Most people who have been in school recently, have children/siblings/friends in school, or have kept an eye on their local education system agree that there is absolutely room for improvement. The thing is, some systems are so out of whack that you kind of don't know where to start.
But thanks to a recent Reddit thread, people are taking a moment to stop and think about it.
Reddit user ham193 asked:
We can't imagine a world where one single change would fix everything for everyone - but each of the changes these people came up with seem like they would have made a huge difference for a few people out there. It's possible a combination of a few of these suggestions might be just what we need to get our education system back on track, or at least closer to functioning for more than the narrow groups of people it's designed for.
Take a look at some of these stories and suggestions.
Adding relevant courses, so if a student is shite academically but good with their hands then they can learn a trade rather than feel like a failure.
Here in Australia we have those classes. It starts in grades 8 and 9 as woodworking and metalworking and then from grades 10-12 they can attend TAFE where they become apprentices in their chosen trade: electrician, builder, mechanic, etc. It works really well because they still attend school part time where they take a different English and Maths class that basically outlines how to budget, how to write emails and resumes and other life skills. Then when they graduate, they're three years into an apprenticeship and set to pretty much graduate into a job.
I'm an elementary teacher and in my school I've already seen a huge shift in current curricula towards getting kids to understand WHY a process works. I think this is such a positive paradigm shift from "just memorize this algorithm or strategy." When kids understand a process, the level of transfer is so much higher!
Do It Later
Late start to the school day for high school. The research is really clear on this, if you start elementary classes earlier and high school later both groups do better.
High school kids tend to stay up just as late regardless of when they've got to get up (I certainly didn't stray from that), and sleep is important in the formation of long term memories. Which is ideally what you're trying to promote through education.
A soon teacher-to-be here. The biggest thing that haunts the education system in the country I live in (Sweden) is the fact that there are several changes made to it every time a new government is elected, but there are never studies made or any kind of reflections about these changes. Between 2009 - 2012 we changed our grade system three times! and no one batted an eye. Some students who were caught in-between the changes and had to redo a bunch of stuff to receive valid grades.
Our education system is so patch-worked due to these quick (without much thoughts) changes that many faculties claim that Sweden basically is a big Social Experiment where no one asks questions. The key word is chaos...
P.S I completely understand the wish to make new innovations and leave your mark as a politician but since all changes made the last 6 years have utterly failed and been forgotten (with thousands of tax money wasted and hurdles of extra stress on teachers to implement the new ideas) I genuinely find myself wishing that politicians were banned from making policies related to the education system here.
Personally I feel as if the examination system is outdated. Intellect isn't based on their ability to memorize, its a combination of thing. And exams really handicap people who may excel at other parts of learning.
100% agree. I got A's throughout all my coursework (essays, projects etc.) but in my exams I failed miserably and got D's because I struggle to excel in that space. Brought my grade's down hugely and made me think I was dumb when it's really the exam system that's dumb.
Zero Tolerance For Zero Tolerance
Get rid of "zero tolerance" because it's the dumbest thing ever though up in this universe.
This is true because if we are both going to get in trouble what's gonna stop me from hitting first?
Big time. That was the policy for bullying at my middle school and all that ever happened was me getting blamed for being bullied, if anything.
Sometimes I daydream about being a high school teacher. Like, maybe I teach AP Bio, and we talk about cells. But then I dedicate every Friday to talking about things I wish I had known before becoming an adult. We talk about taxes, life insurance, etc. with a very strict "no stupid questions" policy. Because I'm an adult and I STILL have many stupid questions about this stuff.
I still remember the difference between a graduated cylinder and an Erlenmeyer flask, but nobody told me how to handle the legality of my dead dad's estate, or how to change the air filters in my car.
Art And EffortGiphy
Not putting grade on PE and art. I seriously think that you shouldn't get a grade on something you can't control. (Kind of but most of the time you can't control that) and art... well, I think it should be a class just for fun.
A Discipline Issue
Giving teachers real means to discipline kids. My wife is a teacher, and she is always saying that the badly behaved kids know there is nothing they can do, and they disrupt the class for everyone.
At least put the power back into the teachers hands, some at least. My wife did 20 years in education and you're correct. There's no real discipline. The first (and maybe biggest) issue is that parents will almost always believe their child over the teacher, and many times the administration will take the side of the parents.
I've heard countless examples of a kid disrupting class (which is something that affects the rest of the kids but admin doesn't care about that when trying to pump up those test scores) and there are significantly more questions toward the teacher as to why they didn't do this or that to prevent it as opposed to holding the student accountable.
Even things like getting sent to principle's office or in-school suspension are rare. I know those aren't optimal methods of discipline, but they used to be done more and they'd hold some weight.
