During early research and development, LEG learned of a very shared response to offering life-skills during the high school curriculum:
“But, shouldn’t the parents teach them that?”
“Isn’t that the responsibility of the parents?”
“Don’t the teachers have enough to teach…?” (More on this one later)
Even today, I often see social media posts detailing the importance of life-skills, stating their indelible opinions regarding the lack of basic knowledge that high school graduates leave school with. Undoubtedly, at least 50% of the replies resemble one of the ones listed above.
Now, even though I’m regularly mistaken to be in my early to mid-thirties, I am halfway through my fortieth decade on this planet. During my middle, and high school careers, home economics, both wood and auto shop, and even personal finance classes were offered. Times have definitely changed since the late 80’s/early 90’s. Currently, only 28% of MDUSD middle and high schools offer some sort of shop class.That is not acceptable. Yes, the world is changing, and classes are leaning more towards our increasingly technological world, but we must not label basic life-skills as nonessential.
So, the fact that there is a steady decline of class options, the responsibility must fall to the parents…right? Short answer is – WRONG. What about the students without parents or positive mentor structure? What about the students who have parents, but parents who do not value education? What about the students who have parents who value education, but work 2-3 jobs each in order to put food on the table? The scenarios can go on and on. Middle and high school students who have dedicated, educated, interested, loving parents, with enough time to impart important basic life-skills, are extremely LUCKY.
More than ever, during the COVID19 pandemic, parents are being exposed to their child’s education first hand. They are also getting a clear and strong slap in the face regarding what it means to be a modern teacher, and how damn hard it is. It’s been said and debated over and over again, but I’ll go ahead and repeat it – TEACHERS ARE UNDERVALUED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, AND UNDERPAID IN THIS COUNTRY.
Life-Skills Empowerment Group is pleased to offer some support to our unsung present-day heroes. What better way than to offer the topics that were once deemed essential, and are no longer offered? Even if some schools/districts offer some version of these classes to their students, we are proud to enhance the student’s existing education. Team LEG is frequently asked if adults can take our classes. All I know is that even at forty-five, I am often in need of a refresher course.