“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”- Albert Einstein
My school was my sanctuary, a place where I spent six hours of my day. It was a place that gave me opportunities to open up, speak and excel. A place where I found friends who helped me sail through the tough phases of life.
School was like second home to me. However, when I stepped into the real world, I wished my school had taught some things, differently. Most schools today have a holistic approach in imparting education. Efforts are taken to instill values and make a child an all-rounder. Schools and educators talk about passion, igniting minds, gifting excellence and preparing children for the global economy.
However I still feel that there are some areas that schools fail to focus. In today’s post let me tell you the 10 things that I wish schools start teaching children, right away.
- Power of Beliefs:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” said Henry Ford.
I grew up reading this quote many times, but never understood the meaning of this powerful quote. Our beliefs about ourselves are shaped in the school. Teachers play a very important role in shaping our beliefs. If a child needs work on a particular subject or is excellent in any subject, the first person to know this is the teacher. Whatever the child believes will become his or her reality and I think this needs to be taught to children. Teachers should be trained to impart empowering beliefs in children.
2. Health and Fitness:
We all enjoyed the PT period not because we liked to be healthy but because it was the only period where we could talk, roam around, enjoy and do some mischief, isn’t it? As we grew up some of us played sports to win medals for school and to win competitions. But how many of us really continued doing the PT exercises or ‘Surya Namaskars’ after school? I bet, none! Embracing a fit lifestyle and the importance of health, needs to be taught from childhood. I so wish PT periods were beyond stretching exercises and games. Is fitness limited to one or two days of the week? Isn’t it time to reconsider?
We spend so much on a child’s education teaching him values, morals and preparing them for the global economy, but we forget to teach them the basic values that make them human. Values like compassion, forgiveness, sharing and caring cannot be taught. They have to be experienced. Instead of taking children to picnic or filed trips why not take them to old age homes, orphanages or to schools where underprivileged children study, Let the children prepare a topic and go to these schools and teach the children. Let them prepare a skit, choreograph a song and perform for the elderly at the old age home. Let them volunteer for a group, once in three or six months. This will keep them grounded.
Every year I remember repeating the multiplication tables, adding and subtracting, finding the value of x and y and drawing shapes and figures using a compass, but how many of us really knew the importance of money and value of handling finances in a better way. How to start the habit of saving, how can one save money and where the saved money can be invested. These topics can be introduced in higher grades, like 8th to 10th.
5) Inter-personal relationships:
Once I was out of school, making friends in college was challenging. When I did make friends, I struggled to strike a conversation with them. I felt out of place and some days felt lonely and left out. Inter-personal relationships and communication skills must be a compulsory for children in high school.
A young mind is curious and full of questions. It easily falls prey to the outside world which continues to distract. Drugs, bad company, peer pressure, first love, heart break, crushes all these push a youth to test their limits. However when the young generation is taught mindfulness, they learn to focus this energy inwards that helps them to do wonders.
7) Building creativity:
I hear people say, ‘I have a logical brain I’m not so creative’ etc. But let me tell you all these are limiting stories and beliefs that we’ve picked from our surroundings. I know that because I too once believed I couldn’t draw, but 5 years before when that belief got shattered, I became a self-taught artist and now I enjoy art. Children should be introduced and encouraged to create art.
8) Importance of reading:
Reading is not something that you only do in your free time, but a part of growing up and learning. What if schools start ‘Reading Hour’, daily in school, where children visit the library and read books in silence? Just imagine how much more creative and imaginative will our children become.
9) Building an empowering mindset:
Life will continue to happen. They will win some, lose some, earn some and spend some. Challenges are a part of this beautiful life, but are they truly ready for the challenges. What if a child scored 98% yet is unable to get admission in his or her favourite college? Can he or she pick themselves up and get into the next best and start thriving there? We need to help our children to build a mindset rather that only skill set. Our current education system focuses mostly on creating robots who can listen to a teacher barking orders. Where is space for spontaneity, creativity and curiosity?
In the global era we are bombarded with so much information every second, children need to be taught the importance of research. I worked in a research department for 4 years and your ability to interpret, analyze and filter data helps you to create informative reports. These skills should be taught to children from high school.
Were you taught any of these skills in school? If yes, then I appreciate your school’s approach. What are some of the skills you think school can start teaching children? Have you started teaching any of the above skills to your children, personally?
Love and Gratitude,