of those almost taboo subjects which one never goes into. But then it struck me a while back.&nbsp; Just why do we have compulsory education?&nbsp; What does it achieve? I can think of many reasons why schools would be better and more interesting places to be if the kids were not forced to be there.I am kind of stuck now because a part of me still likes the rough and tumble of working in difficult inner city schools.&nbsp; There is a satisfaction to be gained from doing something which is basically really difficult.&nbsp; I thought about applying to work at one of the Sudbury Schools, but to be honest as an option it just seems too easy and not a big enough challenge.

    I also have concerns about working primarily for a small number of kids who it would seem are already fairly priveledged. I don't mean to be rude or hard here, but the system of democratic schools seems quite elitist. I personally want to reach the downtrodden bottom rung of the ladder kids who are stuck in depressing, imporverished schools without great resources. I am no saint. It is just what gives me some sense of satisfaction.

    The question though is this: can one adopt truly democratic principles towards education whilst still working within a compulosry system? It seems to me that the answer will never be as neat and as simple as I would like. However I do get a sense that there is a possibility for individual teachers to make a difference provided the remember where they are coming from and are clear about there own motives. Am I wrong?

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Received on Wed May 08 2002 - 19:46:59 EDT

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