Adulting Day

Parsons High School automotive instructor Dave Ferguson teaches students how to operate a jack and where to place it on a vehicle in order to change a tire. The lesson was one of many made available to students during Thursday’s new Adulting Day.

Students at Parsons High School spent Thursday learning, but not about English, algebra or science.

Students had the opportunity to spend time in sessions learning information about situations and tasks they will face as they enter into adulthood.

“Mrs. (Rachel) Skinner approached me last year about doing an Adulting Day. We discussed it with the staff and really tried to do something last spring but just couldn’t get it together in time,” Principal Eric Swanson said. “We know that there are things kids need to know that just aren’t taught in high school. It’s easy to say that schools should teach this and that, but the fact is we can’t teach everything that everyone thinks we should. We felt like Adulting Day was a way to get away from the regular curriculum and focus on things that kids need to know that aren’t necessarily reading, writing and math. A lot of this is already covered in our financial literacy curriculum, but it doesn’t hurt anyone to see it again in a different way.”

Basic skills were taught in some sessions, such as how to change a tire, how to cook on a budget, how to paint a house, basics of grilling, sewing on a button, basic home repairs or how to do laundry. Students also could learn how build their credit, learn about saving and investing and interviewing for jobs.

Other sessions were designed to prepare students for unknowns they might encounter as they enter college or careers, such as proper meal etiquette for a formal dinner, how to tie a tie or the importance of social networking.

Some sessions were geared toward students learning about healthy relationships, conflict resolution, stress management, mental health or giving back to the community.

Amid that, students also had the chance to learn the basics of some of the career and technical education classes, such as drafting and screen printing, or test their hand at golf or self-defense.

“I think it is an awesome thing the school is doing. It’s a nice break from classes. It’s nice to see some teachers you don’t usually have and learn about stuff in life you wouldn’t normally learn in a classroom, stuff you might actually use,” Gracen Friess said.

Friess chose sessions on learning to screen print, make a story board and breathing and yoga, and ignored some of the others.

“I probably should have taken some of those, like how to change a tire, but I didn’t,” she said. “I don’t even know how to sew, so …”

Business instructor Jane Posch said she enjoyed the opportunity to meet other students in the building and teach some things they need in real life besides book work, and graphic design teacher Michelle Smith said she thought it was a great opportunity to share with students what some CTE classes offer that they may not have been aware of.

Friess said that was the situation for her getting to screen print a T-shirt.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said.

“We had a debriefing with the kids afterwards, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive,” Swanson said. “Kids liked the sessions that were offered and that they could pick what they wanted. They actually wanted to be able to attend more sessions, so that’s something we will definitely look at for next time.”

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