preparing students for the future

Teaching for the Future

Just got back from a roller blading tour with my 12-year old (a luxury of being on Spring Break). 

The garden that spawned this post.

He examines the cute Dutch gardens as we skate by.  We pass many typical yards but at one he observes, “Those blue pillows look futuristic <pause> light blue just looks futuristic.”

I listen and he continues.

“My future company will have all blue furniture” 

“What will your future company be about?

“I don’t know but it will have all blue furniture”

“What are you interested in these days?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe that furniture thing.”

“Furniture thing?”

“Yeah, making all blue furniture.  Or maybe I’ll join Majong or Google….maybe I’ll give Google the idea for a Google car.  Imagine having Wi-Fi wherever you went, courtesy of Google.”

We laugh.  He continues to expound on a myriad of ideas.  We skate.  We enjoy the warm breeze together.

I realize that most of what he’s talking about wasn't available 10 years ago.  I comprehend that as his Mom and teacher, my most important job is helping prepare him for the great unknown of the future, to ready him for the unexpected.  After all, he might be employed in a job that doesn’t even exist yet! 

I am cognizant of the fact that, as parents and teachers, we are attempting to prepare children for a world that we aren't able to comprehend right now.

Part of me thinks, “Who cares about cell structure, food chains or DNA replication?”  What are we doing to equip our students with the skills they need to face the unexpected scenarios of the future they will certainly encounter?