I know what I’m about to ask is going to sound a bit strange but recent events have me re-thinking of lot of what I had considered the norm. Here’s my question, “Why is it important to teach our children that they must be able to stand in a line?”

Before you answer, hear me out.

Over the years, as a storyteller, I’ve traveled to, quite literally, thousands of schools. Yesterday I noticed something that struck me for a greater desire of insight. It wasn’t as if it was the first time I was seeing this, but yesterday, for some reason, it stood out.

All schools are not equal. That goes without saying and I don’t think many will debate the thesis, but there seems to be a shift in the equality of our expectations on our children.

I visit more public schools than any other type. Occasionally a private school will bring me to their campus to share tales of my travels, music and even allow me to do a little storytelling every now and then. In every single public school I’ve ever entered, the importance of getting students to form and remain in “straight” lines has been an “entry-level” aspect of the meta-curricula. There are a host of other reasons why educators and parents deem it of paramount importance that our children be able to form lines but I’ll leave that to the more informed among us to expound on.

Yesterday I visited one of those campuses where resources are not in question and equestrian instruction is a part of physical education. One of the things that struck me immediately as I watched whole classrooms of children walking to their dinning hall (they had a dinning hall, not a cafeteria), was that they were not walking in a line. The student’s were walking across their campus similar to the way college students do. They were chatting, laughing and playing around but moving in the direction of their desired destination. There was no disruption to the campus, no classrooms were being disturbed. These were young elementary age children, not middle or high schoolers.

As I watched these children able to move themselves from place to place on this campus without standing in line, I really started to question the importance of the concept of “standing in line.”

So, I ask this once again, “What is the importance of teaching our children to stand in a line and why is this not important at “all” socio-economic levels of education?”

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