A Glimpse of the Long View
September 22, 2017
I recently came across the concept of “getting a glimpse of the long view.” This idea coincides with the work that we’ve done in Forest Ridge School District 142.
- Current – inviting everyone to work and move in the same direction
- Flow – getting to know students and purposely planning lessons based on what we know to increase engagement and enjoyment in schools. In essence, helping students get in the “zone”
- Synergy – knowing we can accomplish more by working together, and
- Cresting – riding the wave we’ve been collective working toward while ensuring implementation is thorough and progress is relentless
These essentially “long view” themes have been a guiding force for all District 142 Staff, acting as both inspiration and invention, as we continue to provide the best educational experience for our students.
Further, several forward-thinking ideas are presented in the District 142 Blueprint Strategic Plan 2015-2020. These themes and tools help provide a tethering point to begin exploring what the long view would truly look like here, what it will look like in education in general, and the steps necessary to tie these two thoughts together.
For our youngest learners, lets call them age five: How do we design an educational program that will meet their needs as they graduate from… high school in the 2029-30 school year?… from college/technical school in the 2033-34 school year?… and even further out in the distance, for their work and retirement years, which will end somewhere around 2074-75? For some reason, the Jetson’s cartoon keeps playing in my mind. Will there even be colleges or will we have streamlined knowledge to the point where “going away to school” has become obsolete? How can my long view—providing a relevant education to our children—be accurate when I am unsure of what the world will look like when they are in charge? And, will there be flying cars, like on the Jetson’s?
Ahhhh, there it is! And, I didn’t take much time to get there, to the thought: some day these children will be in charge! They will run our schools, towns, government, etc. They will be in charge of themselves and of us. They will be operating in a world that essentially doesn’t exist fully yet. How do we prepare them for the unknown?
Through the normal course of time, innovation, and change, for many of us — even now — the education of our children are receiving differs from the education we experienced. Based on this reality and then taking the long view perspective, education will continue to evolve throughout the generations. Although some of the same lessons we learned as children with a more traditional approach still hold true. Here are a few long view thoughts for what we need to do:
- teach children how to competently use the tools that will be utilized in their world,
- teach children to work together to solve complex problems,
- teach children to be able to communicate with one another so that they can gather and disseminate information effectively,
- connect children to causes that will help themselves, one another, and our world be a better place for their children and future generations, and
- at times, we need to get out of their way to empower their creativity, allow them to fall and learn from it, and be better for it.
As we look out on the horizon and gaze toward the long view, it’s exciting to think that the education of our children are being provided in District 142 helps set the trajectory for our collective future. We take that responsibility seriously, for that glimpse of the long view is something to be cherished with the same value as we cherish their first day of Kindergarten, the first spelling bee, their move to middle school, and their 8th grade graduation day. Each moment precious in its time and concurrently essential to the blueprint of the long view of our children’s lives.