What was the most important thing YOU learnt at school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by danhaesler, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. danhaesler

    danhaesler New Member

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    Feb 17, 2011

    I'm interested in your answers to these three questions...

    1. What is the most important thing you learnt in school?

    2. What grade did you get for it?

    3. Assuming you did not get a grade for the most important thing you learnt, why is it that grades are the most important thing when assessing the effectiveness of a school?

    Keen for your thoughts...

    :)
     
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  3. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    It was in the 8th grade; in my least favorite class - math.

    You have to understand...I had felt like a loser in math for so many years by that point that all I could imagine was I would be a loser again that year.

    The teacher - of whom I can't remember his name but DO remember him as a stocky gentleman with dark hair in a crew cut and horn-rimmed glasses - was up in the front of the room. My desk was in the back on the right (it was that momentous a moment in my life that I remember the placement of myself in the class).

    He was teaching about graphing two coordinates. I must have - up to that point in my school life not understood, because this came as a shocking realization. Uncharacteristically, the man started the lesson out with a story. "One day you are walking along, and you find yourself very hungry. In the distance, you see an apple tree with beautifully ripe apples on it. You decide that what you will do is have one of those apples for lunch. How do you get that apple? You must walk OVER first, and then climb UP. You CAN'T hover up into the air and float over. It's the same with graphing. The first number takes you OVER to the tree, and the second number takes you UP to the right branch."

    I never got another graphing question wrong.

    So what? How much graphing can one DO in life?

    But the lesson, which I hadn't known to that point, was that I could allow myself to make up whatever silly theory or strategy that I wanted to help me - just as long as it got me to the correct answer. You see, if wasn't aware - nor were we taught that sort of freedom in metacognition. School, as we were taught then, was VERY rigid in it's preparing you to think exactly as told.

    **

    In today's teaching, strategic thinking (and the freedom to choose your own strategy) is so important. I think I would have thrived in today's school environment.

    Now as an adult, I also realize that I have A.D.D. - something that was totally unknown then and was looked upon as just unmotivated and sometimes scattered or lazy. I would have gotten attention to deal with my issues - and become a good student before I matured towards the middle of college.

    ****

    I can't recall my grade in graphing, but I'll bet I got a few gold stars - which probably were the source of my mom's tears (for the first time in math).
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    For one, I learned the power of words...we are judged by the words we choose in spoken and written communication...choose well.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oh, that's just rude.
     
  6. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    It's the truth.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dan, in Australia...

    1. What is the most important thing you learnt in school?
    How to read.

    2. What grade did you get for it?
    I won the "Be A Reader" competition in second grade. :)

    More specifically, the single most important lesson would probably be health-related...the effects of drugs and alcohol. Is the DARE program everywhere? I went through that program with our sherriff and while it wasn't graded, I learned a great deal and it greatly influenced my life. I remember one lesson in particular that was very hard-hitting...stuck with me. Strictly academically speaking, I just can't say. It's hard to choose one ultimate lesson. I could choose some of my favorites, but I doubt I could also call them my most valuable.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I still felt it was rude...my opinion. I do believe the word "learned" was bolded and now isn't. That takes some of the edge off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Rude and funny both. Words can be a combination of them.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In Australia, "learnt" is often use as past tense as well as a past participle. His question was plenty correct for using colloquial language on an Internet forum. If people keep being intentionally rude to new posters, no one new will join. Let's all try to play nice!
     
  11. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I agree! I was a frequent user...........now I just lurk! :(
     
  12. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    It wasn't any particular class, so to speak, but I learned that there are many possible ways to approach and solve any problem. It is important to know where you are, where you want to go, and resources that are available to you so you can form a plan.

    I still find it amazing when students use a different solution pathway than I would, but it is still perfectly acceptable.
     
  13. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    1. That it isn't "learnt" it's "learned" :p
     
  14. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    But it is "learnt" where he's from
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Good heavens: an Australian uses learnt, and someone can't deal with it?
     
  16. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I learned about ethnocentrism. When I was 15, I believed people of other cultures or nations who behaved differently from those of mine were wrong. I learned that they simply behaved differently. Raw hamburger with a raw egg cracked on top is not gross. And spelling English words differently is not wrong.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The most important lesson I've carried with me (thus avoiding the grammatical quagmire of this thread) is to not be afraid to try new things because I might fail. This was taught to me by my voice teacher in college. I was practicing scales and kept shying away from the higher notes. Mr. S. frowned and told me that it was as if I had sat down at the piano and refused to touch the keys that were slightly beyond my right hand because I might have to stretch my arm a little.

    Not only did I change voice parts from alto to mezzo-soprano within weeks, I acquired an enduring understanding. I use that image of sitting at the piano with my students, encouraging them to stretch their right arm a little further.
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    :)

    I think that is one of the best things we can hope to get from education. Different cultures just do things differently. There's no right or wrong. This helps us become tolerant and accepting, and able to grow ourselves.
     
