Lessons for real life
WITH a family full of teachers it was probably destiny that I should run in the other direction and become a journalist. Guiding and teaching young human beings finding their way in life full of pimples, hormones, rebellion and “the worst things ever” happening to them seemed like way too much pressure for me. It seemed much easier to work with politicians and ruthless cyclones. I both admire and am empathetic toward teachers because everyone has an opinion on schools and what should be taught. Mainly because we all have at least a bit of experience that allows us to participate in the conversation and also because we want the best education for our children. A report this week claiming four out of five young Australians say they were never taught at school about superannuation, the largest asset they will probably ever own, makes you wonder if some school lessons are missing the mark. Without a doubt education begins at home but as we grow older (sniff, sniff) and hopefully a little wiser (leave the wine bottle alone for a moment) we all see things a little differently to when we were sitting in a classroom.
With a strong practical vein running through my body here are a few lessons I think are relevant today.
Money and how to save it. It’s staggering how many people are living from week to week. Every bit of financial advice has got to help. And when did the world start thinking credit cards were money? The plastic isn’t fantastic if you don’t have the cash to pay them off. WARNING ... again: Credit cards are not real money.
Grammar and simple mathematics. It’s happened. I officially sound like everyone’s grandparents. But it’s true. Remember the last time you needed algebra? Probably not but I bet you sub- tract, add and divide your cash and chocolate cake among your loved ones. As for grammar, texting can be fun but it’s useless if you want to write anything of importance or value in life. “No wot I mean” ... (Question marks are optional nowadays too.)
School of hard knocks. Mental health needs to be a national priority. Unfortunately life is full of rejection, there are winners and losers and hard work is required. So let’s get real and give real advice on how to deal with the bad stuff. Cooking. Forget MasterChef or My
Kitchen Rules and the McDonald’s drivethrough for that matter. Feeding yourself and your family doesn’t have to be out of the pages of a Nigella cookbook; it can be quick, nutritious and affordable.
Languages. Schools teach them but what good is learning Japanese for five years if you can’t order noodles in Tokyo?
The saying is horses for courses but maybe we should be looking at the right courses for horses.
IT’S A TOUGH WORLD OUT THERE FOR EVEN THE BEST EDUCATED BUT DESPITE THE EFFORTS OF OUR TEACHERS SOME OF TODAY’S STUDENTS ARE LEFT A LITTLE SHORT ON PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE THAT COULD PROVE VITAL IN THE LONG RUN