Not A Typical Teenager: 7 Things We Should Be Taught (More) About in School

Sunday, 6 March 2016

7 Things We Should Be Taught (More) About in School

I am currently in Year 12 (I'm 16), and so I like to think I have a pretty good knowledge of what it is I have been taught in school and what I haven't. There are some things which I think we should be taught sooner or a lot more of. This list, I think, pretty much sums it up.

1) Taxes
I do not have a clue what taxes are, what they do, why I need to pay them, how I pay them. I don't even know what happens if you don't pay your taxes, so surely they can'tbe that important (!!!).

2) How to write a CV
In my school, I was given a grid to fill in and that was my CV. It looked awful and I re did my entire CV using the internet and templates. My CV is now a tidy and ordered 1 page document, rather than the unorganised and incredibly unattractive looking 3 pages of grid that it once was.

3) Mental Health
We learn nothing about mental health in school. We had one assembly in year 11 where they split the male and female population of our year group up. We need to know that we all have mental health and that if we feel bad, it's okay. We need to learn ways of dealing with things. We need to know how to spot the warning signs for if something is wrong. We need to feel like it's okay to ask for help, to ask for advice. Talking helps get rid of stigma

4) How to deal with stress
This kind of ties in to mental health. Exams are so stressful and teachers put so much pressure on how important it is that you pass and that if you don't pass then you won't get anywhere, and yet we aren't told how to cope with our stress.
Just to put into context how badly the teachers handle the situation, when I was in year 11 and sitting my final year of my GCSE's, my school brought in a counsellor of some sort who said "There is no such thing as stress; only bad time management and organisation!"

5) To be better at our subjects
My friend was talking to a teacher in our school who said that teachers don't teach to be better chemists or biologists; artists or musicians. School teaches us how to pass exams in chemistry and biology, art and music. This isnn't the way is shoul be. We should be able to just learn about our subjects. The issue with exams is that the wonderful concept of learning is simply ruined by applying all of this expectation and ability to recite rather than understand.

6) Healthy Relationships
My school gave us a few (a few is probably about 6), lessons over the course of the 5 years I was at that school, about healthy relationships. And they mostly just talked about abuse and STI's. I think these are important subjects that we should be learning about. But we need to learn about how to maintain healthy relationships, not what to do when we haven't. We need to learn about maintaining more than just romantic relationships, but friendships and the relationships we have with family members.

7) General skills that will actually help us in life
Not all families cook, so I might need more than 8 lessons of cooking. What do all the dials on the washing machine do? Would I be better off buying a dish washer or hand washing my dishes? These are all questions that I don't really have the answers to because school hasn't taught me them.

What do you think? Are schools doing all they can to prepare us for the real world Should schools be teaching more relevant skills? Am I missing things off my list? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me and email via the link at the bottom.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx


  1. I'd like to add to #2 How to answer common job interview questions, and how to do follow up calls. I am 30 and still don't really know how to do a follow up call, really.

    As with #4, I know a few schools in Australia have started mindfulness programs, but it would be great if it were compulsory for all schools. It is a great tool to aid in stress relieve as well as many other aspects of life.
    It would be great if schools were more competency based rather than graded. Employers don't care about your marks. You should be able to pick a sort of career path and learn the skills as well as the theory for being able to do an entry level job in that field. And employers should also have more legitimate entry level positions that don't require several years of experience.
    I'm not sure where schools are at with critical thinking but bullies still exist and kids are still choosing to end their lives. We need to teach people to really think about the value of what complete strangers are saying. Perhaps this goes hand in hand with the mindfulness stuff. Everyone needs to learn how to self love, and how to be kind and compassionate towards others.
    I'm not sure if you've heard of the Safe Schools program we have in Australia, but things seem to be heading in the right direction..maybe..

    Ah well, good luck with your studies and journey into adulthood!

  2. Thank you bery much for you feedback. It's good to know that some places are trying more to incorporate important things in their curriculum. Hopefully more schools will follow in the same direction.

  3. All of these: YES! The education system needs to be sorted out so that we learn things that are more applicable to everyday adult life and wellbeing.

    Jemima x