  19. danhaesler

    danhaesler New Member

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    Feb 18, 2011

    Thanks for those who have defended my choice of language! ;)
    Thanks also for your feedback!
    Can there be ONE thing above all else we strive for in education?
    For me it is:
    Learn about yourself and what role your strengths and passions can play in making the world a better place.
    Not sure how you would grade it tho.
    Apologies for any grammatical errors Stateside! ;)
     
  20. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm going to go partly off topic here and say that when you say something kindof snarky and mean, putting a smiley after it doesn't magically make it nice. I've noticed that phenomenon around the Internet and it's become a pet peeve of mine.

    As far as what I've learned, I have learned that each person has something unique to bring to the discussion. Everyone has their own talents. I learned it in my high school theatre and music classes, and I try to remember it everyday with my students.
     
  21. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I think the most important thing I learned was from my 6th grade language teacher Ms. Williams (I loved her). She taught all of her students to try new things everyweek. Every Friday she would bring in different foods, different music, different art, differnt people, different books, etc . . . I loved Fridays in her class as did everyone in our school. She was the neatest person I have ever known (and I am 47). As a military kid, I had been exposed to different cultures and different countries as had all my classmates. But she made us try these new and different things. I have never, ever forgotten her and the most important thing she taught me . . . don't pass judgement on new things, keep an open mind about things that seem different and life is better because of "the different."

    Thank you Ms. Williams
     
  22. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Hmmmm....I usually give my kids a test on Fridays. :(
    Maybe I need to rethink that strategy. ;)
     
  23. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    This was back in the day when there were no standards, no state testing and no pacing guides , or least as a student it felt like there weren't. Looking back now as a teacher, I do see that most everything we did on Friday, there was always educational value to what we did . . . did I mention I love Ms Williams
     
  24. Pacificpastime

    Pacificpastime Companion

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    I think the best thing I learned that its okay to disagree and this does not mean you have to accept what the other person says, believes, does, etc. We can have differences and it be okay. Along the same lines I learned that life is about people and the relationships you have with them at any and all levels.
     
  25. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Thanks, INTeacher. You reminded me of my pre-school teacher, Miss Grenade.

    She had one arm. That is: no legs, one arm. She wore prostheses on her legs and other arm. If we were *very* good, she would take them off and show us where her body ended.

    Anyway, Miss Grenade let nothing stop her. She did the thing your teacher did (alphabet days - something with that letter on Fridays), she had the firemen come and she climbed up on the fire truck with us, she sat down on the floor at nap and stroked our eyelids until we slept, she remembered our birthdays for years.

    When I started dating my very first boyfriend, I was 14. He was a senior (!), and we had both been her student when we were 3. We were both still getting birthday and Christmas cards. Seriously. He loved her as much as I did.

    So that was a great example and you reminded me of her. Thanks.
     
  26. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    I think the most important lessons I learnt (I'm Australian:p) at school were about valuing and respecting everybody and that we all have valuable opinions and contributions to make.

    As for the learned/learnt, I see things written here that are not the way 'we' would spell/write them in Australia. I realise, though, that just because we write/say them a different way it doesn't make us right and you wrong. I am glad that most people on this forum seem to realise this as well.
     
  27. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    The most important lesson I learned was that just because I didn't come by some skills naturally didn't mean that I would never be able to acquire them. I might have to work harder (and longer) than some people at some things, but I can learn anything.
     
  28. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    This is not the most important thing I ever learned, but it is the most recent thing I learned. This week, I had a conversation with some colleagues about the 6 traits of writing, and we tried to identify the most important trait. A lot of teachers DO think word choice and conventions are the most important, however, we came to a solid agreement that IDEAS are the most important of the 6 traits (yes, yes, we know that ALL the traits are important.) We said that teachers who unrelentingly pick at students' word choice and the "correctness" of their writing may end up stifling or detracting from the children's ideas. I try to keep this in mind whenever writing workshop is on our schedule.
     
  29. tortega

    tortega Rookie

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    I just saw my college P.E. teacher at Walmart this afternoon. It reminded be about being in his class. He didn't teach me to like or excel in physical activity (that would require an act of God). But he did create a safe environment to take risks in his class. I didn't have to be good but I could try because I knew he wouldn't think less of me. I've always thought fondly of him.
     
  30. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    You are sure welcome KParr :love: Miss Grenade sounds amazing.
     
  31. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    How to read.

    Period.
     
  32. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I was extremely shy in school. And then I took a speech class. I learned that I can talk in front of people and they will not laugh. That speech class made me more outgoing, which resulted in making friends and becoming a leader in my career.
     
  33. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    :thumb:
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think we all should have learned that!
     

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