1995 Mode


One of the struggles that I’ve heard repeatedly from colleagues this year relates to the ability of students to do anything on their own.

For many of our students, building independence has not been easy. As much of our world has shifted toward everything on-demand, the skills of patience and perseverance have suffered. Students are still trying to master moments of downtime, unstructured activities, and independence. 

As much as has changed for our students, everything is still scheduled, organized, governed, supervised, and precise. Students aren’t used to so much downtime, and over the past two years, we gave them nothing but downtime. 

That additional downtime equaled additional screen time in many instances.

Now, during any idle moment, students are looking immediately to their teachers to help them fill the void.  

Listening to the Deep Questions podcast with Cal Newport last week, he mentioned how adults struggle with the same thing, and how we may need to reintroduce 1995 mode. 

Maybe we need to do the same for students. We might need to go back to a time where our kids had to embrace boredom. They did have screens (video games and TVs) but still managed to exercise their imagination in moments of downtime. 

1995 mode allowed for our students to play outside all day long, and learn deeply from the experience. 

1995 mode allowed for imagination, creativity, and resourcefulness.

1995 mode allowed for boredom as a time for inspiration. 

1995 mode allowed for patience and perseverance to be developed because much of a kid’s time was unstructured.

So, we end up with a short list of questions: 

How do we reintroduce 1995 mode? Can we? Or are we too far gone? 

Share your ideas for bringing our students back to 1995 mode at #4OCF.




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