Things They Don’t Teach At School – 17 Recommendations

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”

– Malcolm Forbes

We all essentially are teachers in our own right. Our younger generation will eventually inherit the earth and I for one will be a teacher to all younger people, who I cross paths with, and offer the best of what I know. I will also remain open to what they have to teach me because they are the greatest of teachers.

I would like to clarify that this post is in no way a dig at teachers. I have many friends who are teachers and are amazing at what they do. But they themselves were trained in a certain way and are told to present knowledge in a certain way. What I’m talking about is an overhaul in the thinking of what real education is.

Here are 17 things that should now be part of the education system:

1. To be a great leader

I don’t think in some ways you can teach people to lead, you can only be a great leader and let other people absorb those natural abilities. A core part of this is teaching our young folk to speak in front of people. That should be inserted into the curriculum.

2. To challenge conventional thinking

Conformity is a virus that needs to be quashed. Conformity gets you nowhere, those who think differently always go that little bit further.

3. To cherish all ideas

Every idea you have is a gem. If may not necessarily be ready to be used in that moment but keep it safe because you never know when that idea is going to be your king-maker.

4. To create a new path

Just because things have been done a certain way it doesn’t mean that there are not other ways. If you don’t like someone’s method, show children they can create their own.

5. To truly use information, not just remember it.

Memorising information is futile. The best way to remember is ultimately application. Once you’ve done something 10 times you generally remember. If you aren’t going to be doing something 10 times in your life, why are you studying it?

6. To cultivate gratitude

You can teach kids to pursue endless riches or to be grateful for what they have now. Not just general half-hearted gratitude, I mean real gratitude. Only with the understanding of contrast and relativity can you truly appreciate.

7. To really connect with people

In order to connect with people you really have to learn how to communicate with people effectively.

8. To use the power of decision

You can never be sure of what life is going to throw at you or what you will attract. The only thing you can be sure of is that you can decide how to respond in that moment. There is a space between that stimulus and response in which you can pause in the moment and become a detached observer and then decide. It’s a fun game.

9. To create a clear vision

Most young people have no clue how they want to spend their life. Maybe we should sit them down and get them to really think that regardless of possibility and no holds barred what would they like to do? Then you can chunk down to the small parts of each step of getting there and help them realise what they once thought was not possible is now only arms reach away.

10. That life is more than just a 9 – 5

We ingrain this into our children, that they are starting life to make money and that a 9-5 is the most secure way to go. It isn’t and quite frankly we are ripping out the souls of young people and turning them into zombies. It isn’t the only way live life and it certainly isn’t the best way.

11. To think for themselves

When in a group people often look to others and how they are responding because they don’t want to appear to be stupid or have an opinion that warrants adversity. We should be teaching them to think about where they truly stand or, at least until they reach that point, to get more data and then make informed opinions.

12. How to treat people

Where I play badminton there’s a man who never used to pick the weaker players, including some kids. Now, those kids are much better players than he or I. Because I treated them well they still pick me for games. They are reluctant to pick him because of they way they were treated. There’s a powerful lesson there.

13. To cherish the planet

There is a big trade off right now which is economics versus environment. We need economics but we also need a stable planet within which we can use those systems. Human beings bring in their interdependence.

14. To not compare themselves to peers

Only when success is compared to another is there a feeling of either superiority or inferiority. There is a certain amount of competition which is healthy but too much will lead to either of the above.

15. To play poker

This is both literal and a metaphor. I want kids to understand that life operates often in the same was as a hand of poker. You don’t always have the certainty of knowing what the next card to be laid down on the flop will be. But it’s the power to decide in the risk or to let it go and wait for the next hand.

16. That you never get there

Goals are there to be surpassed, not reached. So many people make a goal, get there, and think, is this all there is? They don’t plan further. The way around this is to teach kids that one they get close to their goal, to start thinking about the next level.

17. That everyone has a gift

Each and every single human being has a gift. Kids are not taught from an early age on how to recognise their own or to acknowledge it in others.

38 Responses

  1. Hi Amit,
    I loved #17 the best! We are all so unique and so gifted in our own unique way. Sadly our school system applauds the herd attitude. I do wish there were more schools that appreciated and encouraged children to hone their unique skills…rather than push them to be one of the herd.
    The list is awesome…just like you 🙂 We have got to send this articles to every school under the sun!
    Much Love,

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Awww thanks Zeenat! I heard someone else mention 3 Idiots, have you seen that movie? I just started watching it last night but I don’t have subtitles and although I can understand a bit of Hindi I can always understand what they’re saying. Lets send away to all schools!

  2. Topi says:

    Amen! I think teachers are awesome, and I don’t think you’re having a dig at them in this post at all. What you’ve outlined are lessons that everyone (teachers, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, neighbours, scout leaders, everyone) should be trying to impart to the next generation. Because, these lessons are key to living a fulfilling life and contributing to a better world. Fantastic post, well done!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Thank you Topi and you mentioned something really important in that we are all the educators of the younger generation, not just by what we say but also by what we do. They do follow our footsteps a lot of the time so what we do will send them in s similar direction.

