Writings in the SVS Literature on the Role of the Staff
A collection of essays, letters, and email exchanges exploring in depth the unique role that staff members play in Sudbury schools.
“It is as role models that the staff plays its most important part in the life of the school. Towards this end, it is crucial that each and every staff member exhibit before the community, to the very best of their abilities, the full range of their skills. The more the staff has to show by way of excellence, the better the models against which the children hone their own skills. For this reason it is not only important, year in and year out, for the school to be staffed by adults who are capable of excellence, but it is just as important for the staff to exhibit in their daily activities the highest level of competence which they can attain. Examples of this abound, but perhaps nowhere is the point clearer than in the context of the school's official bodies. Staff members, along with students, participate in the School Meeting, the Judicial Committee, and in various School Corporations (special-interest groups) and Committees. The students observe with intense concentration the way the staff expresses itself and comports itself in these situations. Through such observation, students gradually learn how to collect and organize their thoughts, how to express themselves orally and in writing, how to debate an issue, how to compromise, how to listen to opposing points of view, how to accept defeat and victory, how to think through a knotty problem, how to be compassionate, how to be just, how and when to lighten up and laugh, how to show respect, and a hundred other similar subtleties that make up gracious, effective, competent adult behavior without in any way compromising individuality and creativity. The only way staff can be really helpful to students as they grow in all these many areas is by displaying the best the staff members themselves have to offer.”