Let’s be honest, our educational system isn’t the best. I am pretty sure that we can all agree that our education doesn’t exactly cover everything that it should in order to prepare us for life after school.
There’s undoubtedly a skill set that would be more beneficial to learn as a teenager, rather than suddenly being thrust into the adult world and figuring it all out alone.
In this article we’re going to focus on the education part since it takes a bulk of your life – most people spend 12 years or more in the educational system – assuming an 80-year average lifespan, that’s more than 15% of your life.
We took a look at the subjects that are being taught in schools and created a list of things that we wished we would have learned during our education and preparation for life after school.
1. Personal finance
First of all, wouldn’t it be great to learn in school how money works? How to budget? How to save money? How to increase our salary and how to invest our money effectively? A recent survey of 1,049 American adults found 63% of respondents believe personal finance should be taught in schools.
To start with, learning budgeting is simply a matter of tracking expenses, selecting how much to spend in each area of life, and sticking to it. It’s not a difficult concept to teach in schools.
✔ Very useful tips: Budgeting for Kids: How to teach kids to budget
Further, the fact that Americans have over $3 trillion in total outstanding, consumer debt 1, and people in the UK owed £1,7 billion at the end of April 20212 shows us we were never taught even the basics of personal finance. For example, in savings or investing money, “pay yourself first” is a simple concept where you are focusing on saving and investing with the first money you receive, and then live on the rest. We are all aware that if we wait and save what’s “left at the end of the month,” there will never be anything left — there will always be more months than money. But if we save first, we’ll always find a way to make ends meet.Last but probably the most important financial concept, the one that if it were taught in schools could change many school kids’ future lives: compound interest. The chart below shows how kids could change their future by learning this concept in school:
Understanding the importance of teaching personal finance in schools, 1HOUR and our volunteers provide extra-curricular remote lessons in finance to help school kids gain early knowledge regarding how money works.
2. Mental Health & Well-being
A big emphasis is put lately by schools on physical fitness, and that’s awesome but equally significant is mental health. Especially for youngsters.Over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and 1 out of 10 children and young people have a mental health disorder. For this reason, stress management skills, symptoms of depression and addiction and strategies on how to manage them, and just learning how to open conversations about how our mental state is could be highly beneficial.
Staff working in schools are ideally placed to recognise and respond to early signs of mental health difficulties in children and young people. Thus, if teachers and parents encourage teens from a young age to talk about their emotions and concerns would be a big step to prevent mental health issues.
✔ Tips for teachers: How Can Schools Promote Positive Mental Health?
Most children won’t become developers but learning how to code harbours many furtive lessons that connect to a wide range of careers. More specifically, it would contribute to the development of analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills for the youngsters. It requires teamwork and effective division of labour which would be essential skills for the rest of their lives.
In 2014, England became the first country in the world to mandate teaching coding to children at primary and secondary schools, but 7 years later there are concerns about how coding is being taught in schools. On the other hand, despite its usefulness, only 45% of high schools teach coding in the USA. Besides, the fact that coding is one of the most popular remote lessons that our schools are asking for support from 1HOUR and its enrichment classes, shows that there are gaps in teaching resources and there is a need for improvement, which our digital volunteers are willing to contribute at.
Therefore, if in two of the most developed countries in the world, there are such important issues in teaching coding we are able to understand that a revision in kids’ coding classes is needed globally.
4. Interviews and Networking
Why do 75% of resumes never get seen by human eyes? 75%! What should be written in a cover letter? What’s the STAR method and what should you do after an interview? How vital is networking? How can I develop my network and maintain relationships?
Most of the people entering the job hunt after school don’t have the answers to the above questions and learn them through trial and error or by a short self-study. In order to be given to students the boost and motivation they need, job-finding and networking skills should be comprehensively taught at the high school level.
“So telling a young person, ‘Just get a job’ is not tough love. It’s like going to the Sahara, looking up and yelling “Just rain!” Which is weird. Stop it,” writes Erica Buist for Guardian.
Instead, we should teach them how to write their CV and their cover letter. How and where to seek jobs. How to develop their professional network and maintain it – which is equally important -.
If you are at the start of your career and need to gain experience in your field why don’t you try volunteering? Except for that, volunteering is a great way to improve your mental health, because by helping others you get a deep sense of fulfillment.
✔ Why don’t you check our job openings on LinkedIn? We probably have a volunteering role that you could be interested in!
Bonus Poll: Which of the above subjects do you think should be taught in schools?
Do you have others to recommend? Why don’t you comment and let us know which one and why do you think is essential?