Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three new Classes that should be Taught in Highschool



High school is full of classes that are meant to get teenagers ready for college and their future careers. While there are many classes out there that are being taught every day such as English, History, Science, and Math, there are some things that students are missing that should be taught. Three classes that should be taught in high school, but currently are not, are workforce preparation, equality and kindness courses, and a community gardening course. These three classes might sound like something that may not be needed but each has their specific purpose and will further educate students in way that the current high school curriculum is not.

Workforce preparation

This class would be offered to students in any year of their high school career. It should be taken as a freshman, or even a senior at the latest. The class would offer a real world look at getting a job and becoming prepared to be an adult if college is not in the future. The truth is, college is not for everyone, and even still some college students need to look for work in order to pay off debts or other expenses.

The class syllabus could include how to fill out an application properly for any type of work. This could involve students filling out an actual application for a job they wish to pursue, or they may use a false application. To be able to fill out an application one must learn to read each individual question and answer properly, and neatly. To be sure to fill out every detail is important, the slightest mistake or forgotten answer can get an application passed by without a second glance.

Creating a resume is also something that many students never learn how to do in high school. A resume is often needed for job applications as well. For the jobs that do not involve flipping burgers or cleaning up the restrooms, a resume is often considered a major part of applying for work.

Building a resume is not an easy thing to do, even when a person has never worked before. Students should be taught how to create a resume from scratch or using a template from Microsoft Word. These resumes can be printed out, and placed in to a binder along with their application print outs. This will give them references, to turn back to in the real world when they do apply. It will also give them resumes to hand out if required when they apply for a job.

While filling out applications and learning to write resumes are important, having professional and personal references is also important. A student should learn how to ask for references from former bosses, current bosses or their trusted and valued teachers or mentors.

By keeping these also in a binder students will be able to make copies and distribute them with their applications and resumes. This gives them a chance to learn how the real world is when it comes to applying for jobs. To be prepared and know what to do is important and crucial to being hired for any job.

Equality & Kindness classes

There are leadership programs offered in school if students are interested or participating in Student Council, but what if they are not in a place of leadership? An equality and kindness class or leadership class should be given to every student as a mandatory class. This class would provide a look into the effects of human equality and the sociological aspects of life and communication to peer groups, family and outside world.

An example of this would be for students to be taught about gender equality, and the importance of being kind to each other. Much like an anti-bullying campaign, this class would provide structure and a way to work with members of different social groups, and cause students to step outside of their normal realm of friends. In order to be able to see how the real world works and that being different is okay; students can benefit from this class and see that race, sexuality, age, is all just a fact of life, not a reason to dislike someone.

A group project for this class could be to work with a person outside of their culture and have to help them with something by paying it forward. This could be working with the elderly to keep them company, or reading with younger children as a mentor. Whatever the project is, the goal is to get them to become more understanding and kind to one another. Random acts of kindness never hurt anyone, and with that the world would be a truly better place.

Community Gardening

You might be thinking to yourself, why would a student need to learn the way of gardening in school? Well, the truth is, gardening is not only for old people or women. Get that stereotype out of your head, just like the students will. Gardening is a beautiful and self-fulfilling project that students can be proud of. Not only is gardening a way of learning science, but it is also a great way to help the planet stay green, create food for the hungry, and also help the community of students to work together.

For example, the school can provide a plot of land or purchase a plot of land from a local farmer, and work together. Whether the students go to the farm once a week on a bus trip, or they go on their own it’s a step forward. Students can plow the land using gardening tools and work together to decide what type of seeds or flowers to plant. These same students can be in charge of watering the garden, tending to the garden and keeping it clean and debris free.

By working on gardens students can learn the causes and effects of successful gardening on their own and with their classmates. They can have something that they can be proud of once their crops have grown. After they have harvested their plants, students can either decide to take the crop home to their family to eat, or give the crops away to a local homeless shelter and help fight the war on hunger. This too will give them a way to see that gardening is not only helpful to themselves and their own, but to others in the world. You may notice that even after their semester is over they are interested in keeping up with the garden. This should be encouraged and allowed!

If you do notice particular students that are interested, suggest they start an at-home garden with the permission of their parents of course. Most parents would not object if their child is passionate about something that will help reduce their individual food costs and also keep them active and helpful with chores on their own.

Each of these three classes is designed to teach students about respect, self discipline and the power of community as a whole. While there are the many classes out there that a student can take in college on their own, why not start these educational and fun classes while they are in their impressionable high school years. Take away that challenge of them not wanting to do well, or being distracted by peer pressure and give them a more positive outlook on life and school and introduce them to a whole new world.

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