Stuff They Don’t Teach In School

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be

-Sam Cooke, Wonderful World

I think Sam is light years ahead of most of us.

I’ve been thinking lately about the really important stuff I never learned in school. Not to lessen the vital role of an educated citizenry.

An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people. – Thomas Jefferson

Surely we all need to know more than basic literacy. The push to teach divergent thinking; the necessity to be able to evaluate. Bloom’s Taxonomy, familiar to teachers from simplest forms of thinking progressing to those that are more complex as: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and lastly evaluation. In creative production both thought divergent and convergent thought processes are necessary as one first diverges ideas in numerous quantity, and then narrows and refines the array through convergent thought processes.

We could debate the quality of teaching styles and the ease of falling back into the lowest level of memorizing facts so prevalent in days gone by before nearly anything could be looked up at the touch of a computer screen. But that is not the stuff of which I speak.

They don’t teach you how to love somebody in school. No talk of love as a verb and not only a feeling.

They don’t teach you how to balance your finances, save for retirement, avoid usury interest rates, form and follow a budget. At least most schools don’t and of those that do, it is not core required curriculum.

They don’t teach you the consequences of your life’s earnings. How to be rich. How to be poor.

They don’t teach you to read body language. To develop your emotional intelligence.

They don’t teach you what to say to someone who is dying.

How do I advocate for my child if he is disabled?

What do I say when my mother loses her husband?

How do I stand up to bullying?  Why do other kids bully? Is it more about them than me?

They don’t teach you that you get more from helping others than you ever give and that giving is the way out of doubt and feelings of inadequacy.

They don’t teach you that a job hunt is a full time job. How do I interview? What does a good resume look like?

They don’t teach you that impulsive decisions can lead to long term regrets and consequences. What will that dragon tattoo sprawling across my midsection look like with a fifty year old beer gut or a ninety year old sagging physique?

They don’t teach you how to hold a baby, how much it actually costs to raise a child or even IF you have the hutspa  to be a parent…and if you don’t–that’s Okay.

They don’t teach you how to age with grace and to respect those who are going through the slings and arrows of aging and ageism.

Most of all—they don’t impress upon you the importance of walking through your life with others. Friends are the glue of sanity and the joy of sharing life.

What are some of the things you wish you’d been taught in school?

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