Things That Should Be Taught in High School

I don’t know about you, but my experience in public schools, while hilarious and interesting from a social standpoint, taught me little to nothing about the real world. So here’s my list (feel free to add to this or argue any one of these) of things that should have been mandatory in high school.

1. Relationships

In college, I took an excellent psychology course about personal relationships (love and friendships). So many kids graduate high school without the faintest idea of how to manage successful friendships and love relationships. Interpersonal skills are the most important you’ll ever learn.

2. Personal Finance

I wish I had graduated knowing how to balance a checkbook, how to make a budget, manage loans and interest, things like that. I know that some high schools do teach this, but not every child is required to take it.

3. Cooking

Again, cooking skills should be taught to every high school student and made a graduation requirement. Eating pasta from a can and making processed meals in the microwave shouldn’t constitute cooking. For the sake of our own health and that of our children, everyone should learn to cook.

4. Workplace Skills

I had a class like this in college, but it would have been great to have it in high school because some people don’t want to go to college or can’t afford it. Basic skills like interviewing, writing resumes and cover letters, and what you need to do to get and keep a job would be of great importance, especially with the economy these days.

5. Conflict Resolution

This goes along with both relationships and workplace skills, but I think a mandatory course in conflict resolution would do wonders for high school kids who will eventually have to deal with ill-tempered bosses, co-workers, mothers-in-law, etc. There are lots of people (myself included) who could use a course in dealing with conflicts in a way that won’t result in loss of jobs, relationships, etc.

Idealistic, I know, but leave me some feedback! Thanks for reading and have a great day! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Things That Should Be Taught in High School

  1. Maggie,
    I offered to teach this class some years ago when my kids were still in high school. The administration kind of looked at me like I was crazy. If it wasn’t in the current curriculum there wasn’t any time for it. When I said it was more useful than some other classses, they politely showed me the door. I would include at least a day on how much trouble you can get into with the law for vehicular homicide, drugs, alcohol or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m sure there are a fair number of teenagers in prison who had no idea what was coming. Keep writing stuff like this, we need to hear it.


  2. In South Africa, we have a subject called “Life Orientation” that is supposed to deal with topics such as these and others mentioned in your second post.

    In SA, it’s very important to have a subject like that to educate us on AIDS, FAS [Fetal Alcohol Syndrome], time management, personal health, relationships, etc. But it only really works in theory, and not so much in practical life. Children aren’t interested in learning it. Admittedly, the curriculum wasn’t very exciting and even the teachers didn’t like the subject…


  3. I personally like the topics that relate to what students already face, and conflict resolution, given that this period of life is all about conflicts, is perhaps my favorite.

    When I look at my country’s educational system, I see that it lacks everything that would make a person a citizen rather than simply an inhabitant. In the US – I’m supposing you are there – there isn’t such deficiency, as student do get in touch with a plethora of subjects. But I feel there is room for a class that teaches them about contracts, since they are aware of many career paths that would involve such thing.


  4. You are totally right, these sorts of things should certainly be touched upon in enough detail to give children a better understanding. It’s all very well being able to do complicated maths and know the difference between all the types of cloud, but you also need to learn things that will actually help you in LIVING your life!


  5. Good input on improvement of high school curriculum, and I agree in the vallue of the subjects. Seen from a teachers perspective in my country (Norway),time resource is often a problem when it comes to including subjects like some of those you hav mentioned(relationship, conflict resolution, time management), luckily some of the others are included in our curriculum(coocking, personal finnance, world religions and cultures).

    The teachers often want to be innovative and creative, but have sort of tied hands on the commitment of following a national educational plan as pri. 1 before other themes are explored.

    As a conclution is maybe a political issue, and an incourragement to politicians to see the vallue in developing other skills and competences than the strictly accademical ones.

    Espen Huser


  6. Agree! 🙂 I think all five of them are important and it would be great for them to be taught in high school. But I personally find that #5 is the most important of all and its importance needs to be emphasized. Conflicts can lead to a lot of unwanted unhappiness and whatsoever. A lot of trouble could also be avoided in that way if people knew how to deal with such situations. Too many times the education system is too focused on academic learning that at the end of the day, have little practical usage when the students graduate. In fact, it is the interpersonal skills, time management skills and whatnot they will be applicable in their daily lives in the near future.


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