Teaching the basics

South High should offer ‘life skills’ class to prepare students for adulthood


Lauren Barton

FACS teacher Monica Dickens teaches her Child Development class.

Do you know how to do laundry or change a flat tire? With graduation coming up soon for the class of 2020, many seniors may soon realize they have not learned all the skills they will actually need in real life.

Because of this, I think South should offer an all-encompassing “life skills” class. The beginning skills students would learn in this new class would be: cheap and easy-cooking, how to patch ripped holes in clothing, and other crafts needed in real everyday life not everyone can pick up on their own.

This class could give students confidence that they can handle the tasks that may come their way in college or beyond. By teaching skills used in everyday life in more depth, more students would remember how to do basic skills a few years after graduation.

But my opinion by itself doesn’t have as much weight as a senior or FACS teacher. FACS teacher Monica Dickens also thinks such a class would be worthwhile. 

This class would be a different choice from the normal high school electives since it doesn’t focus on one clear career field rather the growth of real-world skills. But let’s be real. Parkway isn’t the most normal high school with its class options. It gives so many extra options with class selection compared to schools in rural areas that don’t offer elective choices like Debate, Scuba or Newspaper.

Dickens told me that, years ago, a FACS class called “Senior Seminar” addressed some of these life skills. However, South no longer offers this course. I believe it should be brought back on the account of giving teens an extra step in getting ready for either the real work or college.

Dickens herself began talking about her classes and how the return of senior seminar would give an easy advantage.

“So one thing I would like to add to my existing course would be cooking. Having students be able to cook an easy meal for under $10,” Dickens said. 

Dickens said there definitely is value in a class similar to “Senior Seminar.”

“What we’re finding is kids don’t have the skills when they leave high school to be an adult,” she said. 

Dickens further explained that Parkway does highly value the consumer sciences. 

An addition to the teachings of this life skills class proposal, a great edition would be a 10-40 EZ form and budgeting. Along with the addition of filling out forms, cooking, and sewing, other lessons would cover organization skills, simple home design, basic first-aid ideas, nutrition standards, insurance, and easy household repairs.

An interesting addition could be a mannerisms week, no phones week, and a day of looking over local laws.

When I asked if Dickens would be interested in teaching this class she responded with “In a heartbeat.” 

From a senior’s point of view, David Garland said he could use more teaching on life skills. 

”It would be a great review for the skills I’ve forgotten. I don’t really remember how to sew,” he said. 

Explain that the FACS department does offer many classes on stuff like this, but students don’t have the time in their schedule to take them all. This class would be easier to fit in a students’ schedule.