Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] How can a young adult get into the world of Sudbury / unschooling?

From: Sheila <sheran_at_ptd.net>
Date: Wed Oct 29 21:09:00 2003

I have some thoughts. :)

I would think that the kind of staff person valuable to a Sudbury school
would be someone with a lot of experience in the Sudbury philosophy. So
maybe going to college is a poor choice when wanting to pursue a Sudbury
school as a career? Maybe you need to further your education with real life
experience in Sudbury schools? Work at different Sudbury-like schools on a
volunteer basis? If I knew a teen who wanted a career with Sudbury, I
would advise them to be educated by spending time in the Sudbury schools
rather than by going to college. You went to college, and that's ok because
you learned valuable stuff there I'm sure. But maybe you should now pursue
the education necessary for a Sudbury school--volunteering in one. It's not
an education that gives you a degree, but it's still an education. Have you
read stuff by John Holt? I remember him wanting a job at a school and him
volunteering to work at a menial job there for no pay except for room and
board.

As far as your idea of living with an unschooling family, I think that's an
interesting idea. But you should volunteer to live with them so that you
can learn from them, not to teach them. I'm an unschooling mom and I
wouldn't hire someone to help teach my how to unschool unless that person
had experience unschooling their own children. I might hire them to help me
clean and look after the children if they were willing to take instruction
from me and learn from me.

You will find that unschoolers don't consider someone an expert just because
they have a degree in alternative education. The experts that I seek advice
from are the moms who have been unschooling their children for years. Like
the moms on www.unschooling.com or the yahoo unschooling discussion group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnschoolingDiscussion/ and
http://sandradodd.com/unschooling.html. Another idea might be for you to
contact Grace Llewellyn at her not back to school camp and ask her if she
needs a volunteer for that. You'd get to meet some cool unschooled teens in
action there.

Sheila

> Hi everyone,
>
> I've been following this list for a while and I feel it's my time to ask a
> question. I discovered the Sudbury philosophy and critical thought on the
> school system in general much earlier this year and I essentially found my
> passion. Making a long story short I became totally engaged in the
subject, I
> changed my major (at UC Berkeley from astrophysics to an
individually-designed
> one incorporating alternative education) and now I'm teaching a student-
> initiated class (at Berkeley) on critical thoughts on education,
incorporating
> Sudbury, Summerhill, John Taylor Gatto, etc. I'm going to be graduating
> college soon, and I would like to get into the world of
> Sudbury/unschooling/alt.schooling as much as possible (after travelling a
bit,
> of course). My question is: how?
>
> Sudbury Valley advised me to get a few more years of life experience under
my
> belt before applying for work there, because students appreciate age and
> experience more than youth and enthusiasm/idealism. That I can
understand;
> life experience is important, but I do not believe that
> youth/energy/passion/idealism can be totally discounted. I feel I could
be a
> valuable addition & resource to a Sudbury-esque learning community. I
have
> dreams of starting a school in the LA-San Diego area some day, but I need
> financial stability and (hopefully) experience working in a school first.
One
> more idea I had was to act as a live-in unschooling "mentor" (or whatever
you
> would like to call it) with an a family who desired a responsible,
energetic,
> intelligent and driven individual to help their children/unschoolers find
the
> resources and develop the attitude necessary to get the best education
possible.
>
> Those are my ideas - I would love to hear more! Do any of the Sudbury
schools
> out there hire young staff members? Remember, I would have to make a
living
> wage at least.. not much, but enough. How else could I get experience
> practicing the philosophies that are so dear to my beliefs?
>
> Please e-mail me with ideas, questions, comments, or just to chat. Thanks,
>
> Blake Boles (blake_at_casa-z.org)
>
>
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Received on Wed Oct 29 2003 - 21:08:23 EST

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