I am one of those who believe that education is missing the mark badly these days with too much focus on teaching kids how to perform on standardized and mandated tests instead of teaching them what’s needed to survive and thrive in the world we live in. 

Cover of "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School" (Charles J. Sykes)

With that said I head back into the archives to steal one of my favorites from author/writer/talk show host Charles J. Sykes who wrote a book titled 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School.  Here are some of them:

  • Life is not fair.  Get used to it.
  • The real world won’t care much about your self-esteem as much as your school does.  It will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.  This may come as a shock.
  • Sorry, you won’t make $60,000 a year right out of high school.  And you won’t be vice-president and may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a Gap label.
  • If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.  He doesn’t have tenure so he tends to get a bit edgier.  When you screw up; he’s not going to ask how you feel about it.
  • Television is NOT real life.  Your problems will not be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials.
  • Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping…they called it opportunity.
  • Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way paying your bills, saving for your education, cleaning your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are.
  • Enjoy this while you can.  Sure parents are a pain, school’s a bother and life is depressing.  Someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid.  Maybe you should start now.
  • Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life hasn’t.  Despite the wishful thinking of therapists, counselors and moon-rock peddlers, life DOES involve competition.
  • After you graduate, you won’t be competing against rivals who were raised to be wimps on the playground.
  • Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.