Teaching Life Lessons

We went to meet The Girl’s English teacher this week.

Wow. I don’t envy him that job. A root canal might be more fun than teaching English to 14-year-olds, and I am terrified of the dentist. I always loved English but those early teen years are not the easiest to harness in a classroom setting.

What was even more amazing than the fact that he was surviving, and still had a sense of humour, was that he was trying to do more than just make sure the kids read Shakespeare. This class is about learning to take responsibility for your own Education. It’s about learning to take good notes and learning how to do a big project on a schedule, rather than waiting for the night before it’s due. It’s about listening and learning to speak to make sure you are heard. These are huge life skills that many people, not just hormonal, distracted 14-year-olds, don’t have.

They may not be lessons The Girl, or the other kids, really want to learn but they are important none-the-less. They’re lessons that we’re struggling to teach at home and it’s really nice to know someone at school is trying to reinforce them.

I still think we don’t teach kids enough of the essentials of writing like grammar, spelling and punctuation (I didn’t get them enough when I was in school and it seems to only be getting worse in the era of social networking and text messaging) but it is nice to know real life lessons are being taught.

Now, the challenge is to find a way to help them sink in!

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2 Responses to Teaching Life Lessons

  1. Julia says:

    As the teacher, I thank you. Sometimes we feel adrift in the world. Trying to help kids change, or at least find some kind of self-awareness, when the parents are absent as influences, can be daunting.When parents play, life gets better.

  2. Divawrites says:

    My high school history teacher was directly responsible for my choice to major in Political Science because he engaged us in healthy debate, expected us to support our point with facts rather than opinions…and LISTENED. My high school English teacher taught lecture style in Grade 13…and had us well prepared for university because she didn’t nag us about assignments…gave us the dates and if we didn’t follow through…we failed the assignment.One of my friends is a high school English teacher now, and she teaches high-risk kids. The “sweathogs” as she affectionately refers to them, all passed-a first for them. They have reassured her that if anything ever happens in school “they have her back”…because in most cases, she was the first adult to look past the gangsta exterior and see the person. She taught the person…and they adore her.

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