Helping children to develop likable personalities is, to me, just as important as teaching them language skills and scientific reasoning. Parents and teachers alike overemphasize school work and ignore the importance of teaching children to become individuals who can disagree without being disagreeable. People who have bad personalities hardly find jobs, and, if they do, many of them struggle to keep their jobs.
Whose job is it to teach children how to become personable human beings? A number of students need to be taught to be respectable. When one meets their parents, one comes to understand why their kids are not likable. Yes, there are many exceptions, but the prevailing pattern seems to be that being unlikable runs in the family.
Teachers cannot avoid having students in the classroom who have personality issues. Thus, even if it isn’t in their contract to teach personality development, this has to be integrated into the primary and secondary school curriculum. But where in the school curriculum and how? As I said, this is just as important as teaching language and science.
This is a void in the school curriculum that educators have to address. The children I spoke about need help. Some of them are at the graduate school level, and they cannot work with anybody. I wish they were taught people skills earlier in their lives.
March 5, 2013