Editorial: Teach us something we actually need

Editorial Board

If Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer had not taken the initiative to establish a #Adulting experience for the seniors of the school, nearly 900 young adults could have graduated and entered the world without acquiring some essential life skills

According to the survey Springer emailed out, the proposed adulting day, which is still in its planning stages, is a day or half-day where seniors can learn about topics such as professional communications (resume writing, interviews and follow-ups) and self-defense and safety. 

The concept of an adulting day is incredibly beneficial, especially as CHS is one of many schools around Texas and the nation that does not offer home economics or a similar life skills course. Home economics, also sometimes called family and consumer science, has been steadily decreasing in popularity across the nation over the years. CHS, which once offered it until a lack of interested students for two straight years led to the dissipation of the course, now does not even offer an alternative class.

For such an opportunity to be reintroduced to life skills through school, we are incredibly grateful. In addition to the arsenal of less than necessary facts we possess upon graduation, such as calculating slope and finding density curves, we can now have at least a basic understanding of a few more important things which all adults need to know. 

However, this concept can go further and be significantly more beneficial if offered to the entire student population throughout the year rather than just a single day. 

The best way to accomplish this is through the implementation of a monthly occurrence throughout the entire year in which both CHS and CHS9 follow the traditional pep rally schedule, with a life skill class in place of the pep rally. 

Each grade would have a main focus on its life skills. One grade would focus on financial matters, another would take health and wellness, one would handle basic job preparation and the last would tackle living at home. Within each of those years, smaller focus classes would take place; for example, living at home would include cooking, house security and basic maintenance.  

The proposed plan would not even cut into other classes. Though life skill classes would be required to attend, they would not be a required class in the sense of home economics that would take up a period on one’s schedule. 

These classes would not require hiring experts in each topic we teach. They could be our own teachers who may know a lot about a certain topic, such as cooking or sewing. 

Among the load of required classes that will not benefit many students in the long term (because a future historian or chef will not need to know how to calculate the velocity of a projectile beyond their physics classroom), it makes no sense for a school not to teach us the information we need to know to survive in the real world. 

Some may suggest parents should be teaching us these non-specialized skills or that we should just learn them through experience once we are set loose in adulthood.

However, many parents will not take the time or even have the time to teach their children how to budget or buy large purchases such as cars or houses. Not every person wants to risk going out in the real world to “learn as they go” when it comes to trying to survive, and although knowledge can come from experience, there should be some sort of foundation to build upon. The only sure way to prepare us is to provide a foundation of basic knowledge through a system all children go through: school.

When it comes down to it, long term life skills are what we need to learn. The mitochondria may be the powerhouse of the cell, but we will need much more than biology to power through the rest of our lives.