High school classes lack real world preparation

The Southerner

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By Grace Dusenbury

“We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation -rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Throughout grades kindergarden through 12 students are taught, in a summary, the same cycle of subjects: math, English, science, social studies. Then, they are thrown into the real world with a brain overflowing with equations and poetry analyses but without a clue on how to live on their own. This in a nutshell is what is wrong with how high schools view priorities in educating today’s students.

Of course, basic knowledge of the four core subjects—math, English, social studies, and science—is vital in understanding what type of world students are stepping into, but there are many more skills that are not taught that should be required in all students’ educations.

The transition of changing from a high school teenager to an adult is an abrupt one. One second you are living with your parents under their rules, and the next you’re completely on your own with unlimited freedom and lack of skills to control it with. A lot of this difficult change can be contributed to the education system’s lack of classes meant to prepare students for the reality of living on one’s own.

In addition to the already required classes, students should be taking classes teaching basic life skills such as handling bills, cooking meals, and basics for fixing everyday machines, so that when they are tossed into living by themselves, they will be able to overcome at least some of the obstacles thrown at them.

In addition to the fundamentals of carrying out everyday tasks on their own, students should also be taught about the dangers of what lies ahead of them. Many teens’ ideas of trouble is breaking curfew or being caught drinking by their parents. These situations are just gateways to bigger problems that are likely to be faced later in life: missing out on huge business opportunities because of tardiness, or experiencing health issues and DUIs because of alcoholism. Classes should be offered that inform on the very bad and very real situations you can get into once you are a legal adult.

Unfortunately, although these classes would only better teenager’s experiences as an adult, the chances of them being required and taken seriously are slim. It is very likely that students would treat them like health or technical theater and use them as time to socialize and catch up on the endless amount of work due for core classes. The need for these classes in evident, but the possibility of these changes to the education system happening soon is slim.

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