[Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: French Immersion in Louisiana

From: Chantal Saucier <chantal_at_asteur.org>
Date: Wed Aug 10 07:21:00 2005

On Aug 9, 2005, at 10:35 PM, Hunderhill_at_aol.com wrote:

> If students attempt to speak English with staff members who 
> understand English, what will happen?

I don't know anymore and I'm having to rethink everything... Here's
what happened:

I had a few meetings recently with three teachers also wanting to start
a French school. The model they are working on is Reggio Emelia, and it
is for children 3 to 6 years old. I thought for a while that we could
work together in setting up both schools in one location because our
philosophies about education/schooling are the same and they would have
taken care of the immersion part, at least with the little ones. The
goal would have been to recruit young and keep them on our campus until
graduation. However, one of the teachers (the leader of the other
group) didn't agree with Sudbury's democratic system, especially when
it came to the fact that staff members are chosen by a students' vote.
She admitted that she was not only looking to work in the school, but
that she wanted "security" in her job. I told her that job security
didn't exist in the real world (she comes from the public school
system) but added that she would not have to worry since they would be
running the Reggio school, which is not set up that way and that I
didn't mind putting my job up for a vote in the Sudbury school. No go.
She wanted to change my Sudbury school to fit her image and I told her
that the model was non-negotiable. In the end, we decided to part but
to follow each other's progress from a distance and perhaps meet again
somewhere down the road (the other two teacher working with her seemed
more flexible but felt they had to stay with the other one. They have
been meeting and "working" on this for two years but they all admit
that they are nowhere still and have not held even one meeting with
potential "clients." Oh well!).

So, I'm back to square one (and depressed), with only my husband as a
helper and a supporter. We both believe that there is a need for an
un-schooling school in our area and that there is a market for it, but
I don't want to do this by myself. I should have my start-up kit in a
couple of weeks (ordered a used one from someone) and I will start
looking for interested people again. I have been talking about Sudbury
for about three years to everyone who will listen but the meetings with
those teachers where the first serious ones I had. I really got excited
that something would come out of it and if anything, it gave me the
kick in the butt I needed to really do something (that and the fact
that we have a child on the way). Most people I know admit to being
strong supporters of the public schools so I really need to look for
people outside my natural circle. I'm not sure where to turn. As I
said, I'm back to square one... (perhaps square two)

As far as the language issue, the more I think about it, the more I'm
leaning towards simply making it a bilingual Sudbury by providing
resources (bilingual staff, books, software, etc.) to those who want to
learn or immerse themselves in French. This way, it would be the
student's choice, as with everything else. Have any other Sudbury
schools played with bilingualism in the past? As I've explained in a
previous post, there is a strong demand in our area for French
immersion. The existing programs in our public schools always have
waiting lists and I would like to reach those people somehow, some of
whom actually turn to private schools when their child does not get in,
as immersion is their only reason for choosing public schools. How can
we do this and at the same time stay on the model? Any ideas,
suggestions, comments are very welcome.

Thanks all for listening,
Chantal (hopeful) in Louisiana

Received on Wed Aug 10 2005 - 07:20:35 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2007 - 00:03:12 EDT