Re: DSM: Learning disabilities at SVS

swoodall@skipjack.bluecrab.org
Mon, 25 May 1998 15:45:32 +0000

> In a message dated 98-05-24 17:09:16 EDT, you write:
>
> << As far as ADD etc, if
> a child is free to come and go wherever, whenever and doesn't have to pay
> attention to stuff he's not interested in, how could anyone say he has an
> attention problem. The school environment creates these "disabilities."
> I'm totally convinced of this. It's very sick and sad. We are killing
> generations of creativity and curiosity. >>
>
I tutor in school (mostly K-6) through a prevention grant obtained by
our local housing authority. I'm finding it more and more difficult to
focus on the academics, and feel that the most important thing I do with
these kids is have a one-on-one relationship with them--as a person who
cares about them, is reliable and can be trusted. I like them the way
they are, and most of them are so curious about the world that opening
to any page in an encyclopedia takes us on an exploration (via their
questions and observations) that wouldn't otherwise happen in their
lives. These kids are fun, and they know what they like to do and what
they want to learn about, but choice does not exist for them in school.
My longing is to create an alternative "learning" environment for
them--an SVS-type of school. The way I see that happening in the public
school system is through a charter school--one designed for those kids
who most teachers would be glad to have removed from their classrooms.
However, I think that MD does not yet have charter schools. Actually,
if I had lots of money, I could just start my own SVS school, under the
auspices of the housing authority or a local church or independently.
And there just may be a foundation out there somewhere that would
support such an alternative school. I'm driven by this idea, and am
thinking of doing grad school via Vermont College this fall with a focus
on alternative education. The ultimate goal being the creation of this
school. The kids would love it--a school where they could be themselves
and learn through their own agenda.

Sara