Sudbury and the FEAR OF FALLING BEHIND

Author: 
Associated School: 

Not long ago a parent told me that her son had “never been happier” since he enrolled earlier this spring.  And indeed, that very morning I had seen him running across the back hill with his arms outstretched and his head thrown back; it was like a scene from Free Willy.  His parent told me that, while his former school had stretched itself to make things work for him, he remained miserable there.  His needs, for space and time and companionship, were not being met.  I hear it a lot: it was like trying to fit the old round peg into the unforgiving square hole, but here, at last, there was no hole to conform to.  Out the window at this moment I can see three little bands of kids wandering the grounds, gesticulating excitedly, creating worlds beyond my kin.  One of them has green hair and no shirt.  One of them is carrying a bag by a strap around his forehead.  And one of them is being led by another...on a leash.  It’s so easy to forget that homo sapiens have developed a complex set of needs - and the skills to meet them - over 200,000 years of evolution, and they are embedded in us like algorithms that find expression one way or another.  We need to explore our identities and forge them in the context of intense social interaction in order to be successful, healthy, and happy.  Welcome to our “school.”

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Senate Confirmations, Donuts and the Price of Justice

Last week I found an example of “life imitating life”. Or more specifically life at SVS was imitating life in Washington. I am fascinated by the quirky details of democratic institutions. So, I got a little thrill when the 50-50 … Continue reading
Author: 
Foss Tighe

Reading: The Great Escape

… all I can do is read a book to stay awake, And it rips my life away, But it’s a great escape … BLind MeLoN, “No Rain” (1992) Recently, I did something very unhealthy. It started innocently enough with … Continue reading
Author: 
Silvia Beier

What are They Doing?

Author: 
Associated School: 

Well it’s the first warm day of March, and most people here are outside, climbing trees and rolling in the mud, building sandcastles and playing street hockey.  I just played a game a student created called, “Sharktooth.”  I lost.  I was also, for a time, the overburdened father of two very demanding young girls, busily making dinners to order (why do I let them get away with that?!)  while attempting to regulate their screen-time (the “screen” was a slab of bluestone) and mediate their conflicts (you’d have to be a saint to do this well, I assured myself). I had to quit that game after less than an hour.  People sometimes complain about “kids these days” preferring the virtual world to the outdoors, but I don’t think it’s true; when all the obstacles - obstacles that adults have created -  are removed,  they go outside.  A lot, and really in all weather, not only when it’s nice.  But the spirit today is more celebratory than usual.

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When Artists Bake

When I was voted in as a new staff member last spring, I knew I’d be doing a lot of cooking. Since the school’s inception cooking has been a vital part of SVS’s culture. The seeds for my own career … Continue reading
Author: 
Wendy Lement

Free Books, Free Students

Especially at the beginning of the school year, a new student, or somebody who has just not gotten around to it before, might ask about what’s the deal with the books at school. They might want to know if you … Continue reading
Author: 
Silvia Beier

No Morning Bell Rings at the Sudbury Valley School

Recently I was struggling with ideas on how to get the kids to help out more around the house. I found myself pondering what leverage I had over the kids. We have chosen not to make their allowance dependent on … Continue reading
Author: 
Foss Tighe

Culture, Identity, Adulthood

Written by SVS Alum Michael Greenberg! Reprinted from the Liberty Valley School (LVS) Journal For some time now I have been thinking about a bunch of questions that turn out to be related to each other. Here are some of … Continue reading
Author: 
Kelly McCarthy

Competition and Cooperation at Sudbury Valley

From my teaching days, there is a particular moment I remember with special sadness: It’s the moment in the semester when everything kind of closes up, and it happened without fail just a few weeks into the school year, coinciding … Continue reading
Author: 
Silvia Beier

A New Rite of Passage at SVS

As is well known, our rules require students to attend school at least five hours a day throughout the school year. In order to see to it that this rule is being observed, we have to keep an accurate log … Continue reading
Author: 
Hanna Greenberg

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Contact Us

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
 
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874