In this week’s Cultivating Courage post we answer the question: How do I best describe Alpine Valley School to my friends and family?
Sometimes after enrolling at a school like ours, families struggle finding the right words to describe the Sudbury Model of education to the people in their lives. We want to convey our excitement about the school and all the great things it has done for our children, but the words just don’t come easily. Well, never fear: here are three steps you can follow to become more confident in speaking about your experience.
See for Yourself
Reading up on the Sudbury Model can help you assemble some facts and figures to keep in your back pocket for future conversations. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there for increasing your knowledge of the school.
First, here is how we at Alpine Valley School describe ourselves (on our website):
“At Alpine Valley School, students explore the world freely at their own pace and in their own unique ways. Our school creates a learning environment free of grades and grade levels, tests, and required classes. Instead, the students set their own educational paths, making their education meaningful and relevant.”
This passage is one of several from the About Us page on http://alpinevalleyschool.com. That entire section of the website is full of valuable information about Alpine Valley School, our history, and how we operate.
Not only that, but AVS staff members generate at least one new blog post per week. While the individual subjects vary, these posts typically contain interesting anecdotes and real-life experiences from the people who live this stuff every day. You can catch up on all our past posts by visiting the Alpine Valley School blog.
Listen to Testimonials
Sometimes it’s comforting to know that you aren’t treading into uncharted territory completely on your own. There are in fact people who’ve come before you with their own success stories to tell about Alpine Valley School. Here are some of our favorite resources from AVS graduates and parents—perhaps their stories will inspire you in telling your own!
Use Your Own Words
While both written and audio presentations can be great resources, it’s also important that you feel comfortable and confident in your own knowledge about Alpine Valley School. We recommend taking notes throughout the research process and compiling your thoughts into a thirty-second elevator speech. Keeping your talk short and sweet will help you distill your message into its essential elements and communicate only the most important aspects of your experience.
What do you think? Were these resources helpful? Do you have any other favorite videos or books that really helped you describe your experience at Alpine Valley School or another organization like it? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-271-0525 to chat further!
Cultivating Courage is an ongoing series of posts (text, video, etc.) intended to help Alpine Valley School families feel confident in their choices. Supporting our students means becoming more informed and helping each other along this road less traveled. These posts will address common questions (e.g. “how will my child learn”) and provide a variety of useful resources.