Life is filled with problems. It is in part, the goal of education to learn how to solve these problems. Students at MLSS not only have plenty experience solving problems that occur during the School Meeting and Judicial Committee, but problems they seek out in the form of puzzles, as well.
It seems like a short logical leap to say that people who spend more time solving a greater diversity of problems will be better equipped to solve problems. Students who are free to find and solve problems do, from Rubik’s and video games to chess and riddles.
In a traditional school students are assigned teachers who were hired by someone else, normally years before the student started attending the school. At MLSS students not only have an equal vote with staff hiring and firing staff whenever there is a vacancy, but in rehiring them every year, as well.
The idea of students hiring staff often seems weird to people who have just learned about the Sudbury model; but it makes sense from the students’ perspectives. The only person who is affected more by the decision to hire a staff person than the students is the potential staff person themself.
Students are free to decide what qualities they believe are most important in a staff person and vote accordingly.
Liam Marshall-Butler is currently a student at MLSS.