Let's be more productive
When was the last time you used Algebra 2 knowledge to get through your daily life? Unless you are involved in a career that uses heavy mathematics you are probably like most Americans who would say "never". The thing is while learning these things are good and important in growing our minds, there are other more important things we have to know in the real world that we are never taught. Here are some subjects that would greatly help our students and children become more productive and responsible adults in the real world.
1. Financial education
This is the number one subject on my list for very good reason. People are graduating high school with all of these nonsense subjects, but when they face the real world and have to open a checking account, write a check, or manage their personal finances efficiently this isn't even touched in our schools. Financial education should be more mandatory than a boatload of other useless subjects we are taught, as finances are something we deal with every single day. There is a reason many people are in debt, can't live without 3 credit cards, and don't know how to write a check. The reason for this problem is because our schools don't even bother to teach even one mandatory class to educated young adults into being financially stable and personally responsible. This needs to be taught in every single high school in the United States of America.
Music makes the number two spot. People who play a musical instrument are shown to be more dedicated to endeavors they take on, have increased capabilities in responsibility and creativity, and have the ability to express themselves in the form of a musical instrument and not through things like gangs and graffiti. Music education is super important and I am much better off after having learned guitar than I was before. Learning an instrument would help our youth become more expressive, creative, passionate, and driven as studies have proved countless times what musical expression through an instrument does to our brains. We are more able to be better citizens with the musical education backing us, and schools need to be making this a mandatory thing to learn both for societies sake and for the sake of each individual person.
3. Media and filmmaking
Media is the big thing in society today. Kids are drowning in Youtube videos, movies, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and filmmaking websites. Having kids start learning how to express themselves by creating short video clips and editing them to make beautiful arrangements of videos would better themselves and everyone around them. Schools have this capability with all the new computers and tools they get, so they should be embracing more creativity in the form of media and film. The first time I put a small movie together it was the most exhilarating process because I was actually making a movie with my own personal touch and feel. This opened my eyes to new creative ways to express myself and I was glad I received this knowledge early on. I believe that if schools started teaching these things early it would give kids more ability to express themselves with movies and films and Youtube clips and open their eyes to new possibilities in the world.
4. Creative writing
This one is big in my book but makes the number 4 spot since the first 3 are more important to me. I believe that allowing kids to write creative things in the form of short stories and books that they will be able to explore the more deep parts of their subconscious and mind. Tapping into this potential cannot be understated because my whole success as a writer was being able to just free write whatever came to mind and put it on paper (or in today's world, Microsoft Word). If kids are able to write about things they dream of, think about, or dwell on and put it on paper this will give them the ability to explore more ideas and become creative geniuses. How many people started off as a writing genius and just flew to success instantly without ever exploring their minds and writing things that interested them? The answer is probably close to zero because if we don't have the opportunity to write about things that interest us then that part of our brains that thinks of creative ideas will degenerate and leave us. People tell me all the time that they can't think of any ideas for writing or ideas for starting a new adventure. I tell them I have to hold myself back because I'd have to be 10 people to accomplish all of the things I can think of in my head. This is all thanks to creative writing, and schools need to embrace this as a subject.
5. Learning new languages
This is spot number 5 and let me explain what I mean by this. Yes schools do have some other language subjects like Spanish and German, but the options are severely limited. While I understand that it would be impossible to hire a teacher for each language in the world due to classroom size issues and funding, there are other ways to get around this. I loved using Rosetta Stone and it helped me learn other languages fairly quickly. You don't have to have a teacher dedicated to each language in your school, but have a few teachers that are capable of teaching kids how to use language learning software to they can select any language they want. The teacher doesn't have to know that language, but instead be qualified to teach how to use the software and make assignments based on those lessons. I can't count how many kids in my high school loved Japanese Anime and wanted to learn the language, but Japanese isn't popular so that option was closed even before the idea was thought up. Teach a class on how to use something like Rosetta Stone so they can choose that option to learn Japanese and this will keep them interested while also expanding their mind to learn a new language and communication.
While these 5 subjects I listed are all important and should be taught, I just have to make one more plug for the #1 spot of financial education. This one out of all of them needs to be mandatory for every single school and our current problems with bankruptcy and credit card default is through the roof. I believe these 5 subjects if taught in every single high school and middle school today would allow us to catch up in the education race that we are losing big time right now. We are not supposed to force kids to learn a bunch of nonsense, that's the reason everyone is watching the clock and can't wait to get home. They go home so they can play an instrument, or create a Youtube video...something we should be teaching in school because this is where our interests lie. If we wake up and break this mold of mediocrity and start teaching more relevant things I believe the next generations to come will be the most productive we've seen in a long time.