The stuff they don’t teach in school

A few weeks ago, I put out a request for readers to share stories of practical ways we can prepare students for adulthood. I was finishing up the manuscript for my new book, Artifical Maturity, and wanted to include real-life examples from people around the world.

The response was absolutely overwhelming! I’m so thankful for everyone who took time to share ideas. There were so many more than could be included in one chapter of a book. But I wanted everyone to hear these great ideas. So here’s the plan: over the course of next year, I’ll share a story that someone submitted. I hope you find them as challenging and helpful as I did!


Here’s this week’s story:

I (and friends of mine) have taught young men how to drive farming equipment (tractor, combine, tri-drive trucks) where they can earn a paycheck helping someone get their crop off. Teach them how to split wood and run a chainsaw so they can keep their house warm in the MN/ND winters. Teach them how to catch and clean fish, and how to shoot and clean a deer for food. This is all stuff most guys learned from their dads, but if they don’t have a dad around or involved in their lives, they need to learn these work and play ethics from another man. Teach them how to play a sport for the pleasure of it, not just to brag. These are foundational things that have been part of who I am, and that many of my friends have tried to teach to other young men (and women).

Jim Hodgson
Bemidji, MN

What are some creative ways you’ve seen to give students practical, real-world skill that they may not necessarily pick up in the classroom?

The stuff they don't teach in school