  3. Valerie M says:

    Awesome, comprehensive list, Amit! Do I see an alternative school in the making? 😉

  4. Roman Soluk says:

    Thanks Amit for this interesting post. For me it’s really interesting and useful as my specialization is a teacher and I fully agree with you. Very nice recommendations!
    .-= New at Roman Soluk’s blog ..How to avoid depression when being unemployed =-.

  5. Amie sugat says:

    THE most AWESOME list. you should open a school of Amit and teach real life skills, these skills are sorely lacking in todays archaic school programs. Is it any wonder so many kids choose to flunk out of high-school, dont opt for college (or at least a trade school), and wind up in life draining jobs where they would rather chop off their own head than work?

    for the past 5 years I have been following my dream to own my own company and run a head turning service on the internet, not there yet, got a lot of learning to do. still a few things on your list that college ( i did not get to go to high-school at my parents decision, and incurred their wrath at going to college) didnt teach us, though, college did open my mind and i found a lot of professors were very closed minded. which was sad considering they were put in charge of the task of opening hundreds of minds.

    once again, awesome post, i sent it to my niece who will be graduating highschool in a year and whos only goal is to get married.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Amie, firstly so great to hear from you! Second thank you for sending it to your niece and spreading the word. It sounds like you’ve got a brilliant business model there and I truly wish you success in which I have no doubt you will have! 🙂 x

  6. Amy Potts says:

    Awesome stuff, Mr. Amit. I enjoy your perspective on most things. Learning in particular is a tender spot with me. Having been told most of my life that I was not smart and wouldn’t succeed, I am finding my own place in this world and realizing at least some of my potential. The greatest leaders in my life may not bare the title but their example inspires and hopefully is passed on through me today.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Amy, you sound a lot like me, I was often told the same thing especially after I dropped out of school and didn’t do very well academically but I’m glad you enjoy my writings and perspective and it’s great for me to know it reaches so many people and does make an impact. 🙂 x

  7. Milan Bakrania says:

    Excellent article and very relevant to today’s education system. If you haven’t seen it already, check out ‘3 idiots’, a bollywood movie on exactly the same subject.

  8. Christopher Kabamba says:

    This confirms one thing i have long “suspected” about you: you have a passion for young people. What a noble passion!

    I think that one of the greatest gifts you can ever give the world is to
    1. Inspire a Child
    2. Empower a Child

    “Give me a child to Inspire” should be the cry of every older person. Better still, we ought to go out and find that child.

    A great post you have here. (And thanks for the link :D)
    .-= New at Christopher Kabamba’s blog ..What If This Is As Good As It Will Ever Get? =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Chris…my pleasure. I do have a passion for young people and it’s two fold. There’s one reason that makes me unique amongst everyone else which I’ll share in my future book. Then other is that I feel we all have responsibility to bring up the young generation well for they will be the guardians of this planet.

  9. Cheryl Paris says:

    Hi Amit,

    My Mom is a teacher and she says… sometimes she feels that School are not all what parents think. Parents always think that once they have put the child in School their duty is complete.
    As mother is our first school and we all learn so much from her. I am just glad my mom taught me never to compare…she said we can always find the correct path between wrong and right one…But the challenge comes when it is between the good and the better… that is where we all make mistakes.
    I would like to mention a quote “I do not believe much in education. Each man ought to be his own model, however frightful that may be.” Albert Einstein –

    Bye for now,
    Cheryl Paris
    Acorn Coach Blog
    .-= New at Cheryl Paris’s blog ..How to Live Without Regret and Stay Sane =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Cheryl, it’s wonderful that you mum taught you so well and i agree in that schools is only one of the many ports of education for young people. I believe it starts at home and school is an extension of that. I love the quote! Thank you! x

  10. Great list! #11 is the major one. If our kids were taught to be independent thinkers, they would not be subjected to most of the points on this list. The “Education System” intentionally program our kids to be robots (uniformed, grouped, same).

    – Ali

  11. Amit Sodha says:

    Thanks for sharing Ali. You are spot on. Being taught to think independently is of the utmost importance and we can all play a hand in that.

  12. Recharddo says:

    Hi Chery. I agree with you think, actually in school for students only meet part of any knowledge of the area studied. Knowledge is one problem that we should teach and encourage good thing. It is important that students’ perceptions of life, society and environment. Receiving sense to apply the correct meaning of life is very difficult, family, friends, society is the perfect tool to turn the good ones come to them. Thanks

  13. skittles234 says:

    What a beautiful sentiment! And I whole-heartedly agree with all your points.

    However, with advanced technology and increasing material needs, it is quite difficult to encourage primary and secondary students to think out of the box or to find the treasure within themselves…. But I’m sure with your people skills and general cuteness, you’ll have no problem achieving this milestone, Amit! 🙂

    Wonderful article, hope this reaches out to all the young un’s out there!

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