Real World Education, Cooking Class?
by Alexa Perlov on Friday, November 18th, 2016
By the time we graduate from Milton, we’ll be experts in everything from weeding out Megablunders to conducting our own labs, from finding the derivative of any point in a function to learning how to scale a rope net in Project Adventure. However, one thing Milton fails to teach us is a mundane, day-to-day skillset. Sure, when we go off to college we’ll be well prepared for a demanding course load, but we won’t know how to manage personal finances or cook a meal. I think these useful skills need to be taught in high school — before we head into the real world without our parents’ care.
Currently, Milton offers after school HS&R courses, but few others that will be valuable to us in our everyday lives. Milton should also have personal finance programs where interested students can learn about balancing a checkbook, paying credit card bills, filing tax returns, and starting a savings account.
I also think Milton should offer a full course dedicated to learning how to cook. I know many other high schools have cooking classes, and I think such classes are important because we can’t live off of school dining halls and takeout food forever. However, I recognize that, from an administrative perspective, holding a cooking course might not be practical.
Because of health hazards, students are not permitted to bring in food, it is hard to imagine Milton actually permitting a cooking course. In addition, we don’t have the required equipment to host cooking classes. One final glaring obstacle is that even if we had the necessary equipment such as stoves and ovens, these appliances are fire hazards. So, as appealing as a cooking course sounds, I don’t think it will be doable at Milton without some major adjustments.
Other important life skills that don’t fall into the category of finance or cooking deserve either a course — maybe a pass/fail trimester course similar to CEPS — or an after school elective program. The curriculum of such courses could include how to change a tire, write a resumé, find a job, and deal with household maintenance. And this list is only a small sample of the many life skills that we should learn before going out into the world. The major issue is that there is so much content that a day-to-day “life lessons” class should cover. But do we, Milton students, actually have the time for it?
Our schedules are jam packed with classes, sports, arts, clubs, and other commitments, so adding this life skills program might require a student to sacrifice an extracurricular or class. To avoid this sacrifice, these lessons could be incorporated into our affective education classes. Senior transitions, for example, feels like an excellent platform for teaching all of these skills before heading off to college. Either way, whether Milton creates a whole new class, adds an after school program, or incorporates lessons into already existing required classes, we should definitely learn useful day-to-day skills before heading off to college.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=8502