Everyone here at Workspace Education had a blast on Halloween. Most of the children were in costume all day, and a lot of the older Workspacians, too. We had a parade that doubled as a stage show, and there were a slew of goodies and sweets, some homemade, some deliciously mass produced (thank you, KitKats and Snickers.)
There was even a haunted art gallery exhibit. (Spooky!)
In a way, Halloween is the epitome of the Workspace Education way of being, what we call “The Be.” What do we mean by that? And why does Halloween resonate so strongly here? I’ll explain.
As we put it here on our website, one of the goals we set and recognize for what we do here at Workspace, what we call “The Be”, is that all of us, all people, want to have autonomy and personal freedom. For a lot of people, Halloween is the one day they feel like they can do that. The one day of the year they can dress in an unusual way, pretend to be someone or something that they aren’t, act out fantasies that they keep secret the rest of the year, and just basically spend the day experiencing life as it might be, rather than as it is. It’s fun and it’s liberating and it’s expressive and creative, too. No wonder so many people love it. It’s the one day they can chase their dream.
For most people, they get to feel that way once a year. It’s a Halloween kind of feeling, for one day. Here at Workspace Education, that’s the way we act and think and learn pretty much every day. As we put it on the website, “No longer does a child have to expend energy bending who they are to conform to the boundaries of a traditional (school) environment.”
Here, we try to create an atmosphere and a space and an environment where children are empowered to imagine new horizons and new roles and new ways of doing things. As with Halloween for most other people, it’s liberating and inspiring and exciting all at once.
As noted, one of the coolest parts of the day was the parade, which doubles as a sort of fashion show of costumes. You can see that some of them are truly astonishing in their details and imaginativeness and sheer size. Another one of our Way of Being “The Be” sayings is “I want to express myself through my work.” These costumes, as intricate and complex as they are, are a perfect example. Because the children made them for themselves, and 100% by themselves.
In the same ways that we let families design their own learner-centered customized educational opportunities, our children feel empowered to design their own clothing and businesses and programs and whatever else they feel like.
So that’s why Halloween exemplifies a lot about the Workspace Education way to Be. Because not only do you get to try and do what you wish, but you also get to try (and perhaps fail and try again) to do it by yourself.
Workspace Education is a great place to learn and to grow and To Be, every day. But maybe it is especially so on Halloween.