As a voluntary cooperative of teachers, the body of teachers seeks to become a more intimate community through a variety of means.
The first is the proper discernment of vocation. Vocation is discerned by a few indices:
- Possession of a wide knowledge and a capacious appetite for learning, a love for learning that has or is interested in walking through every major mystic-philosophical tradition, whether Germanic, Chinese, Greek, Christian, Sufi, Transcendentalist, Naturalist, Agriculturalist, Historian, narrative, poetics, scientific, existentialism, seeking the signs of the Chang Tao.
- Are you a complete reader? Do you believe in the dimensionality of knowledge?
- Be at ease in discussion, debate, and with students.
- Can conceive a doctrine that teachers are teachers and students are students, that they are nothing without each other, that the roles must enjoy parity and distinctness. Teachers may continue learning, they do not take up the role fully of students. Students may know something the teacher does not, they do not anyway displace the teacher. The school is a place for some to earn their living, some to pass through on their way elsewhere (which may be in the school again, this time as teachers).
- You must also possess, own, and love a manual skill, whether woodworking, stonemasonry, electrical wiring and repair, auto-mechanics, the fine poietic arts, gardening, even massage. The reason will be made clear as you get further along in your discernment.
- You will also have to realize that a collective of teachers is going to do everything for itself that bureaucrats have done for a century or more. They will recruit students, work out finances, pay rent, keep records. We may even build our own buildings when time ripens for the act. In this age of the World System Economy, we are going to find it very difficult to invent a new form of economy. There are some who have articulated various visions that we might try, Chesterton's and Belloc's Distributism, Williams’ Spiritual Exchange, Worker-Cooperatives. In any case ours is the Discursive Economy.