Subjects like English, Science, and Mathematics are commonplace in American classrooms. These traditional subjects are important, but many of them don’t offer any value when it comes to life’s most useful lessons. Many people believe the classroom should incorporate some more practical subjects that can be employed long-term. Here are some topics that many students wish they had learned while in school:
Most American K-12 schools don’t provide students with training in financial literacy. Unfortunately, according to CrediReady, many Americans don’t understand the basics about building credit scores, homeownership, investments, savings, insurance, or retirement and how these issues can impact their overall health and well-being. Many schools are advocating for more personal finance coursework and training to help curb some of these issues and ensure Americans are well-equipped to take control of their own financial destiny.
Taxes are an inevitable part of life, but you’d be surprised to learn that the average American misses out on several thousand dollars of tax credits each year. Many Americans are uneducated when it comes to tax codes, and many can’t do their taxes without the aid of technology. As a result, most Americans won’t claim their full refund unless they enlist the assistance of a tax professional. A little training in this area can save great heartache and distress in the future.
Mental health issues have been a taboo topic for decades, especially in large parts of the black community. Unfortunately, the hush-hush nature of this subject has led to a debilitated society where those in need of help fail to seek it. Schools should invest in training that assists students with healthy coping mechanisms and encourages them to seek help when needed. According to Connections Academy, it’s important to encourage teachers and school counselors’ support in case students have issues with bullying, communication skills, or questions about their futures.
Time Management Techniques
Time management is important in both work and play. Many employers are looking for students who can balance the demands of home and work with ease. In today’s structured society, many students enter the real world with no concept of how to manage their own time. Courses in time management can be quite useful in curbing anxiety and propelling students to the next level.
It’s great to make friends and it’s great to keep them, but you also want to keep in touch with certain people you never really got to know. Why? They might just be that references you need to land a job, or to be introduced to a great employment opportunity. If you’re a senior in high school, you might want to add your friends and peers on a variety of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as you never know what opportunities they can open up for you. Additionally, plenty of groups and forums exist that are useful when looking for a job or internship. Perhaps the more valuable lesson to learn from this is not exactly to specifically network with people, but to be open to meeting and befriending new people.
Self-defense techniques can be taught in a physical education class or a special elective and can be beneficial in the long-term. Physical safety is a no-brainer when it comes to an educational package, and many schools are opting to include this kind of coursework in their curriculum.
Today’s children have the most benefit in learning these principles early, and yet we are severely hindering them from being prepared for the future. Our education system should reinforce the skills and knowledge pertinent to a successful life, such as mental health awareness, cultural sensitivity, and financial stability. We owe it to our future generations to have all of the tools available to them from the beginning, not wait until it’s already too late.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison