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A Letter to Everyone in the AERO Community

Dear AERO Community:

Sometimes we assume that all 14,000 of our readers know about everything that AERO does, has done, and wants to continue to do and why you should support us. Here is a short list of some of the things for which AERO has been a catalyst.

We helped start well over 100 schools and programs that we know of:

These include Brooklyn Free School, which was organized out of the International Democratic Education Conference that AERO hosted in 2003. In 2004 it became the first democratic school in New York City in decades. Now there are several others.

One of them was Manhattan Free School that has evolved into the Agile Learning Center. ALCs are now spreading around the world.

We also helped to start one of the first homeschool resource centers in England, A Place to Grow, in Stroud. It is now being replicated in other parts of England.

When Summerhill School was threatened with closure by the English education bureaucracy in the late 1990’s, AERO helped organize support for them around the world, including organizing the International Democratic Education Conference in 1999 at the school to demonstrate this support. Summerhill won their case and continues to this day.

When we helped organize the IDEC in Germany in 2005 democratic education was illegal there. We had the last day of the conference in a well known university and that was a game changer. Now there are democratic schools all over Germany.

AERO’s website is #1 on Google for Alternative Education. AERO has helped innumerable parents find educational alternatives for their children, and teachers find schools in which to teach. We also help people who want to start homeschooling. Mostly we do this free of charge. Furthermore, we often don’t hear  about people who find the resources they are looking for directly on our website, through our lists of member schools and democratic schools, for example. Many people have told us they have visited as many as 50 of the schools on our member list. Tens of thousands of people have accessed and copied the Ten Signs You Need a Different Kind of Education for Your Child. It has been translated into many languages.

We have over 600 member alternatives listed in 57 countries and 45 states. But it’s an open secret that we won’t remove any school that has ever joined because we know what an important resource it is for people who come to our website. So only about a third regularly renew their memberships. It’s a dilemma for us. Nobody ever asks us to have them be removed from this list because every student enrolled is worth thousands of dollars to them. We also provide current member schools with free job ads.

We used to publish Education Revolution as a quarterly magazine. People subscribed to it through paid membership. Now we publish Education Revolution free as an e newsletter every week, more than 50 times a year. Many people depend upon it for the latest news about learner-centered education.

AERO is a book publisher. We sometimes publish books that need to be published but can’t find a publisher. For example, we published the book of Nikhil Goyal, a 17-year-old student, One Size Does not Fit All. At the time we told him it could lead to having another book published by a mainstream publisher, and it did. His second book, Schools on Trial, was published by Doubleday. He is now getting his doctorate in England. AERO has now published more than a dozen books and e books. We also carry a hundred other hard to find books on educational alternatives in our online bookstore.

After AERO hosted the IDEC in 2003 we started having yearly AERO conferences and have now had 14 of them. Even though many of our attendees are not wealthy and our conference fees are very low, we’ve had keynoters who might ordinarily be expected to be at much higher-powered events. These included people such as Zoe Readhead, Head of Summerhill, Sir Ken RobinsonSugata MitraRiane Eisler, Mimsy Sadovski of Sudbury Valley SchoolAlfie KohnYong ZhaoPeter GrayDebbie Meier, Yaacov Hecht and dozens more!

Many organizations and documentaries got their initial launch at an AERO conference and make good use of AERO’s resources to keep their important work going.

AERO is one of a very select few organizations in the world that brings anyone interested in educational alternatives and the idea of people as natural learners together under one banner.

We appreciate everyone in the AERO network and AERO truly is all of you. Just staying subscribed to the e newsletter and going to the AERO website do help us some because we have advertisers that support us. But if you want to help in a more substantial way and keep us doing this work please get our books, downloadsenroll in our coursescome tothe AERO conferencemake a tax-deductible donation, or better still, join the AERO elite and become a sustaining member for as little as $5 a month.

Your support will enable AERO to continue the transformational work it has been doing for decades and embark on new initiatives. We need much more support to really be a catalyst for the Education Revolution. Only you can help us do that! We’re not satisfied to just survive.

We know we don’t need to put in any special carrots or gimmicks! Nevertheless, all donors will get free membership or membership extension and a signed copy of my book.

Thank you for your support.

Yours,

Jerry and the AERO Team

You can make your donation here.
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2018 Black Friday Sale. We Get a REALLY Early Start!

Since everyone seems to be starting Black Friday 2017 early we thought we’d beat everyone to the punch with the first Black Friday 2018 sale!
Actually we do think that the early and super early sales are pretty silly. Also I don’t think the venerable and ancient celebrants would approve much of the commercialization of the celebrations in their name..
On the other hand AERO needs to make up a projected deficit of about $30,000 this fiscal year. So we do have a bunch of things for our 2018 Black Friday Sale. Some are silly, some are unique, and some are just great buys for Christmas 2018 or 2019!
Sale items you’ll see nowhere else:
 
Used 25-year-old Prodigy T shirt: Best offer!
This was awarded to Jerry when he was once Prodigy member of the month. Does Prodigy still exist?
1905 Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw: Best offer
Actually this unique item has some serious value and it’s in good shape for a 112 year old book! It was donated to AERO
AERO print archive Education Revolution Magazine, 1989-2011: Best offer. There are only a handful of these left. We offer one or two a year, and when they are gone you’ll only have digital copies.
Original large tie died shirt hand made at The Farm in Summertown, TN. These are very collectable. Best offer.
 
