As I discussed in yesterday’s post, last week was a crazy week at work. Something about coming back from a vacation the same week as a full moon that caused many, many of my students to make some really poor choices.
Kids make mistakes. Thats how we all learn, right? By trying and failing and trying again. My students are 9th and 10th graders, so they’re learning important lessons about social norms and personal responsibility on a daily basis. As an educator who cares about them, I always wish that I could spare them from some of the pain and embarrassment of learning things the hard way.
But I can’t. Not always, at least. Last week I had to support students through so many challenges that I know I trudged through myself. But my experiences are not theirs. There are some lessons that can only be learned through cold, hard experience. I can’t talk my kids through these situations, or caution them away from them.
So, if you are an educator, or a parent, or just curious, here are a few lessons that just can’t be taught, no matter how hard you try.
- It’s easier to organize your belongings a little bit every day rather than letting things pile up and only organizing when you lose something and go into crisis mode.
- Sleep is always a priority. Always.
- Saying that you did something does not mean that you actually did it. Similarly..
- Honesty is always the best policy.
- Violence is never the answer.
- Friends don’t try to convince you that violence is the answer.
- “I forgot” is not a justifiable reason for anything.
- Your bad day does not give you license to be unkind to others.
- Being “with” someone is not more important than being happy with yourself.
- Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but not asking for help when you need it is a sign of immaturity.
- Owning your failures is so, so important; never, ever waste time on the blame game.
If the teachers of this world could inject these ideas directly into our teenaged students brains… oh, what a world it would be.
Now You Tell Me…
- What lessons did you learn from experience?