Friday, May 17, 2013

Did I learned anything important in school?

Did I ever learn anything important in school?


But, of course, I'm supposed to think that. I'm a Superintendent.

The question is what?

Neil Gaiman has said:
I've been making a list of the things
they don't teach you at school.
They don't teach you how to love somebody.
They don't teach you how to be famous.
They don't teach you how to be rich or how to be poor.
They don't teach you how to walk away from someone
you don't love any longer.
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.

Each of us could add to the list that Mr. Gaiman started.

They don't teach you how to laugh.
They don't teach you how to enter a room and feel comfortable.
They don't teach you how to react when you get
a phone call with terrible news.
They don't teach you how to be a friend.

The list could go on and on. School does not teach us everything. 

But is it true that school doesn't teach you anything worth knowing? No!

School doesn't teach us everything. It is not supposed to. School can't teach us everything. There is just too much to know.

That's where parents, grandparents, friends, uncles, aunts, and others come in.

That's why we develop passions and interests and do our own research. 

But that brings us back to the question that we started with - what did I learn in school that is important?

It's not so much that school taught me specific things that I will remember all my life - although it did. I learned about the periodic table and simplifying equations and the APA method of citations for papers. I learned specific tasks to help me complete specific homework assignments. I learned multiplication tables and spelling words. I learned the classics and the not-so classics. 

I followed the tried and true math trail - algebra, geometry, algebra 2, and pre-calculus. I circled the globe learning about countries. I wrote papers. I completed projects in shoe boxes. 

I learned the curriculum that was taught. And that was important.

The things I learned in school prepared me for college. It gave me a foundation that allowed me to continue learning. 

But I also learned the curriculum that was not taught and that schools on occasion don't want to recognize.

I learned that people are not always nice. I learned that some people turn their backs on you and others embrace you. I learned that navigating the social pathway helps you learn a lot about yourself and a lot about other people.

I learned that looks are not everything. I learned that some people think they are.

I learned that some adults are your advocates and some adults are not.

I'm in a school because I believe in schools. Can schools be better? Absolutely.

Do I believe that schools help people learn things that are important? I believe that they do!  

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