When I walked into Fairhaven School for the very first time, with the idea of enrolling my small son there, I had a terrible moment of indecision where a brief flash of his possible future- running full speed into the thick woods and spending his days engaged in Lord of the Flies style activities- almost made me reconsider.
What Fairhaven gives to kids cannot be measured by your typical educational yardstick. As a teacher who has two other children in the competitive and difficult world of Washington DC private schools, I live with a foot planted in two completely different worlds, straddling the fence between hearing “I really want to” and “I must.”
I see the increasing pressure, workload and stress of a system that sells performance and success at all costs coming up against the pastoral setting and freedom to learn that stands in defiance of it, and it’s startling.
I won’t lie, it has taken me a long time to convert. Eventually, I got schooled by my son, who taught me to reevaluate my priorities, consider democracy in lieu of the benevolent oligarchy I ran at home and see things in a new light. Fairhaven works in mysterious ways.
As a parent of a long time Fairhaven student, I’m thankful for the unique and wonderful place where kids make important decisions about their future while honing skills that promise a lifetime full of satisfaction. I’m glad I have a child who is so fulfilled and willing to think outside the box while he charts his way through his education.
Hudson Valley Sudbury School