Ah, school. For many, it is either the greatest years of their life, or the complete opposite of that. For me, it was the latter.
1. Separating ‘maths’ from ‘further maths’
Trigonometry, Pythagoras, Algebra – since leaving school, I haven’t been asked to use any of these things, or even how to spell them (which I couldn’t remember at first). However, basic multiplication has helped me every day.
For this reason, I suggest that the teaching of mathematics should be separated into two classifications at GCSE level: ‘maths’ and ‘further maths.’ The former would cover basic topics for use in the real world, whilst the latter would explore more advance equations, for those who want to study maths beyond school.
2. Arranging classes by commitment, not intelligence
I wasn’t the smartest kid in school, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try. I always worked with a positive attitude, but it was hard to do so when you’re surrounded by children who – to put it nicely – just don’t want to learn.
Perhaps kids like me will have struggled to keep up in higher classes and I wouldn’t have demanded to be among the Oxbridge-bound, but there was no need to be grouped with a bunch of time-wasters.
3. More left-handed instruments in music lessons
This is more of a personal desire as I’m a left-handed guitarist, and I know it will never happen due to higher manufacturing costs and lower shipping demands.
I was very lucky. A lot of kids might not get a chance to play an instrument outside of school, so imagine the neglect they feel when they have that chance taken away from them, based on how they hold something. It’s annoying.
4. Managing money
Banking, taxes, mortgages, loans – I have come across these terms a lot since leaving school, and that begs the question: why was I never taught about any of them?
They might be boring things to learn about, but I would have been very thankful to come out of school with several documents on how to deal with my tax return, instead of having no clue about it.
5. Being employable
Getting a job is something that every child in school will one day have to do. I was fortunate enough to have a few lessons where this topic was lightly addressed, but there could have been a lot more detail.
Researching companies, writing CVs and covering letters, preparing for interviews – all of these things would have been useful to learn about. Why not tailor the sessions towards the jobs that they want and perhaps offer a pupil reward for listening to the essential bits?
So there it everything I wish I’d learned in school. I hope that any teachers reading could apply this to their lessons in some form.
What do you wish you’d learned in school? Post your thoughts in the comments section.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Greg Henley writes for Carrot Rewards and takes a keen interest in education, creative writing and art.