One of of my missions is to teach people things I wasn't taught when I was 26 years old. But you know as we close in on graduation season and I have talked to some of my friends and some of their kids, I started thinking there are a few things the missed in high school.
Here are some classes high schoolers should have to take (or at least have the option):
Money basics. How many kids finish high school knowing how to balance a checkbook, let alone apply for a mortgage? If kids are taught how to buy a house, invest in the stock market, start a 401K or 529 fund for their own offspring's college education — basic information like that — we'll be much less likely to have another mortgage crisis in another 20 years.
Auto mechanics and sewing. Horrors, right? In the public high school when I went was I high school, there was an academic track and a trade track. But my high school taught only the basics, supplemented by diction (I kid you not), Latin, Spanish, and French. These have definitely been useful, but here I am, lo these many years later, useless under the hood of my car. I can't sew worth a damn either, and it really would be nice to be able to fix the zipper on my own jacket.
Communication. How do we get what we need and help others to get what they need? I'm not talking about grammar (though Lord knows "me ‘n' him" as the subject of a sentence drives me nuts), but being in relationship with friends, partners, co-workers, and strangers in a way that is more of a win-win. People don't know how to ask for things, or ask others what might work for them, so we often end up being quite uncivil.
I'm not sure how high schools would work in all these extra classes, but I'd happily have given up algebra or trig for any one of them, even then. I chose Teacher's Aide over Media English 3 and it was one of my favorite high school classes ever.
In truth, there's not much likelihood of any of these classes getting into the general curriculum any time soon, so if you're in parent mode or trying to influence the future, you might want to seriously consider a little home schooling on the side or becoming a mentor.
listen. learn. share. repeat.™