It seems fitting on this Thanksgiving Day to launch what I hope becomes a regular feature of Write Learning: the gifts of Sudbury schooling.
The subject of how people benefit from Sudbury is very broad, as there are at least as many perspectives on it as there are people who’ve been involved with our schools. And of course, one major theme of this blog is the value of this unique educational model. Even were I to stick to what I get out of being part of Sudbury schools, plus the effects I’ve seen Sudbury have on others, I could go on indefinitely. So how can I possibly present these gifts in an organized, effective manner?
That said, I’m mindful of Gretchen Rubin’s advice not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and so I will dive into these murky waters and see what pearls lie waiting.
Actually, the idea for this thread came to me when, as I was journaling earlier this week, I wrote the following: “A sense of wonder, a sense of possibility; a sense of empowerment and self-regulation. These are the gifts of a Sudbury education. This is why I am called to this soul-stirring, life-affirming work. Life as play, play as work, work as a mission to engage, explore, create.”
In the future, I anticipate describing the joys of working at Sudbury schools, the invigorating communities they are, and the incredible growth I’ve seen in students—such that many Sudbury alums are, frankly, role models of mine for how to live a happy, interesting, fulfilling life. My goal is to shed light on just how powerful an environment Sudbury schools are for fostering incredibly strong and highly effective young adults, people capable of identifying and achieving their dreams.
In pursuing this goal, I hope to include the personal observations and experiences of many others as well. To that end, I ask my Sudbury friends: What are your “gifts of Sudbury”? How has being part of a Sudbury community changed your life and the lives of those you’ve known? Comment below, or contact me at bsmith *at* alumni *dot* northwestern *dot* edu if you’d like to write a guest post.
All of you I invite to keep checking back for personal glimpses into the transformative power of learning communities based on freedom, respect, and responsibility.