In a failed attempt to make my bedroom presentable, I cleaned my room. Not the mere putting-things-back-where-they-belong cleaning, I mean a deep cleaning. Very deep. I came across a file folder containing all of my writing from middle school. What a pleasant surprise. Now I can marvel at the attempts of deep poetry (which all had no actual meaning, just a lot of big words) and essays (which all said on the other hand at least 3 times). I would like to think I slightly improved, but in 3 years I will probably cringe at this post trying to delete my oblivious thoughts I decided to share.
One piece stuck out that i had completely forgotten. In eighth grade, we were given an assignment to write a formal letter to our principal about an issue with the school we would like to see addressed. I reread my prompt, and I felt a sense of pride that at that age my priorities were very straight forward. I will share this piece, word for word (pardon my grammar), to prove not every brace face, acne prone tween was an ignorant fool.
“Dear Mrs. Stark:
I’m an 8th grader here at IMS and like many other students, I’m concerned about my future. There is a lot of pressure on kids my age and older about what kind of lifestyle we plan on living. But no matter what our job is or how much money we end up making, we all have to do things that aren’t necessarily taught to us in academic classes, for example, paying our taxes, applying for a job, or even emergency situations. The closest class to teaching us any of these things is FCS, so I think we should have FCS as a year long class.
In 8th grade FCS we learn about cooking and money management over a 12 week period. These are very important skills to know, but can you imagine how many ore useful things we would learn over the course of a year? During the money management unit, we learn things like goal setting and budgets, but we learn nothing about taxes. It is a law in America that we have to pay taxes, but most people my age don’t know how. Obviously, we don’t have to pay taxes at this age, considering we don’t make any income, but in the future, everyone just expects us to now how. Everyday people go to jail by the IRS because they don’t know how to have enough money to pay all the money they owe. But if we were taught how in school, wouldn’t it be a lot less common thing?
In school we learn many lessons, from how to find the slope of a line to the formation of sedimentary rocks. Even though a handful of people are ever going to actually use these skills in lifem we are all someday going to apply for a job. I know from my own experience applying for anything can be scary. If it’s auditioning for a musical or going to try-outs for a sport, all of the pressure is on you. I can only imagine the amount of nervousness everyone feels when they walk into that office and sit down to begin. What if I had all the great requirements to get the job, but the way I carry out the interview goes terribly wrong? What if I don;t know how to right a resume? What am I supposed to wear during an interview? All these questions boggle my mind but it wouldn’t have to if we had a unit on getting a job. Not only applying for a job but also public speaking. I have no problem with public speaking but I know many of my peers find it horrendous. These are important life skills I feel should be taught to us in the classroom.
We all know emergencies can happen at anytime and anywhere. Due to recent events, we know emergency situations could even happen in elementary schools. But what about the other kind of emergencies, like getting lost in a desert or lost in a city. Most people aren’t prepared for things like that, so how would they react? I feel we should all know survival skills if we’re in any environment. It could happen to any of us, we just never know. But we should be on the safe side and be prepared for situations like this.
I’m not saying all the other classes are useless because they aren’t. They give us a good foundation to go in any career path we desire. Nevertheless, there are things we are all required to know how to do as we grow up. Lengthening the time we are in FCS class would not only help us now, but also help our future.
***Note: FCS stand for Family and Consumer Sciences, an elective given at my old middle school students are required to take in middle school.***