I remember my first day of high school orientation quite well, even though it was many years ago. The senior giving us a tour told us the following quote:
“The next 4 years will be the best 4 years of your whole life”
I had to stop myself from laughing at the narrow minded statement. Sure it was quite fun, but I’ve enjoyed every year since I’ve graduated more than those four. Note: If the best 4 years of your life were high school, please start doing something more meaningful with your life 🙂
We all had a few memorable stories, fun teachers, and classes we enjoyed. In this post though, I’m only discussing everything we should’ve learned, but didn’t.
WE DIDN’T LEARN HOW TO:
Apply For College Loans
High school is the stepping stone that leads to college, right? College tuition costs keep rising and continue placing millions of young students in debt every year after graduating. You’d think this would be high on the priority list, but it isn’t (maybe your school gave you a FAFSA handout too, but nothing more).
We learned everything we’d ever need to know about the Emancipation Proclamation and Mark Twain, but barely learned anything about finance. We had basic finance/economics classes, but they failed to teach us much that translated over into the real world we live in. We watched movies and played an imaginary stock game (who cared which stock you picked, you weren’t losing money or getting a bad grade if it tanked). Luckily, I majored in Economics in college.
How To File Taxes
Maybe high schools just assumed every student was going to college to learn this or that it was someone else’s responsibility to teach it. Learning how to file taxes, federal income tax returns, and W2’s weren’t apart of the curriculum. Pretty mind boggling if you ask me.
How To Sell
50 years ago, the economy paid people really well to memorize and know a lot of information, but today there’s no need for it. All that information is at our fingertips on the world wide web. Today though, the economy pays a lot to people who can take this information and actually apply it to organizations, NGO’s, companies, and their own businesses. High schools need to improve their ability to teach students how to sell their own ideas, products, and services so they can apply it.
The Problem: a good majority of K-12 institutions are still teaching like it’s the Industrial Revolution.
If you don’t believe me, read the following 3 statements:
1. The fact that students are still given answers to tests to study before taking the exam doesn’t help them become better problem solvers, it just makes them better memorizers (which doesn’t help you in the working world today).
2. When a kid messes up and fails on a problem in class, he/she is given a bad grade and told they are wrong. In the real world, it’s okay to fail. Successful companies understand this. They encourage employees to fail and understand it’s a part of the process to achieve greatness.
3. Schools are still teaching way too many facts and not teaching enough knowledge that can actually be applied.
“I am all for education and greatly respect the teachers who are making a difference, but in this rapidly changing technological world we live in, the formal educational system has to continue evolving with it in order to succeed.” -Ryan Malinowski