Students with a history of violence should be separated from the general student population. Expelling a student should be easier and far simpler. It's unfair to the vast majority of students that troublemakers and bullies are allowed to remain among them. In the US, you quite literally have to maim someone to be removed from the system. We've utterly emasculated teachers, who are powerless to do anything.
When Are We Ever Going To Use This?
This might be small but:
Require all math classes to have practical sessions every once in a while, using situations and case studies from real jobs.
For instance, my school made us do a whole month of T-total coursework. We received no explanation of its purpose, so instead we were just told to focus on the T-Totals and slog through multiple formulas (which we had to invent and explain how and why). Turned us all off from T-Totals (and mathematics) and all of my classmates thought it was a waste of time.
It wasn't until I graduated when I (at 24) joked with my siblings of the 'T-totals' that we all had to do by 11th grade. Until my dad heard us, and told us that that was literally the formula traditionally used by Air Force pilots to keep track on the positions of planes.
So yeah, I'm absolutely certain that kids would be able to remember more of mathematics (and would be less afraid/apathetic of using math) if they have sessions where they'd have to pretend to be pilots doing T-totals, or scientists using standard deviation (or archaeologists/anthropologists measuring out a site for a dig). And then get guest talks from people who use mathematics for their jobs. It'd also enable military/universities from having to do classes re-teaching people how to do math.
Just Hold Hands
Improve sex Ed. Yesterday, we learned that instead of having sex we should hold hands, or write letters to each other.
My sister went to a religious school during grade 9 and they told her that if you have sex before marriage your junk will turn a funny colour and fall off. She laughed and called bull; and the teacher told he she was going to hell for saying that wasn't true.
When my middle school taught sex ed in grade 9, we learned about how plants have sex and reproduce. Not humans, plants.
After grade 7 I learned nothing regarding sex ed. All of my teachers would get awkward and not want to talk about sex ed with us, and if they did talk about it, it was the bare minimum and practically taught you nothing.
Once one of my teachers told us to not French kiss because you're saying it's ok to "enter your body" so it means that they'll take it as an invitation to enter your body in other ways.
This was around 2005/2006.
I can't even begin to unpack everything that is wrong with that statement.
The debt crisis in terms of university education is a significant issue, but I think a big help with that would be making it easier for people to apply for university later on in their careers. There's often the sense that you need to go to university at 18, when in fact taking a couple of years to work and decide whether university is right for you would be a big help for a lot of people.
It's less common now for people to stay in one career for their entire lives, and people being given the tools to find the job they want after getting a little life experience is not such a bad thing. The current situation, where if you don't decide what you want to do for the rest of your life at age eighteen you're destined to be a failure, doesn't really help anyone.
I watched so many friends flounder in college because they had no idea what they wanted to do but felt they had to go right out of high school. Watched a number of classmates fail out because they didn't take it seriously or because they ended up in classes they hated and a school they didn't really want to be at.
It took me six years between high school and college to sort of figure out what I wanted to do. A bit of a break is a good idea.
Dress code rules. Needs to be changed so much.
- All the crap about skirt/short/shirt length needs to go - especially when it's mainly directed at girls. I get there's a line to how much skin one can show but it's frustrating when it's summer and literally every single pair of shorts that doesn't look hideous is "too short"
- the fingertip rule for shorts... people have different arm lengths? I've been at both free dress and uniform schools and even the uniform shorts were shorter than my fingertips.
- I've heard stuff about not being able to show collarbones? like, really? I don't own a single shirt that wouldn't show my collarbone at all. I'd have to get a button-up and do every button up to the top....
- shoulders are understandable, especially for sun safe reasons, but regular t-shirts shouldn't have to go halfway down your forearm.
- no leggings etc - like seriously? they cover all the required areas, your fault for looking at my but and "being distracted"
Obviously stuff that would be offensive or show way too much skin is not allowed, but are you really going to stop a 13 year old girl from wearing regular old shorts and t-shirt?
also the fact that some schools give in-school suspension... like really? you're going to stop a kid from a whole day of classes because "leggings are too distracting"? something doesn't seem right here...
Raise teacher's salaries. At least where I live, they receive really low salaries when working for government schools. How are they supposed to have motivation to teach if they can barely live?
Improving the salaries might also increase the quality of teachers. Unfortunately, as of 2019, if you're an intelligent and motivated young adult, there isn't a ton of reason to go into teaching unless you have a high degree of passion for it. Even in college, you see this: education majors tend to be, on average, worse students compared to their peers.
I suppose this might be somewhat of a controversial opinion, but I'd rather have highly competent and passionate enough educators and than highly passionate but low-quality ones.
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.