My teachers never told me off for doing too much algebra in class. Neither was I reprimanded for rudely copying line after line of mundane historical dates. Yet rarely did a class go by where I was not badgered by some well intentioned teacher to stop talking! Although I have since evolved a quiet passion for history, and make a nice income instructing children on mathematics, by far my largest business asset has been my ability to communicate. I don’t think it’s too hard a sell to convince you all that outstanding communicators do very well in life. They have better relationships, better families and usually drastically better careers. However, the problem that I’d like to point out is how talking is something squeezed in after the much more important work (Maths, English, Henry VIII left nipple etc.) despite it being one of the most crucial indicators of success in later life. Once again our industrial age schools have it back to front.
Whilst I do agree that all subjects taught in school have their places, I feel to be effective educators we need to provide far more space for developing social muscles than our current system allows. What is so heretical about placing a teenager’s big party of the year or first romance before their homework? I put it to you, that sometimes we should. Like all skills we learn effective communication by hours of practice, so my advice is for educators to make space for it with as much or greater urgency than the school’s core subjects. Furthermore, why not use the educational structures to actually teach better communication? Lessons spent on the fine details of excellent communication would foster, I would argue, a valuable asset that young people will quite literally use every day for the rest of their lives.