what students think
The following interviews were conducted by staff member Peter Tulloch.
"Would you recommend TSS to other kids? Why?"
• “I would recommend it because it is a great social environment, a great variety of students, and a lot of people would get along well here.” -Dan, age 15
• "I like TSS ‘cause you get to do your own thing, you don’t get told what to do. You get written up instead of being sent to the principal. That’s what I like.” -Bryce, age 10
• “It’s great. You can do whatever you want. You have responsibilities and you can learn lots of things here.” -Angelica, age 10
• “Yes! Because it’s awesome, and I think it would be good for any kid. The only problem is that some parents don’t seem to understand. They’re like ‘I don’t want my kid doing whatever they want all day.’ I think it would be good for any kid or teenager.” -Lydia, age 14
• "Yes, because you have the freedom to choose what you want to do." -Kimberly, age 12
• "Yes. TSS is fun. I like doing a lot of stuff here. Making music and doing art projects, and playing around. It’s nice that you can do whatever you want here basically.” -Ruben, age 8
• "Yes, I would, because it's really challenging, but also extremely enjoyable. You are challenged to think for yourself and you are challenged with the charge of responsibility for your own choices, as well as for the governance of the school, which you are unlikely to gain in any other school system. You learn a lot more about yourself, what you think, and what you are interested in." -Cassie, age 17
"What is your favorite thing to do at school?"
• “I do lots of different things. I like going outside, I like hanging out with my friends. If you want to sit and be alone you can, if you want to go on the computer… It’s hard to choose just one thing.” -Ashlee, age 9
• “I’ve been to the library sometimes; I like reading. I like art and drawing, but I don’t do that much here. I like watching TV.” -Angelica
• “It depends what I feel like doing. I like to read and draw, I like algebra class, I like to go to the candy store, I like writing stories.” -Lydia
• "I like to read, play games and take classes." -Kimberly
• "I like talking to a lot of people. There’s a lot of people, and they have a lot of different interests, and there’s lots of different subjects that I bring up. It’s fun.” -Ruben
• "I like playing on the computer. I like playing with Barbies, and reading books. I like playing with the staff members, I like playing with Amelie. I like playing with Alana, and I like playing with Brigid.” -Sita
• "My favorite things to do are to explore my own interests and learn about the interests of others. I like gaining knowledge from people in the community who really understand things I don't know about yet. Mostly, I just like talking to everyone at the school, getting to know them, and getting to know myself in the process. I also like to do art, play music, laugh, and play with the little kids." -Cassie
"How does attending TSS help you to prepare for the future?"
• “[Attending TSS] helps you learn about how other people have different points of view; it makes you a better person, helps you to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you. I think it’s very helpful.” -Dan
• “It makes me feel like I don’t need to worry about getting bad grades, getting insulted ‘cause you got bad grades, flunking. All you have to do is just listen to the rules, and you’re okay.” -Bryce
• “I can’t really tell, but the nice thing is there’s so much to choose from. If you want to be a cook, you can join the kitchen corporation. At some places, if you mostly want to be a cook, but you want to do some other things, you would have to go to two different places. I’m a variety person, so I like to do a lot of different things.” -Ashlee
• "When I first started at Tallgrass, I really didn’t know how to read very well, and it’s helped my reading a lot, with the sign in and out sheet, and the chore sheet and stuff.” - Ruben
• "I learned how to draw, I learned a lot of things about the computer." - Sita
• "It teaches me how to be independent so I'm not afraid to be out on my own as an adult. I'm confident in my own abilities and I'm confident that I'll continue learning after I leave the school. You also learn a lot more about being in the real world than you would in a regular school setting because you learn how to deal with people you wouldn't necessarily get along with, and how to take care of yourself. You learn social interactions that go on in the real world." -Cassie
"What is the hardest thing about being a student at TSS?"
• “I guess it’s hard at the start to understand where people are coming from. In home school or public school, you don’t really talk to people, they’re just like drones. To understand other people I think would be very useful in the future.” -Dan
• “It’s sometimes hard to follow the rules and listen to other people. That’s what sometimes gets really tiring.” -Bryce
• “For me, because I was homeschooled, at first it was hard to be away from home, but I’ve mostly gotten used to that now.” -Lydia
• "I would have to say that since I've been voted to be cleaning clerk, that's a lot of responsibility. Making sure people do their chores, and sign up for them. Putting up the chore sheet, and filing the old ones." - Ruben
• "Doing your chores." - Sita
• "The hardest thing is you are constantly being challenged to think for yourself and find your own interests, which can be scary, because when someone is not telling you what to do, you can get overwhelmed by the possibilities. But I'd rather be overwhelmed by all the different paths my life can take rather than being given only a few options and being told by someone else what I'm good at and what I should be interested in." -Cassie
"What do you like most about being a TSS student?"
• “Probably that I can sit and read and be quiet if I need to or I can be crazy and social if I need to. I like both those things, and I like that I can choose what kind of day I want to have.” -Lydia
• “Being able to be with my friends. All these different choices with my friends. If you want to take a class or join the kitchen corporation, you could be like 10, someone else could be 15, and it’s not like ‘you’re not old enough…’ ” -Ashlee
• “I just like the way I get to be a student, and I like the way the school is.” -Angelica
• "My favorite thing about being a student here is you can do whatever you want. I like that there’s a music room, and we can learn how to play instruments and stuff. I just think it’s really cool that this school exists.” –Ruben
• "You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. I don’t know, I just like it.” -Sita
• "I like the sense of community. I feel like everyone at the school is part of my family. I think everyone has my back. Everyone will be straightforward with me if I am doing something wrong, and I won't be upset by that, because I trust everyone's opinions. Everyone knows me very well, and I know them. We have a strong bond and appreciate each other." -Cassie