[Discuss-sudbury-model] socioeconomic status of staff

From: Liz Godwin <ehgodwin_at_mindspring.com>
Date: Wed Oct 29 22:48:00 2003

All these thoughts in response to the original question about young people
becoming staff have been quite interesting to read. I find myself seeing
both perspectives and understand that the process to become a staff member
is, quite rightly, lengthy and non-trivial. It is and should be about what
is best for the students. However, I feel that no one has really addressed
the elephant in the room, and that is the concern that's been raised about
the ability of people who are not financially well-off to take the path
necessary to become a part of the Sudbury community. I am curious as to
whether anyone on the list is willing to give a synopsis of the typical
hiree's socioeconomic status. It strikes me that all the hours that one
must put in to get to know the school and for the school to get to know the
candidate, _while completely appropriate_, would weed out those who do not
have the ability to quit their job or take an extended leave of absence, in
the hope of obtaining another, most likely less lucrative job. This is not
necessarily bad, but I haven't (in my relatively short time on the list)
seen anyone truly address this particular angle. So, I am curious as to
whether most staff members are part of a household in which someone else is
providing the bulk of the financial support, or if they are privileged
enough to have been born into money, or whether many have just sacrificed
all but food and shelter for work they love. I could see myself having the
time to do what it took to be a candidate for staff; however, it would
require quitting my job and living off savings or the good graces of my
parents, most likely moving in with them, and giving up just about every
activity or hobby that I love so I could work nights to at least pay for my
room and board. Yes, it's doable. Yes, someone who "wants it badly
enough" could do it. And I have no problem with the fact that I don't want
it that badly. Indeed, I think that if I wanted something that badly, it
would be too much about me and not enough about the students! But really,
I'd love to know what the typical financial situation is for a candidate,
because I too am having trouble seeing how anyone but the affluent or the
ascetic could go through the necessary getting-to-know-you phase.

Please note that I am not taking issue with the process. I am only curious
as to what type of person is able to do it. Thanks very much for any info
anyone is willing to provide.

Liz
Received on Wed Oct 29 2003 - 22:47:14 EST

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