Discussion: Things I wish I’d been taught in school

As it’s recently the start of the school year in the UK, I wanted to look back on what I wish I’d actually been taught at school. As a Linguistics graduate, Pythagoras’ Theory and how a bunsen burner operates have never been useful in my adult life. Similarly my brother, a chemistry student, has never seen English as anything other than reading books and thinking about why the author used a particular word from that specific character (I never understand why linguistics isn’t as important as literature at school).

Anyway, here are some things I think would have actually been useful or interesting to learn at school:

How to budget – It’s an obvious one, I know, but I think this is the most important thing we could have learned in maths class. Many people get all this money when they first go to university and blow it on fresher’s week before realising they have no money for rent and living off Value baked beans for the rest of term.

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How to cook properly – Similarly, I’d have loved cooking lessons at school. We had this ridiculous “food tech” subject at school but the only thing I remember actually making was rock buns (anyone else?)

Image result for rock buns

That PE could be fun – Any other geeks at school dread PE with the hideous netball skirts and cross country in the winter (seriously, who thought that was a good idea?) It wasn’t until I went to uni 10 years after my abusive PE teacher that I realised physical activity could be fun – zumba anyone?

nerdy heads up GIF by You Blew It!

How to speak a foreign language properly – I took French for over 8 years and can only remember how to say I don’t smoke. Foreign languages in UK schools seem to be about memorising far more than actually learning the language. When I was a TEFL teacher it was embarrassing how much better my 6 year olds were at learning English than I ever was at French or Spanish in school. And it will likely only get worse with Brexit.

How to travel and experience other cultures – All I remember about geography was learning about river rock erosion and my PE/geography teacher telling us about maps based on how good the country was at football. We hardly learnt about other cultures. Having lived abroad I realised how good I was at actually exploring a foreign culture, but school doesn’t prepare you if all your family holidays were spent on the beach speaking slow, loud English.

Image result for english speaking foreign

History beyond the Tudors and the World War – At school I’d probably have been forgiven for thinking nothing happened in British history between these two periods. I have an in-depth understanding of trench foot and the dissolution of the monasteries but any other history I know came from CBBC.

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7 thoughts on “Discussion: Things I wish I’d been taught in school

  1. Yes to all of these! All I can remember making in Food Tech is Scones and Sausage Rolls haha 🙂

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  2. I so totally agree!
    I hated PE with a passion, and thankfully in high school i was told by my doctor that i’m not allowed to participate cuz of my back pain. Best thing ever!

    I also would have loved to learn more about personal finances. Like, I’ve been working for the past 15 years, but no clue how pension works. I have some vague ideas that i can’t be bothered to google.

    I think schools don’t really teach people who to adult… :/

    Cooking would have been nice. I mean, i can cook, i just hate it, and usually to me home cooked food = some sad attempt at some recipe that is barely edible.

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    1. I’m sure your food is edible haha, I’m not really keen on cooking either but even if we’d been taught basic things to live on when we first move out of home it would have been more useful. And yes, things like pensions and how your tax is deducted!

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  3. I just had this conversation with friends recently. I would have loved to have basic home finance lessons, budgeting, life skills like cooking, and other things taught in school.

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