Free 15 minute consultation by AERO staff. Just reply to this e mail. 
 
To bid on any of the above just send an e mail  with your offer to us at JerryAERO@AOL.com or reply to this e mail.
 
Use the following coupon at checkout to get 25% off all items in the AERO bookstore: aerobf2018 If it comes to more than $20 you also get AERO membership and over $40, a signed copy of Jerry Mintz’ new book, School’s Over in addition. 
The paintings of William Mintz
 I think many of you grow the tragic story behind this. If not you can read about it here. We won’t sell the prints but we will give them to you as thanks for a donation to AERO. This year we are also offering prints on canvas.
School Starters Consultation Course, $249
This is one of most popular items and it is only offered for a brief time at this price. Schools and programs such as homeschool resource centers around the world have been started with AERO’s help. These include Brooklyn Free School, Pono Learning Center, Manhattan Free School, now Agile Learning Center, Mosaic Agile Learning Center, A Place to Grow, and more than 100 others. The full course is only offered once a year, in September, for over $1000. If you get the Consultation Course now you can audit the course and have full access to the resources. You can ask direct question to Jerry Mintz and Chris Mercogliano, who teach the course, and the price can be applied to next year’s course.
You can register for the course here.
Any donation over $20 or bookstore purchase over $25 will also get a free AERO membership. Any donation or book purchases over $40 will get an AERO membership plus a signed copy of Jerry’s new book, School’s Over.
 
DELIVERY GUARANTEED BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2018!
(Just kidding! We’ll send right away)
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The Highland School Has Internships Available

Intern Position for Spring Semester 2018 (January 8-May 23, 2018) – Must apply by December 1, 2017.

Intern Position for the 2017-2018 school year (September – May)- Must apply by March 1, 2018.

 

For specific details, please contact the school at thshighland@gmail.com or 304-869-3250.

Position Description: Interns participate as members of The Highland School’s democratic community.  Interns must support the school’s democratic process and be capable of functioning in the democratic community.  They should be respectful of students’ activities and function as resources to enable students to explore their interests as needed.  Interns should act as responsible members of the school community on a consistent basis.

Qualifications: Interns need to be interested in learning about democratic education.  They also should enjoy working with children.  An outgoing, open-minded person with a variety of academic and extracurricular interests is preferred.  However, respecting and valuing each student’s unique interests and being willing to learn along with students is critical.  A cleared background check including no offenses against children must be supplied prior to the first day of employment.  Must have driver’s license and clean driving record.

Conditions of Employment: Interns are hired and fired at the pleasure of the General School Meeting. Interns must abide by the Constitution and school rules. Unless there is an emergency (sickness or death in the immediate family), all personal leave must be prearranged with the General School Meeting.  Room and board ($250 per month) are provided in the school dormitory.  The Highland School does not provide health insurance for interns.

No H1B1 work visas available for staff or intern positions.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.thehighlandschool.org/employment

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Full-Time Instructor/Program Director Opening At Liberated Learners

Bay State Learning Center in Dedham, MA (near Boston) is looking for an Instructor/Program Director to join their alternative self-directed learning community.
BSLC is looking for a forward-thinking educator with enthusiasm and creativity to not only teach, but serve as program director. BSLC is in it’s fourth year of operation and has a stable, thriving program on the cusp of growing much larger. Do the kind of creative teaching you have always wanted to do, without the power struggles and unnecessary difficulties of traditional school. In a small setting like BSLC the potential for developing new ideas is limitless.
Instructional Responsibilities:
  • Work as part of a small team running a self-directed learning community of about 27 kids ages 10-19.
  • Flexibly teach a small variety of subjects in once-a-week classes; topics include the instructor’s training areas and personal interests as well as the student’s interests and needs.
  • Guide students to an excited, open-minded and active interest in learning.
  • Advise students in one-on-one advising sessions with an assigned selection of students, assisting students to define their goals, pursue class work, develop general/life organizational strategies, begin college planning, etc.
  • Maintain good documentation of class sessions as well as all advising sessions in the dedicated online databases for each.
  • Work with parents and families to help with the ongoing learning and development of the students.
  • Be available for students if they need assistance with any self-directed activity from getting started and organized to completion.
Organizational Responsibilities:
  • Help organize the weekly class schedule, as well as the yearly calendar.
  • Manage/Work with volunteer teachers to find, schedule and maintain a diverse selection of classes.
  • Help to run fundraising and outreach events to promote our program and keep it vital.
  • Help maintain a social media presence and assist with mass emails/newsletters.
  • Bonus if able to help with website updates and marketing graphic design.
To apply, send resume and cover letter explaining your interest in the BSLC program to both george@baystatelearning.org and marjorie@baystatelearning.org.