Sudbury Perspective: The transition to the “real world.”

Some of the most frequently asked questions I have received about Sudbury are about the relationship between the staff and the students. Many parents worry about how the kids will adjust to “the real world” after they leave a Sudbury school. They are concerned that they won’t be able to adjust to having a college professor, a coach or eventually, a boss. I understand the question, but I think the answer is easy.

Sudbury students choose what and how they want to learn…and eventually develop a plan or idea about what they’ll do for a living. When the make a choice, they understand the responsibility of the choice. They know and understand what study might be needed, the probable workload and so forth. They embrace it because it was part of THEIR decision to pursue it. In the case of a job, I would think that this makes them easier to manage, should there be a managerial relationship. They want to be there. They want to do well.

Adults, whether teachers or bosses, don’t want to have to watch you or coerce you. Just ask a teacher. They want passionate people who are motivated by the work, the mission, the subject and who invest themselves into the outcomes. That is what Sudbury students are encouraged to become. Self-motivated and personally responsible.

Moreover, as another Sudbury-model school, Mountain Valley notes in a recent blog post, organizations are shifting away from lots of layers of management, and moving toward focusing on the quality and innovativeness of the work. People want freedom in the workplace, but they understand that there is trust involved in having freedom.

Why should education be any different?

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