Someone I know quite well posted this on their Facebook page recently. I have to say, I was a little taken aback as this gal is well educated and has relatives who are in education.
She is in her late 30s, so she should really have an answer to all these items she put on her list.
This is what she had to say:
“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you in school. They don’t teach you how to love someone. They don’t teach you how to open up & ask for help. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any more. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”
I told her that those were things children should be learning at home. Those are every day life situations that parents should be helping their children learn and discover. Why would it be up to teachers to give children help with these sorts of problems? I mean, if a kid asks his teacher for help, they would likely get it. More often than not though, I would guess that the teacher would call on the parent to provide that kind of “training.”
So, my take on her list of questions is:
• They don’t teach you how to love someone.
No one can teach you how to love someone. You are either capable of loving or you’re not. You can teach kindness, generosity, and sharing, but that doesn’t mean a child is automatically going to do those things. If a parent isn’t showing a child love, they may have a difficult time expressing it themselves as they get older. If a teacher shows a child love by hugs and words of confidence, that might be enough of a start. But it is up to the parent or guardian to take on that responsibility.
• They don’t teach you how to open up and ask for help.
In my experience, they do. But again, each child is different. You know how kids are. The first time someone laughs at a question or statement, they will clam up and not ask again. I haven’t yet met a teacher who didn’t try to get kids to open up. Again, the parent should be encouraging their child to speak up and not be afraid to.
• They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love anymore.
I had to laugh at that one. No one can teach that. If you’re sitting there like a bump on a log with someone you don’t love anymore, that’s your fault. You have to go inside yourself and drum up the courage to move on. And take your kids with you if you have them.
• They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind.
There is only one way to find out. Ask.
• They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying.
Again, not their job. But if you want to know, ask. Ask the person who is dying what they would like for you to say. Or simply say, “It’s been great knowing you — or not — I’ll see you on the other side.” I think most people who are dying would rather hear a joke than have someone wailing at their bedside.
• They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.
Honey, I wouldn’t touch that one with a 10-foot pole...