Opinion: Hayes should offer more practical elective classes for students


Amber Carver

Students at Hayes learn about all sorts of academic topics, but many practical skills are missing.

Amber Carver, Staff Writer

High school is a time when people begin to find themselves. It’s a giant and confusing pool of new experiences. Individuals in high school have to make some tough choices, some of which will affect the rest of their lives, including what career path they will take.
The high school curriculum teaches students all sorts of fundamentals, like how to find the area under a curve, or how to dissect an Edgar Allen Poe piece. Those skills are fine and dandy, but they only help individuals going into very niche career areas. The vast majority of students’ time will be wasted learning those skills.
High school students are on the cusp of adulthood. Soon, they will transition from calculating geometric equations to filing taxes. Everyone has to do taxes, yet most teenagers have no idea where to begin. They often don’t have experience with many fundamental skills needed in everyday life, which range from proper interview etiquette to basic household repairs.
Hayes has excellent business classes. Many are structured to be only a semester long, effectively teaching crash courses in the intended subjects. So, why could that format not be adopted to teach other subjects for the benefit of students?
It would be in the best interest of Hayes to implement a class, possibly called something along the lines of Basics of Finance. The class can extend beyond just teaching basic budgeting. It could include options and strategies for filing taxes, teach students how to pay bills, or how to plan wisely for retirement.
On top of that, there could be a class specifically for students who are planning to go to college. It can show them how to manage debt, as well as spend wisely during college. There are a lot of questions students don’t get answers to until they are already attending a college.
Taking it even further, there could be an elective that students can take that shows them basic household repairs. Understandably, not all of it can be hands-on if it were taught in a regular classroom, but students would still benefit from learning things like proper techniques for painting a house, how to safely change a lightbulb, or how to defrost a freezer.
They don’t seem of immediate importance, but students will have to deal with these things at some point in their lives. With that being said, they should know the proper way to do it. These are the types of things students planning to live independently will benefit from.
Offering more practical electives might even be able to save lives. For instance, Hayes could implement a course on basic first aid. There are a multitude of common injuries ranging from sprains to burns. If not treated properly, those injuries could become much more serious. Students could learn the basic care and steps to take in the event of injuries, when to call 911, and how to palliatively care for people. Knowing the proper way to treat injuries could potentially save a life, which is a good skill to have in today’s society.
Hayes should certainly expand their electives in the future to include ones that are much more practical. Doing so could save someone from something as silly as a bad paint job, something as serious as someone’s life.