Should Schools Teach Life Lessons?
Updated: Jul 12
Education is a necessity to survive in today’s society. Students spend on average six hours of their day at school. It might not seem like many hours at first, but students start their education at an age where they are very impressionable. In the setting of school, it’s very easy for students to look towards teachers as role models. Some students do not have an idyllic home life and looking towards teachers for guidance becomes a better alternative as opposed to their own parents. While not all students have issues at home, is it okay for educators to assume the role of teaching students life lessons?
Teaching Life Lessons In School
Some parents probably feel strongly towards this issue, but the truth is by default teachers are an extension of parents outside the home. Most of the subjects we learn at school do not apply in the real world, but the lessons we do sometimes do. A great teacher would have enabled us to learn the following things:
1. Hard Work Pays Off
Remember the last time you didn’t study before a test? It might have been a long time ago. If you’re like most of us it’s not likely you did very well. That same principle applies to not only school but also your career and your relationships. If you do not check on your friends and connect with them every once in a while, your friendship will not stay the same. If your boss assigns you different projects and you do not deliver on any of them, it is very likely you will not receive a raise or a promotion in the next quarter. Know your worth and know when its time to start negotiating for a raise in your pay!
2. Making Mistakes is Part of Life
Regardless of where you are in life, you’re never too old or too young to make mistakes. Making mistakes is what makes life interesting and constantly enables us to learn and grow as individuals. Mistakes make life interesting. If we were perfect all the time? Where is the room for character development? No one wants to read a book about a perfect character. In school we don’t always befriend the best people nor do we do our assignments on time, part of that teaches us to learn how to make better friends and the importance of being on time with our work.
3. Be True to Yourself
I remember the days of trying to fit in and how exhausting they were. I ended up choosing myself towards the end of high school. A good group of friends is hard to find and it took me towards the end of my educational career to find my people. Choosing yourself is a hard process, but school shapes you to learn to embrace and love yourself. It is self-acceptance that begins to outweigh fitting in. If you are of the fortunate few to not struggle with friends, your educational experience probably helped you form the social skills you still use today. Regardless of where you were on the social food chain, you would not love the person you are without going through the changes that adolescence brought. Try reading encouraging quotes to discover what truly being yourself means.
4. Always Make Smart Decisions
Putting off assignments seemed very easy back then, but bringing a bad grade home was never a fun experience. If school taught us anything, it’s to always make the right decision at least with deadlines. While some of us still struggle with this, it’s not fun to fall back on financial responsibilities. If we fall back on a power bill, then there goes our electricity. Part of being in school was putting our best foot forward. Health class taught us to not take drugs, and for good reason. Hopefully, it also taught most of us not to become bullies. Making hard decisions in some matters can be difficult, but we know from school that as long as we try our best that’s enough to get us through. If you struggle with smart decision making (no judgment, a lot of us do) try these nine tips to help you out.
5. Change is Inevitable
We all had phases in middle school or high school and we surely experienced the many changes it came with. School taught us that we can not prevent change. Change is a part of life. School might not have taught us how to adapt to change, but change is part of our human experience. Life can sometimes be measured by how we adapt to these changes. Things in school were never the same whether we changed teachers, lesson plans, groups of friends, or our own individual style. These years forced all of us to adapt to changes and that is something we subconsciously continue to do. Whether we change careers, cars, or we become single or in a relationship, change slowly becomes our best friend and our biggest enemies at the same time. There are different ways you can get better at adapting to changes.
Teachers were a part of our daily lives as students. We were lucky enough to look to some of them as our role models. Regardless, we always look to them for guidance whether it be an assignment or when someone was treating us unfairly. Childhood was a rollercoaster and it would not have been the same with the educators who helped us look at the world with different lenses. Somehow we can all apply the experience from school as life lessons. Whether we loved or hated our educational experience, we can all agree that it taught us things beyond the classroom.
Important life lessons such as Things Only the Real World Can Teach You should be implanted into school so we don't have to learn them the hard way!