Future Class

In 5th grade, I had a teacher, Ms. Armstrong who used to give me extra books to read.  Gifted Hands, and The Souls of Black Folk.  Not only did I have read these unreasonably thick books, but I also had to write book reports on them!  It seemed like punishment – she only gave extra work to a few of us.  But when I asked her why she was doing this, she said, Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.  I treasure the extra push that she gave me, and the ability to connect the past to the present.

But today, I think that schools should take the next step.  Students must be expected to connect the past and present to the future.  I believe that we should have a mandatory Future Class that compliments History Class.

In a nutshell, this class would encourage thoughtfulness about the world around us.  Each group of students would choose an important problem in their community, in their neighborhood, in their city.  The teacher would help the students to better understand the nature of problem, to imagine actionable solutions.  With the teacher’s approval, each group would create their own reading list that helps them to personalize their education.  Future Class would not be a burden, but a way for teachers to unlock the creativity buried within students while engaging their experience, curiosity, and idealism.  The year might end with at Future Fair, similar to the science fair.  Students would showcase their work and present their solutions at a Future Fair.  Community leaders, parents, politicians, and concerned citizens would attend.

Without empowering students to imagine the future, we are waiting for the world to change…

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