My friend Brittany gave me a book called 300 Writing Prompts.
I take it with me on flights. If it isn’t too wacky (or sometimes even if it is), I’ll ask the person next to me to pick a prompt for me to write about while we’re flying. Sometimes, I just pick one.
The one I’ll use today is one I picked.
It’s about stuff we should learn in school. I feel like there are some things we learn (or struggle to learn, often in my case) that would be better serve being replaced. There are things I’d like to have learned, but didn’t.
What do you think is the most important thing for today’s kids to learn in school?
This wins over more tangible lessons such as budgeting, managing stress and cooking. (Those are all important too). Accountability could impact all those areas. And it could show kids the value not only of doing the right thing, but avoiding doing things selfishly.
It could strengthen character to act with others in mind, whether it’s not cutting line, not cutting someone off, or not cutting someone.
It’s like that John Wooden quote: Consider others’ feelings before your rights; and considers others’ rights before your feelings. Making amends would become second nature. We wouldn’t first focus on how we’d been wronged, but how we take care of each other.
Rather than castigate others, we’d concentrate on what we can do on our own.
Knowing everyone is acting with kindness, how would you navigate? We wouldn’t have to feel suspicious of others’ motives. We’d only question whether we were being considerate. No more blame. No more marginalizing.
No more excuses.
Even at the most simple level – the way you approach people you encounter tomorrow, for instance – it could change everything. Everyone could have a fair shot at their best lives, and contribute to the type of world that would foster it.
What do you think? What should they be teaching in schools?
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Accountability should be taught and learned primarily at home. Sorry but not for my unpopular opinion. Children who are exposed to accountability for eight hours of their day at school might latch on. What happens to the other 16 hours plus weekends?
What should kids learn in school? That’s a really good question. I’m not sure even the experts can decide.
Yes, you’re so right! But it’s not always in every home. I try to make sure it is here … I think perhaps my girls learn more from me from my second and 32nd tries, but it’s hard to know. I think they’re doing fine.
I’m sure they are!
Integrity. Very similar. And by the way, there’s a program that does try to instill these character qualities, it’s designed to be taught in schools next to the regular curriculum, called Manners of the Heart. Schools that start using it see a huge difference in student behavior and a rise in test scores. Teaching the character values does have an impact on every aspect of schooling.
Integrity is crucial. Same ideas, yes. I love knowing that there are programs like that! I feel like our educators want to do all they can to help shape thoughtful, driven, compassionate people. And despite the world’s ills, I have to say they’ve done a damn good job. These people just don’t get the headlines the others do.
Critical thinking … and civics. Both of these seem to be in short supply. 🙂
Good subjects, Sharon! We could use more of both for sure.
Empathy. Learning to see things through another person’s perspective. And how to have difficult conversations with people you care about. Great topic Eli.
Excellent choice. If we could see ourselves in others, how could we do each other harm? Communication skills and strategies could also use a boost. Glad you liked this topic!
There are so many life skills that should be taught in schools. Some college kids don’t understand the concept of balancing a checkbook or creating a budget. Accountability is definitely something that needs to be taught too.
We could do a whole semester of non-traditional school classes, Lecy. I wish I knew about budgeting back then. We do our kids a disservice by not teaching them.
Life skills that teach kids how to navigate the real world. And yes, accountability is right up there too.
compassion and sheer grit.
I like the direction you took with this question – and I do agree that accountability would be a great thing to teach. I was thinking more along the lines of life skills you’ll actually use, like balancing a checkbook and things like that.