I began teaching in the public school system in 1991. Ten years later, feeling totally depressed, I sat with a psychologist who informed me I could get three months paid stress leave. “Sign me up!” I said.
During those months, I dove into the study of the Sudbury educational model. The more I read about self-initiated learning and democratic schooling, the more I understood my disillusionment with the public school system, and the more convinced I became that I wanted to open my own Sudbury School.
In May 2001, despite being single with a mortgage and no alternate source of income, I submitted my resignation to my school board. One month later, I held a meeting inviting people to join me in opening a Sudbury School. One man, also a former teacher, jumped on board, and one year later, despite having started our quest without a dime to spare, we opened Indigo Sudbury Campus with twenty students and a leased school wing full of equipment and resources.
The next six years were amazingly fulﬁlling and rewarding! I witnessed transformations in children and families that were nothing short of miraculous! I saw how joyfully “unschooled” kids learned—and how much they learned! Because all our students were signed up as home schoolers in order to be legally accounted for with our province, I also became familiarized with the formalities of home educating in Alberta.