Although reading, writing and algebraic equations are important, many students have the same conclusion. ‘I don’t need to know calculus since I want to be an author,’ or ‘I don’t need to know how to write an essay about World War II because I want to work in the fashion industry.’ Students tend to think that the things they are learning in school don’t relate to the career choices that they have in mind. As these are fair points, there are many instances where students would need to know skills learned in the classroom, no matter what career they take later in life.
Many students think that a great percentage of the assignments done in english classes aren’t necessary, because the Digest of Education Statistics shows that in 2017-2018, only two percent of bachelor degrees were english majors. Many students clearly don’t choose the path of an english major, but what students are learning in english class is still important. Whether students end up working in an office all day, or working on direct projects, it’s important to know how to communicate with others. It may be through email, on the phone or in person, but it’s always important to know how to explain something clearly with no miscommunication. Writing an email may be different from writing a whole essay on Greek mythology, but it is still writing. Grammar, punctuation, format, and spelling all come into play.
Students may never need to write a history essay again, but the history of where you live and conflicts of the past are good things to know, whether it’s for reference or to have a better understanding of politics. It’s good to know the history of how the world came to be what it is now.
The opinion of ‘school prepares you for the real world’ isn’t the most popular opinion, but that could be changed. For instance, in math, instead of doing repetitive problems over and over, the teachers could give examples of when students will need to know how to utilize the skills learned in the classroom. Math teachers can show how the work that is being done in class relates to things such as money, cooking, and time management. Another instance is reading an important piece of information. Students that don’t major in english may never think they will need to deeply analyze a novel again, but it’s important to be able to read a text and pick out the important pieces of information. It may be something for work, a recipe, or instructions on how to build something. Regardless of what it is, it’s important to be able to understand the point of what you are reading. Teachers can make it more clear how the skills and tools that are taught in school will help them after high school.