People Reveal What They Wish Was Taught In Public School

Guys, let's talk about some serious truth for a minute. When you get out of school and step into the adult world - it hits you FAST. Your typical public school education will not prepare you adequately, no matter how thorough it was.

Reddit user @TheDownvoteMachine_7 asked:

What are some skills that aren't taught in public schools but should be?

The answers covered most of the obvious things like how to not be a total financial mess, basic maintenance skills, and what it really takes to get a job. I want to give you guys my response, though. Because this is really bothering me and it has for years and I still don't have a solution... What are you supposed to say when someone coughs, you guys?

Feel better? That's a little demanding, isn't it? Maybe they feel totally fine and just had a throat tickle.

Excuse you? Okay but now you sound like a jerk.

Would you like a cough drop? What if you don't have cough drops? Now you've committed to a lifetime of having emergency cough drops on your at all times or you're just a monster out here getting people's hopes up.

Do I ignore it? Now I feel rude and like people think I don't care if they're not okay. I can't handle this kind of pressure and the best I've come up with is to just stop and stare on high alert in case they need medical assistance - which I've recently discovered looks like annoyed face. Why did nobody teach me what to do or say to avoid this stress!?!?

Anyway, here are some of the more popular responses - edited for clarity and language if needed.

Know Your Rights

Employee rights and Labor Laws.

The number of friends I had during or right out of high school that got taken for a ride by their first job was insane.

They didn't receive their last paycheck. They worked free overtime because their boss told them it was "their fault" they didn't finish working on time. Not knowing they had the ability to say "no" when told to cover a shift.

Not knowing it was okay to call the cops when an adult was harassing them because they were scared they were going to lose their jobs. What actual laws are in place regarding breaks and meal breaks vs. company policy and that company policy can never override the law.

People take advantage of the young because they know they don't know any better. A class about employee rights and labor laws would help with that.

- Sympatheticvillain

It Could Make All The Difference

Proper CPR and to swim.

- Bingal-Bangal

Just The Basics


Basic auto mechanics. Changing tires, oil things like that. Had that at my private school and it was beyond useful learning how to balance and rotate, swap a spark plug, change breaks. All of which are super easy too.

- Radthereptile

And save a ridiculous amount of money. I don't know what shops actually charge to replace spark plugs because I've always done it myself, but the plugs are like $3 each. Brakes pads are cheap too, but a shop will charge out the @ss and try to convince you need rotors too.

- Brawndo91

Disk brakes are beyond easy too. Firestone quoted around 1200 bucks for all around brake replacements and I did it myself for around 300 bucks.

- Loxsis

General Household Maintenance

General household things, wiring a plug, painting a wall, how to decorate, how to cut grass. They actually need to prepare young people for the sh*t show that is adult life, one day you realize you were carried too far and then got kicked out of the nest to fly on your own and sort your own sh*t out.

- idontliketobrag

A Revamp

I wish that in addition to just drilling classics into our heads that English classes would do more to cover Media Literacy and Public Speaking.

- Internetologist

Classics should be taught in a historical context, not like it's a present-day wonder. Classics just simply get lost in context due to linguistic changes in modern society and there's nothing we can really do about that. Not just that, but many classical "great works" also won't objectively compare to modern "great works" due to baseline skill from writing and being non-relevant/relatable to today's standards.

Sure, back in the day Thoreau had interesting ideas about society, but today his ideas doesn't compare anymore than an emo edgelord's.

It should be treated as science. Sure, alchemy was the baseline of what chemistry is today and it's good to know the history behind it, but we don't act like trying to make gold by screaming at a rock while doing a Moondance is genius.


- Sybre

I agree! English teacher here. Current English common core standards have public speaking and educational technology is becoming more important so we try to. Not all school have access to laptops like we do (we got a grant since we are title 1)

The thing is integrating it - teach 1984 and censorship. Teach To Kill a Mockingbird and have them practice giving a closing speech. Study Ted talks and rhetoric.

It's hard. A lot of older teachers just dont want to change what they've been teaching for years and it sucks.

- RoutineDisaster

How To Handle It

Dealing with failure and taking feedback.

Not all criticism and shortcomings are mean-spirited and cruel, they're meant to help you learn. We've gone way too soft and once people hit the "real world" they can't handle it.

Hell, kids can't even fail school anymore and parents get kids off the hook in school when it comes to being held accountable for being little sh!theads. I've even heard of parents bitching to companies their kids interviewed at but didn't hire... This has to stop.

- bigheyzeus


To all the folks saying taxes: SUPER basic arithmetic and following directions.

Elementary school covers those. If your circumstances are different/special, you may have to use those research skills you get in high school, and Google.

- Gimbu

A few years back I worked with the local school and made less than required to file a tax return but still got an official form. I then went over it with my parents and it is really just reading, having a simple calculator and putting the right number in the right box. It's super simple.

The only reason people don't like it and are stressed out by it is because companies like Turbo-Tax, H&R Block and more want it to seem difficult and stressful so you can give them money to do it for you.

Whats worse is the IRS already knows all of the information you are putting on your tax return, and could easily do them for you because they know all of the information you are putting there, they are just checking to make sure you don't lie. Countries like the UK do this and its called Return Free Filing, and was pushed for by both President Reagan and President Obama. Of course it was quickly shutdown because Tax software companies spend lots of money making sure that bills for Return Free Filing are shut down quickly.

- damboy99

So Awkward


What to say when you say goodbye to someone and they start walking the same direction as you.

- Brognis101


How to 'discuss', not 'argue' different opinions.

If all you want to do is argue that you're right and they're wrong, at the end of it, chances are that neither of you would have changed your mind but likely came out of it with a bad impression of the other.

On the other hand if you would discuss different opinions, and not try to win an argument, chances are you'll at least come out of if with new information and maybe thinking about the other person's viewpoint. You may not change your mind that day, but it could be a seed planted and you may change your mind someday.

And you won't lose a friend for it.

- whatissevenbysix

Another Perspective

I just want to comment that many of the things here, such as taxes, working on cars, jobs, all of it - my school had many of those things as mandatory senior year courses.

The kids literally did not care. It's really easy to blame the school system when in reality students have a hard time thinking ahead and therefore do not pay attention to the "useless" info. Then they grow up and blame the schools for "not teaching them right". It's frustrating.

- Wulfy451

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