People Share The 'Most Useless' Things They Were Taught In School

Everyone goes through a period, no matter how long or short it may be, of dreading going to school. There is a long list of reasons why, but a good portion of them could be attributed to the classes.

Someone on Reddit asked people for useless things they were taught in school, and people delivered. Be they universal experiences or strange one-offs, here are some pointless things students have been taught.

A lesson in narcissism.

Unsplash | Gautam Krishnan

"The entire life of my school founder, the worst of all is that they teach us the same thing all the years."

Forget historical figures who actually contributed something to the world, let's learn about the founder of one high school no one else knows about!

Letting everyone know.

Unsplash | Yan Berthemy

"In order to graduate middle school you were required to complete the Cupid shuffle, cotton eyed joe, and electric slide in front of your class. I guess this taught us the concept of pure embarrassment."

A missed opportunity.

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

"The way the US public school system teaches it, Spanish. You learn it maybe half a year then forget it over the summer. You’d think with years of education we’d be better Spanish speakers but it’s essentially useless the way it’s taught."

The song of our people.

Unsplash | Simple stripes

"The universal experience of learning how to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder."

The recorder at all, really. I get wanting to introduce an instrument to kids, but they really cursed parents everywhere by choosing one of the most annoying ones, huh?

Sign of the times.

Pexels | Eren Li

"Well, I'm old so take my answer in context. How to use an abacus."

There are plenty of examples of things being taught and then quickly replaced by the rapid advancement of technology. Thankfully, calculators are a lot easier to use!

All the wrong ways.

Pexels | Mary Taylor

"In my experience, the way gym and PE were taught were pretty useless because they never taught us how to train or improve our athletic abilities.

"It was just weeks of half-heartedly playing basketball with minimal adult supervision, and then one day we had to run a mile and the coaches would go out of their way to humiliate anyone who couldn't just get up and run a mile under 10 minutes with no training or preparation. It put me off running and exercise in general for a long time."

A little specific.

Unsplash | Dave Adamson

"We were living in south Jersey at the time the Eagles went to the super bowl in 2004. And my elementary school taught us the eagles fight song.

"Had a whole school assembly by grade level to teach us the Philadelphia Eagles fight song and we weren’t dismissed til we all knew it."

The way of the dodo.

Pexels | James Frid

"My biology teacher was supposed to teach us evolution, but had us memorize a bunch of birds in the process?

"A pop quiz would be him walking into the classroom with a boombox, hitting play, and he'd play some chirping noises that he recorded himself. He'd ask us to write down the scientific name of the bird. Or he'd show us a drawing of a bird and tell us to write down the common name of it. It was a mix."

On repeat.

Unsplash | Joanna Kosinska

"[...] EVERY year in history, from like 1st grade to 12th, we learned the same stuff on the early settlers to revolutionary war. That would be the majority of all history classes.

"Yes, it’s very important history [...] but when it’s all that’s covered and everything else is glossed over, it doesn’t feel like we learned as much as we should have. It was also always taught through rose colored glasses."

We've moved on.


"Cursive. I have never used it outside of signing my name."

Of course, many stated that this is more a remnant of older ways of teaching as there was a time where cursive was commonplace everywhere. Thankfully, that's now being phased out of schools.


Unsplash | Samantha Gades

"They don't do it anymore, but back around 2000 in health class we all had to plan a wedding. Like, pair up and budget out a rental space, food, rings, etc.

"Looking back: What. The. [Expletive]?"

Pointless and wrong.

Pexels | Oleg Magni

"The tongue/taste map. Not only useless, but incorrect."

Another user brought up that they thought it was strange, even as a kid, "I questioned the [expletive] out of it because [I] could still taste stuff on the other side of my tongue and the teacher just said to accept it."

A classic.

Unsplash | Clayton Robbins

"Growing up I was told not to use calculators to do math because when I get older and get to the outside world I won't have access to one. Once smartphones became commonplace now I don't know anyone that don't use the calculator app."

Missing the important parts.

Unsplash | Chris Lawton

"This is going to sound stupid, but history the way it's taught is basically meaningless.

"A long category of dates and events without context or real discussion. The vast majority of history is trivia, because the real story is the cyclical nature of events, the rise and fall of empires, the periods of enlightenment and advance and the reactionary times that bookend them."

Making your own fun.

Unsplash | dylan nolte

"I might just be holding onto an old grudge against my teacher. My English teacher subbed for gym one day and taught us how children in poorer countries made a ball out of trash to kick around and when he showed us his, he kicked the damn thing right in my face... and then while playing the game, he kicked it into my stomach [...] So yea... useless trash balls I know how to make now."

Differing paths.

Unsplash | Shubham Sharan

"Trig, advanced Algebra, and Calculus for all students in high school, not just the ones who want to pursue STEM.

"After mastering basic algebra to an 8th grade level, a vast majority of people would be better served by basic statistics for math, as that's something they'd use in their everyday lives."

Build 'em up.

"They taught competitive cup stacking in my elementary school. Still have no idea why."

A shocking amount of people chimed in to say their school also taught this, and it mostly seemed to be a thing across North America. Certainly the best life skill to be taught.

Visual aids.

Unsplash | Anthony DELANOIX

"Names of all the protected bird species in Poland. Just the names, never mind what they actually looked like, so if I had seen one I would even know what I'm looking at."

The highest form.

Pexels | Suzy Hazelwood

"That classical literature is the end all be all of reading. I get some books have cultural significance, but that doesn't warrant a 6 week in depth analysis of a book kids can't relate to, with most being about challenges they will never face, culminating in an essay that's basically 'I understood it' repeated over and over backed up by quotes.

"If you want your kids to never touch a book in their lives ever again, THAT is how you do it."

One after the other.

Unsplash | Daria Kraplak

"Double spacing after punctuation. I can't unlearn the habit."

For anyone who is unaware of where this phenomenon comes from, it was explained well by a reply to this entry: "It's a relic from back in the day when most typing was done on typewriters, where each letter took up the same space. You double space after the period to make it easier to read."

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