When you look back on elementary school is there anything that sticks out as a mistake? Perhaps something you wish you had done more of? Any lessons you feel you missed out on? What do you remember more – the grade you received in geography or some event that progressed on the playground? Most likely the latter.
So the question then becomes – how can we generate more of those experiences within our kids? Maybe the following four lessons you missed out on in Primary School will be a good start
How to Stand Up
Does this mean being disrespectful to others? No. Does this mean treating your teachers rudely? No. Does this mean putting yourself in danger? No.
What it does mean is standing up for what you feel is right and challenging yourself to share your opinion. Are you worried about the backlash that could come from it? What might people think of you if you are wrong? Might Friends not want to play with you anymore? Well sometimes you will be right and sometimes you will be wrong. However, learning this vital life lesson is something everyone must go through in life.
Don’t voice your opinion for argument’s sake, do it for something you believe in, but learn that feeling of pushing back your chair and standing up for yourself.
How to Fall Down
People will tell you there are two ways to fall down – the right way and the wrong way. The right way you are able to protect yourself so you don’t feel the pain. You can see it coming and you have some time to grab onto something. Falling the wrong way is a side-effect of being blindsided, whatever hit you, you never saw coming
You can’t always choose how you get knocked down, but you can learn to fall with grace and composure. You can learn to not blame others or your surroundings, and fall with dignity. No need for tantrums or complaints here.
How to Pick yourself Up
We’ve all seen the videos of the athlete who gets pushed over and sits there waiting for the call. They wait for someone to come along help them out and pull them back into the game. Getting help from your team/squad is great and signs of a great team. However, you need to learn to do it yourself. The ones that pick themselves up after a big fall – those are the people that are getting somewhere in life. They are the ones getting interview callbacks and second dates.
Learning can happen outside the Class
We are taught to believe that our education happens in school. However, there is so much outside of school that we can learn at the same time. You don’t need fancy programs to learn. You can volunteer, learn about nature, write code, create, build, experiment. The whole concept of life-long learning is ingenious. As adults we yearn to learn and find out things outside of our day job. We hope to enrich our lives but we struggle because we don’t know how to study outside the classroom environment.
So why wait until you’re an adult. Start learning while in school and outside the classroom. This will make your life down the line much simpler.
These are the things I wish I had done more of in grade school. I wish I had had someone telling me to stand up more, ask questions, take a stand and learn from the results of those actions. I wish I had realized that the classrooms are not the start and finish of your learning experience.
How would I teach this to my younger self?
It’s in little steps and motions. Opportunities arise that push you out of your comfort zone and make you feel more uncomfortable. Each time you see an opportunity – take it and don’t look back. The more you learn to dance with those feelings the better you’ll be prepared for all that could come next.
Standing up, falling down, picking yourself up, continually learning – these are the lessons you missed out on in grade school. Don’t worry I did the same. Even more, this is what I think kids today to need to focus on in order to become more than a cog in the globalized world. Tell us your favorite lessons you missed out on during school.