Be Prepared

An interesting essay contest came across my desk this past week; a contest that would award the winning high school senior a $1200 scholarship.  The topic of the June Nelson Memorial Scholarship is:

What would you change in your high school curriculum

to better meet your needs as a student today and in the future?

How would your proposals affect you, other students, and the

educational system in your community?

I thought this was an intriguing question, one in which I felt there would be a plethora of answers from my students, and I wondered how close their course list would be compared to mine.  Before diving straight into this essay topic, I gave them the warm up of:

“What classes would you like to see offered at St. Paul School?  How would these classes help you prepare for college?”

Middle School answers:

  • Welding
  • Russian
  • Culinary Arts
  • Swimming
  • Chemistry??? (Upon further inspection, in a Middle Schooler’s mind Chemistry = blowing stuff up with chemicals)

High School answers:

  • Speech
  • Carpentry
  • Business Math
  • Personal Finance

My Answers (Essay):

  • Personal Finance
  • College Writing
  • Computer Applications 101

My Answers (Real Life Application):

  • Stress Management
There is no denying the fact that college kids are required to balance many many different responsibilities all at once, and there’s no real preparation for this new lifestyle.  You’re thrown in, headfirst; sink or swim, Pally.  Not only do you have a class schedule to follow, but then you must factor in homework/reading/essay writing time, studying for exams, possible part-time job or sports practice, trying to keep some semblance of a personal life, and attempt not to die from exhaustion.
  • Nutrition
If it takes 3,500 calories to gain/lose one pound, how many $.50 beers can I have tonight and still lose the Freshmen 15???
Not that I know this from experience, Mom.
  • Interpersonal Skills
I lucked out 100%, but I have heard enough horror stories about going in blind for college roommates, or even choosing your high school bestie.
  • Business Math

Not even a Rocket Scientists will be able to explain the formula that college bookstores use to figure the “used” rate for textbooks.

Question of the Day:  What class would have better prepared you for either college or the real world?

3 thoughts on “Be Prepared

  1. Really good points! I think our students are not prepared for college and it is NOT because the teachers are not good. Teachers and the system don’t have enough support and resources to really give children the best education. There are some awesome teachers our there (like Mrs.Fancy Oatmeal) who go above and beyond to make the educational experience of their students the best it can be,

    • Awww you are so sweet! I agree with your statement about the lack of resources. Educate the whole family about the needs of our students is the key; strong community around our children.

  2. Pingback: Back on Schedule « Fancy Oatmeal

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