Thinking High School

Love that .gif – so much of life is energy management, right?

High School is definitely on the mind these days as my wife and I begin to seriously think through the whats, the wheres, the hows, the whens and the whys for our oldest, who will be 13 this year.

Where should she go? How big of a school? Should she go next year or next-next year? How do we apply? When should we start building her canonical portfolio? Why High School? Why are we even getting freaked out a little over this?

These are the types of questions that we’re starting to wrestle with, among many, many others, especially topics related to work and the future of work for my kiddos:

In high schools across the U.S., a quiet movement is underway to better prepare students for a hazy new future of work in which graduates will vie for fast-changing jobs being transformed by increasingly capable machines.

Kaveh writes: Breaking with traditional schooling, these new models emphasize capabilities over knowledge — with extra weight on interpersonal skills that appear likely to become ever more valuable.

The big picture: No one really knows what future jobs will look like or the skills that will be necessary to carry them out. But researchers and companies alike widely believe that, as a start, interpersonal and management skills will differentiate humans from machines.

via Axios

So what’s happening? Well, essentially high schoolers are being taught skills that are eventually going to be handled by machines.

This is probably not the best use of time, right? Especially since the kids can miss out on learning skills that will be much more scalable and sustainably-useful long-term:

  • “The current system was created to develop a large body of people who can perform repetitive tasks in a strict hierarchy,” says Scott Looney, head of Hawken School in Ohio.
  • “We’re preparing young people for jobs that won’t exist,” says Russlynn Ali, CEO of the education nonprofit XQ Institute and a former assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education.


This is why my wife and I spend so much time talking with our kids about softer skills and the development of things like emotional intelligence and self-leadership. We want them to also remember that their network is their education:

Building, managing, curating, and being judicious about one’s relationship network is one of the most important skills anyone can have and develop.

So, we will maximize those types of things.