• Jaime Richards

What Every Student Should Learn from Ronda Rousey


If you’re familiar with fighters, you know all about Ronda Rousey. If you’re not, all you need to know is that she’s the baddest woman alive. And she’s attractive. That killer combination is making her a lot of money.

Ronda Rousey, The ESPY awards

Which is nice to know because, for a time, she was living out of her car. Now she’s on top of her world, winning the 2015 “Best Female Athlete” ESPY.

So, along with fortune and fame, Rousey also has a platform. When she speaks, people pay attention.

They should because she speaks honestly and without filters. She dropped out of high school (later earning her GED), but don’t sell her short with regard to her education. There are lots of ways to learn, and formal schooling is only one. Rousey’s wisdom and insight were literally and figuratively learned in the school of hard knocks.

What she was quoted saying in a Sports Illustrated cover story ought to be required teaching at every school everywhere:

“What I realized is once you become socially unhealthy, it’s impossible to stay psychologically healthy.”

Therefore, if we want our students to be psychologically healthy – is there anyone against that? – doesn’t it follow that we should be teaching them to socially healthy?

Are we doing this? Perhaps, but if it happens, it’s more happenstance than planned. One of the benefits of attending a brick and mortar school is kids are practically forced to interact.

However, these interactions are often awkward. If you don’t believe me, pay attention to teenagers talking. You’ll be shocked at the banality.

When kids can’t communicate effectively it’s inevitable that they’ll be become socially and psychologically unhealthy.

And, no, they won’t just pick it up with maturity. (Scrutinize the social skills of most adults.) Somebody needs to teach them how to get past “What’s up?”