What the Curriculum isn’t Teaching

The post high school life is something that every student stresses about. Questions about where to go to college, the logistics of a gap year and the pressure to find a job all weigh heavily on students. But throughout the consideration of all these aspects of post high school life, students still have to go to school. However, the things that are being taught in class do not fully prepare students for the years after school.
School curriculums tend to follow a very strict pattern across classrooms, schools, and the country. In history, the same four major events are taught over and over again, but we continually omit or do not fully cover current events. In order to be an informed citizen, schools must teach skills in evaluating news sources. Particularly in the wake of rushed news stories potentially skewing the elections, news sources need to be effectively evaluated for credibility.
Life skills are arguably much more important than subjects in school than learning the quadratic equation. Math skills are important to a lot of jobs, but there are skills that are overlooked that are universally necessary, like first aid, learning how to file taxes, and communication skills. Math should be introduced to students, but the universally important life skills should be taught as well.
Students should be taught how to handle positive and negative emotions in a healthy way. Schools should teach proficiency in handling stress. Teacher must show their students not to worry so much and how to move on from failure. Students should know how to appreciate their friends and families.
Our school needs to prepare us for life after high school, rather than just feeding us the details of the Revolutionary War over and over again.
The school system can’t expect it’s students to learn valuable life skills while trying to keep up with the endless flow of homework. Many colleges now have upperclassmen teach incoming freshman how to do the laundry.
Many useful life skills are only taught in electives. However, with the pressure to take a foreign language and participate in a fine arts program leave no room in the schedules for other classes. While a student may want to take home economics or auto tech, she may not have the time in her schedule to do so. Having programs that center around life skills is a start, but if most students are too busy to take these classes, something is still coming up short.
When we graduate high school, we may know all there is to know about plant cells, but if students are leaving high school with no idea of how to balance a checkbook. The school curriculum really isn’t doing its job.