If you were born between the 1940’s and 1990’s, you most likely went to school to sit in a a chair amidst a row of desks. Obedient, attentive, compliant, and silent was the culture in our school room. Measured by quizzes and tests for proficiency. Graduated with a group that looked more alike than different.
I recently visited a manufacturer of school room furniture K-12. They shared a story with me that our world is moving more and more to a freelancer economy. No more steady employment over a lifetime. But more project work, collaboration, self-started learning in order to do deep work on a specific project, problem, or task. Only to be disrupted as an individual, when the work ends after a brief period of time.
Communication, project based learning, abandoning a routine after 2 weeks or 2 months to move on to something different. Needing to learn how to work with others to accomplish the project we have been given. Becoming comfortable in the temporary nature of work while continuing to build skills through our experiences. Developing the confidence to share ideas, even if they are not perfect, and learning how to work with others to bring them to life.
Our K-8 children will never again be well served by the row of desks we knew. The world now demands that they acquire different skills and experience a much different beginning to their education that is less about obedience, silence or compliance. But a much richer one, based on experiences, relationships, and expression.
The challenge for each of us that no longer sit in the row of desks we knew. is to transform our lives in this same way. Letting go of some obedience, compliance, and silence to transform our lives into something more meaningful and transforming when we too can focus on move varied experiences, deeper relationships and a more honest expression of who we are.