Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some model questions (by newbie)

From: Mike South <>
Date: Sat May 19 02:08:00 2007

On 5/18/07, wmvh <> wrote:
> "...These are facts of nature about how people are.
> In traditional schools, the teacher is set up as a mini-dictator over
> the students by the state..."
> If it is in your nature to let others live their life as they see fit (and be totally fascinated watching the growth), being a mini-dictator is much harder than you might expect.

Yeah, I know. I've been in that position on several occasions, and it
is soul-ache after soul-ache. The curriculum relentlessly shoves you
onward whether you or the students want it or not. When someone
finally does get interested the unit ends all too quickly and right
when you had the spark going it's time to move on to other wet
material and try to start a fire with it instead.

But anyway, yes, I feel for people who are in that position, and I am
thankful that things worked out for me that I didn't get stuck in it,
because I would probably have a really hard time coping.

And furthermore, I'll say that I really, really appreciate those
teachers I had that really cared about their subjects and cared about
showing us what was wonderful about them. They are the only classes
that I ascribe any value to (except perhaps metal shop, which was just
intrinsically interesting to me even though I basically took it
against my will.) Even though the fight seems hopeless, you can do
real good.

I still have several ceramics projects I did in high school and I
really love my memories of working with the clay, etc. I had a
project that was too big for the school's kiln and my teacher got
someone she knew at the university to let her use theirs. In her
position as dictator she could have just said "sorry kid, you have to
make something smaller". The difference was that she cared. Caring
about your subject and students can't fix everything that's wrong with
the system, but it's probably just about the only way to make good
things happen within it. If that's where you're stuck, you can at
least take heart that by caring about the kids and the subject you can
make lifelong differences for some of the kids.

Received on Sat May 19 2007 - 02:07:51 EDT

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