I am going to be honest; I get a little annoyed at this idea that we have to be harsh with students in order to prepare them for the “real world.” First, we teach kids. We don’t need to bring down the harshness of the world upon them. Plenty of time for them to learn that. Secondly, much of what we say is the “real world” really is not.

School does not mimic the real world. So how exactly does that prepare them for the real world?

I’ve recently been going back and forth with some people on Twitter about students having a pencil. Truth, most of the time when I need a pencil I do not have one and I have to ask to borrow one. The number of times as an adult that I have had consequences over not having a pencil or a pen = 0.

If we want to stand on the idea that “in the real world…. ” and use that as an excuse to break down relationships with students rather than build kids up, here are some real world truths.

In the real world, we look things up on Google.

In the real world, YouTube is one of the most popular tools for learning.

In the real world, collaborating is not cheating.

In the real world, finding information on the internet is a resource.

In the real world, my job does not ask me things I can Google. I need to use critical thinking.

In the real world, a lot of people show me a lot of mercy. I have forgotten my keys at home a million times and the secretary just let me in. I have forgotten to charge my laptop and my pay was not deducted. I have been late to school, and I did not get detention, the principal kindly covered my class. In the real world… there is a lot of MERCY!

In the real world, I use my phone for everything.

In the real world, I have choices.

In the real world, knowing spreadsheets is an important skill.

In the real world, I need to know how to clearly communicate ideas, not how to regurgitate information.

In the real world, I can use EasyBib for citations and Google Translate.

In the real world, not all adults do work work at home every night. In fact most adults I know, do not take their work home with them.

What are some examples of “in the real world” that contradict common school practices? Contribute them here.

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Excellent points, Alice:)

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