Here in Britain and in a lot of the developed world we take education for granted. We’re taught to add, count, write and read among other things. However I feel our system is lacking in certain ways. PSCHE classes are lessons in which issues such as racism, sexism, and topical issues are discussed and devated. In theory, its a fantastic idea, but sitting through several of these lessons myself during my last year of high school and then again as compulsory lessons once a week during sixth form, I know that these lessons are for mucking about. I’ve encountered some passionate teachers in this area, but more often than not the teachers i had during these lessons knew it was a guaranteed pass grade with no formal testing and it was essentially a free period for them as well as us.
I think we massively underestimate this measley hour we offer our children every week. I even vaguley remember parents complaining it was taking time away from real education. I’d hope in the future these important periods will be taken more seriously and I hope we don’t need to introduce formal exams to do this. In the meantime here are the lessons I took away from the passionate teachers I encountered which I am trying my utmost to instil into my son as second nature
Love. It seems an obvious one. Surely everybody has first hand experience of love. Our mothers, grandmothers and friends love us. But what about the girl who’s being bullied? the invisible homeless man who sits outside the campus? The boy who just lost his parents? Why are we so quick to ignore the issues and people that don’t directly affect us? Because after all me, myself and I can’t end all bullying. I cant end all poverty and I can’t bring anyone back. No you can’t, but there are people behind these larger issues, people on a smaller level who aren’t being shown the love they need to get by.
- Empathy. Empathy for me ties in very closely with love. To truely offer our fellow human beings support we need to be able to understand them and the things they’ve been through without going through them ourselves. We need to understand how that man came to be homeless and how in another time and place that could happen to us. It wouldn’t make us bad people and it wouldn’t automatically deserve us a complete overlooking by an entire society that doesn’t want to see
Respect. I can’t stress enough how little respect I see in everyday interactions. I want my son to have respect enough for himself to want the best, but also respect for everyone else enough to know that nothing is beneath him and ‘the best’ may not always mean the highest salary, fastest car or biggest house. I want him to have respect for women and have respect for men. Traits of a gentleman don’t end at the female sex they should extend to everyone from the CEO of the company to the girl clearing your table after lunch.