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The GNA Insider

Life skills 101: Why do we not educate students on practicality?

Dawson Hughes, Writer

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Hey, you! Are you prepared for the “real world?”

By that I mean, do you know how to file your taxes? Write a check, a resume, a cover letter? Do you know how to balance a checkbook, or even how to balance your time?  Can you set a budget and stick to it? Can you ace an interview? Can you cook a meal that isn’t frozen pizza or a bowl of Ramen noodles? Do you know what insurance actually is, or how to get a mortgage for a house? These are just some of the practical skills that have been drowned out by “preparing for the test.”

Entering college, you may not know how to accomplish half of these skills, leaving you unprepared for the, “real world.” Instead of teaching us on how to assure ourselves a decent life, schools are too busy teaching us non-applicable lessons that cannot be used practically; however, they can be if used correctly, but it rather difficult.

What happened to schools teaching us personal finance and accounting, or home economics? Most schools don’t offer these classes anymore because it is not what is wanted or funded by government and state regulations. In all honesty, it is a shame and ignorant to believe that we, as students, are being sent off into the world with enough helpful information to stay afloat by ourselves. The future is stressful – school should help.

It is a common mistake to also say that our parents can teach us all of these skills. Our parents are busy. Our parents work and pay bills all the time. Most do not want to teach how to do these things for the sake of their own sanity. Also, spending all day at school and the rest of the day completing homework leaves little time for our parents to teach us these things. If school were to offer more classes that help students build these tough to learn skills, it would relieve much of the stress we face when thinking of our future, and I know it would make me much more interested in my education.

One can set up the argument that maybe we should have to deal with it and find a way just like our parents; however, this is a new generation of people and it just doesn’t work that way anymore. The world is changing way too quickly to even have time to prepare on our own for things such as mentioned. The idea of offering classes that teach more practical skills seems ideal, but sadly, in reality, demand may simply be declining as the years go by.

While schools like to push theoretical math equations and unrelated historical events down in our throats, they are forgetting that there is a practical side of life that needs to be taught and nurtured in our time as students in high school.

Some teachers in our school do believe that we need to teach more practical life skills; It is just that in all actuality, not enough students would take interest in these certain programs anymore to keep them afloat. So teachers do support this idea of learning through practicality, but understand that classes will most likely not be added to do so. “Financial literacy and real world knowledge is key to the growth of any young person. But at the same time, as students leave high school they will develop these skills through critical thinking, confidence, and learning from mistakes. The best way to learn is to actually do it,” said by Mr. Stetz, government and sociology teacher at GNA High school.

Although offering more diverse course options is a great way to help kids feel more confident for life when they are out of college and into the real world. However, it is just not a plausible thing anymore. Rather, it is something that has to be done through confidence on our own time. I do believe however, that it would be best to add these classes back into our curriculum, even though they are being voided out by other non-practical course selections.

 

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Life skills 101: Why do we not educate students on practicality?