DSM: role of staff


Melissa Bradford (mbradford@mediaone.net)
Sun, 25 Mar 2001 09:54:28 -0600


Dear Bill,

I was rereading posts, and thought the following words Scott Gray wrote
recently (3/11/01) really explains wonderfully an important aspect of the
role of staff.

Scott wrote:

>The reality is that adults have an awful lot of persuasive and personal
power in social relationships with kids. I remember when I was 8 years
old people argued with their peers in a relatively equal way, but if an
adult said something (even a _reasonable_ adult) it always felt like a
pronouncement -- and it was a much weightier matter to actually disagree
with the adult.
  What attracted me (when I was 10 years old) to the Sudbury model, and
what still attracts me, is that everything possible is done to minimize
the amount of power that adults weild just _because_ they are adults.

[snip]

>2: Those with personal power in the school feel a sense of obligation to
exercise it as little as feasible, particularly in areas which are closer
to the core of another person. This is one reason why you wont find many
people involved with Sudbury schools who like the idea of the Staff
performing a thereputic function.

I think it is very important for staff to be sensitive to the personal power
they can potentially wield by virtue of being adults.

One of the things that has impressed me most is how skillful the staff at
Sudbury Valley School are, in my limited experience, at upholding the
culture of the school without abusing personal power.

Melissa, LVS



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