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.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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