Lord of the Flies, Soccer, School, and Parenting
Updated: Oct 22, 2021
When people first hear that Greenfields is a student-driven school they think of poor Piggy from Lord of the Flies and a group of boys chasing after him, yelling, screaming, and well... The problem is the analogy doesn't hold. Our children aren't fictional characters in a book trying to expound on the ills of society.
A better analogy is youth soccer. There are clear rules (except for perhaps offside) and expectations. There is a referee to make sure that the game is safe and fairly played. There is a coach to help develop the skills and tactics to play better. The coach asks probing questions about what could be done during a match to help inform the choices made during a game.
But when the whistle blows, it's up to the players to play the game. Outside of set plays it's up to the players to figure it out. At halftime, the coach may help reflect on what happened in the first half and what adjustments could be made in the second half. The best coaches aren't invested in the outcome of the game, they are invested in the growth of the child.
"For me, success is not about wins and losses. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field." - Ted Lasso
Most of us don't put our kids in youth sports because we think it's going to make them world-class athletes. We sign them up so they can learn about teamwork, leadership, resilience, courage, and hard work. The skills and mindset needed to thrive outside of the pitch.
A student-driven school is based on the same beliefs. If you believe that every child is a genius then it's your job to help them find their strengths and talents and see how they can use them to make a difference in the world. When we hire guides we look for people who would also be amazing coaches and parents.
The guides work to help develop the skills and mindset to thrive not only at school but outside of school as well. This can't be done through lecturing and worksheets. It needs to be done through purposeful work where there are authentic choices. Choices that could be right or wrong. Students learn how to "play the game" of life. If we constantly tell them exactly what to do, in the name of grades and test scores, we aren't preparing them to be successful when we aren't around.
"For me, success is not about grades and test scores. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves in and out of the classroom." - Rob Huge
Being a good parent, coach or guide can be hard and scary, but we can't live their lives for them. The coach can't run in and take the free kick, the guide can't run their business, and parents can't have a difficult conversation with a friend. Well, we can, but our children won't ever be able to live
for themselves. What we can do is make sure they know the rules of the game, help them develop the skills and mindset necessary to play, cheer for them when they do well and pick them up when they don't.
Having been at Greenfields for eight years, I can tell you that the children are capable of a lot more than we think. In fact, they thrive when given the reins and taught how to ride.