[Discuss-sudbury-model] New to list, questions

From: Sally Rosloff <sallyr_at_socal.rr.com>
Date: Sun Mar 14 00:21:00 2004

Hello everyone. For the past week I've been spending any free time reading
all I can online about Sudbury and have just ordered a bunch of the
books/publications. So I'm getting the sense of it but of course have some
questions.

I've had experiences (with my children's education, with being involved in
a start up charter in the LA area with the progressive model, with being
newly licensed as a Marriage, Family Therapist) that have led me to
research options more thoroughly and to come across the Sudbury
model. Being involved in a school day to day has led me experientially to
question a structured setting, as respectful and child-centered as it
strives to be. My son, just turned 18, has taught me, by being the person
he is, about the Sudbury model, without knowing it as that. We took him
out of school in the 8th grade and finally let him "live life" and I am
awed at who he is at only 18. But the idea that a whole school could be
set up that way just never occurred to me. So it's exciting to learn about
that this model exists, although a bit daunting to wrap my mind around the
reality of it in it's entirety.

One of my questions has to do with some nuts and bolts. Like just what do
staff do each day (I know, I know, there is no typical day). I'm just
curious about what they come in each day planning, or not planning to
do. I'm also curious about the youngest children when they first
begin. Is there any oversight of their play, given their age and newness
to the environment (safety issues come to mind, as well as process
issues)? What would that look like?

I've been discussing all this with my husband and one of his questions has
to do with staff interests and/or exposing children to an interest they
don't know they have yet. He's thinking of his own case with being exposed
to theater. He grew up in Ann Arbor where he became involved with a
community theater started by a person who wanted the kids to do as much as
possible. It linked to the high school my husband went to. The kids did
almost everything, chose the plays, produced them, marketing, sets,
etc. At 16 my husband wrote an adaptation of "Lord of the Flies" and the
kids put it on. So he says that he didn't know he had this interest until
it was offered and also that even if he did have an interest he doesn't
think he could have followed up himself and started the whole thing. The
skills and interest to start up something are not necessarily the skills
and interests to be involved in something that is already up and
running. He is wondering why he couldn't, if he were a staff member,
suggest that a theater be started, if possible or necessary hiring someone
to do that and see if there was enough interest in doing that. We
understand the point about everything coming from the kids but don't staff
members offer what they are interested in as possibilities?

If any of the SVS publications answer the questions above please direct me.

Also, does anyone know if any one is still trying to start a school in the
LA area? I saw a reference to an email address in the list archives from a
year ago so I emailed it but if any one knows anything more up-to-date I'd
appreciate it.

Thanks and looking forward to learning more!
Sally
Received on Sun Mar 14 2004 - 00:20:48 EST

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