Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Principal Certification?

From: Bruce Smith <>
Date: Wed Dec 3 12:37:00 2003


I have forwarded your email to a colleague of mine at Alpine Valley who in
fact has principal certification. If he has any comments, I'll pass them
along to you.

For my part, I think it's inaccurate to state that this certification would
necessarily be a liability for you in starting or working at a Sudbury
school. If it helps ease the minds of some parents who otherwise wouldn't
even consider your school (and we all have parents in this category, many
of whose students do well despite parental concerns), or if it helps you in
dealing with outside authorities, then it could very well prove to be an
asset. The only significant liability I see is the time and cost of
pursuing such a certification. There are potential benefits in it, but they
may well be be overshadowed by what it would take to achieve it.

I just don't think you should choose not to pursue this certification out
of concern that it could hurt your school, or your chances of being a good
staff member. Yeah, it may raise eyebrows. But the people who are drawn to
Sudbury schools tend to be rather open-minded and think for themselves, so
it shouldn't deter them if you really *are* solid in the philosophy and
valuable to your school.

I encountered some of this sort of suspicion myself in the very beginning,
when I came in with a professed zeal for the model, but with no children of
my own and with a background in public-school teaching. In my case,
however, this was a very negligible and short-lived obstacle, one of the
least significant I've faced in my years in Sudbury schools.

Good luck with your decision.

Bruce Smith, staff
Alpine Valley School

At 10:10 PM 12/2/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>I began to learn about the Sudbury Valley School right as I began a
>graduate program in education. The time I spent at SVS transformed my
>thinking on education and I no longer see working in a traditional
>setting. I would like to one day actively support a Sudbury School.
>My spouse and I are approaching this transition collaboratively; one of us
>thinks completing the requirements for public school principal
>certification might give me additional credibility for the day that I am
>involved in a new Sudbury school and am trying to give parents and
>students confidence that this new school will be a good place for the
>student. The other one of us thinks that the educational approaches of
>Sudbury and traditional schools are too distinct for a principal
>certification to be helpful or to add credibility. I have spoken with
>some people at SVS about this and would also like to turn to those of you
>who have thoughts on the subject to hear your views in hopes that this
>might help us the resolve our gridlock. Thank you very much for your time.

"Nothing that is learned under compulsion stays with the mind."

                    -- Plato, _The Republic_
Received on Wed Dec 03 2003 - 12:36:16 EST

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