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No run today – knee trembling (no, not like that) and as I am suddenly conscious that running as often as I am when I am as overweight as I am may not serve structural integrity unless I am careful. in other words, I must give my joints time to rest between runs, and if there’s a twinge – I should take note. I’ve also been to the doctor, who thinks my numb toes may be a recovering slipped disc somewhere around L5 in the spine and I certainly don’t want to make THAT any worse. Baby steps, Buster, baby steps.

Other than that, I’ve cleared out a bucket load of clutter and I can move in my ‘office’, which means I am closing on the final chapters of Police Time Management, which I am editing to make it more up to date. And I still eat wisely.

I was briefly amused by a report in the Welsh press about the Assembly’s desire to create 1,000,000 Welsh speakers by 2050. Nothing wrong with that, but such reports always give rise to swathes of comments about the pros and cons of that particular project.

Regardless of the debate on that particular subject, it made me think about children’s education in general. Universities are complaining that students are having to be taught ‘educational basics’ when they get into that top level of education, because they aren’t learning it/being taught properly at the primary and secondary stages of school. That may be so, but there is something even worse about those levels of education – they don’t teach our children how to live.

I am talking here about ‘Second Resolution’ competencies, competencies that enable people to live and serve others because they aren’t busy simply trying to live. Where are their money lessons? Where are their ‘how bureaucracies work’ lessons? Where are their driving lessons? (Okay, maybe that’s a logistical issue but simple drivers’ education may help them get jobs when they leave – and stay alive, perhaps.) And my personal favourite, how to manage their time to be most effective at getting what they want while providing service so that others can get what they want.

Years ago, it was suggested that education was warped because it had one malign intent – to prepare children for the workplace. Well, that horse has bolted. Kids are arriving at work unprepared for it. They have a Geography GCSE but its relevance in entry-level retail or repairing computers remains to be seen.

They arrive in work unaware that they are entitled to contracts (where applicable), that the money won’t last for ever and that maintaining a CV is a good idea. They occasionally work with an unfortunate, source-unknown sense of entitlement. We now have courses now where managers are taught how to manage ‘millennials’.

I am a dinosaur, I know, but here’s how to manage any new worker. Learn these lines:

“Do as I say until you can show me you can do it properly, then develop ways to make it better. Show me you are trustworthy, then I can let you have your head. Communicate that you won’t be a liability and cost me, and then I’ll leave you to it.”

Not: “I’m sorry I am asking you to do ‘work’, really I am, but that’s what we are here to do.”

Okay, over-reaction, but the message we need to tell ourselves as much as we need to tell our kids, is that all work is noble, we learn because we don’t know it all, we all get better by doing, and we are treated better if we show respect and earn trust.

Competencies can be learned. Character needs to be instilled – by parents, by peers, by education.

And isn’t it great when a school does that?

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