Immediately after dinner this evening, my son raised the concern that he was meeting with his school counselor to discuss courses he would sign up for next year. There was a look of panic on my son’s face. He had no idea where to start. The paperwork seemed like a foreign language to him. He was lost.
My wife and I sat with him and figured it out. I asked him to choose his electives first. We dove into all the classes available. I was really shocked at how amazing the classes sounded. As a teacher, I often hear that amazement about our offerings from parents. Parents will say things like, “I wish we had classes like this when we were in high school!” My son and I searched through auto technology, culinary, business, fine arts, urban history, and physical education choices. My son settled on the Auto 2 class, a culinary course, and a graphic arts class. Then we suggested an engineering course under the Science department. He looked at us confused. “Son,” I began, “You love cars. You want to possibly design them when you get to the next level of your education. An engineering class will start to give you skills that will allow you to see if this type of work is right for you. It will let you know if you are really interested in it.” My son replied that that made sense and signed up for the engineering class.
The way I look at it is the more electives people take in high school, the better understanding they will have of what they actually like to do or think they like to do. I would much rather have an idea of what I liked or was passionate about BEFORE I go to the next level of education.
Searching for my interests in high school will be much less expensive than searching for them in college.
I personally made the mistake of going into college not knowing what my interests and skills were. I fumbled through classes and areas I knew nothing about at a huge cost. I know hundreds of students who followed this path only to drop out or gain massive debt. Many students who have dropped out told me it was due to them not finding any meaning in their education. They did not know their educational WHY.
These days, electives are able to show students WHY and HOW math, science, english, reading, and history play a role in what they are interested in. This only works IF they seek out different experiences in high school. I am challenging parents and students alike to look further into your high school’s electives.
High School electives will help you figure out your interest and skills path earlier in life!
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