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Should Schools Provide Life Skills Classes?

Introduction
During early childhood, there are not many things kids have to worry about. One of the only things young kids may worry about is picking their outfit for the first day of school. As people grow out of their youth and go on to high school, they start facing responsibilities and start maturing. This is all part of the growing up process, but a lot of kids are struggling with being able to handle everything going on in their lives. That is because this age is where kids go through many good and bad times. As all these emotions pile up, kids must face the reality of the real world where there are not many options. The majority of students either end up in the workforce or go to college to obtain a degree. This change is extremely challenging on students because most just aren’t ready. This should be alarming to parents because the realities of Millard Public High Schools are frail. At such a young age, it is hard to adapt because kids don’t have proper guidance to prepare themselves for the future.
Thesis
Millard Public High Schools should require students to pass classes in ‘adulting’ and offer better preparation for the future.
Problem Statement
Millard Public High Schools are not preparing students enough for the future. Out of 165,000 surveyed students around the country, only 45% felt ready for their future (Leal). This is a generalized statement but these numbers are too low. Dropout rates in the United States are also soaring at 1.2 million students per year (DoSomething). High school dropouts are typically not people who change the world, rather people who commit crimes. Although Millard’s graduation rate is at an average of 91 percent, from personal experience, Millard mostly talks about preparing for college and careers but never actually does (US News).
The curriculum at MPHS’ is one that is not very promising. Courses that are offered are simply general education, foreign language, and electives. Now, most high schools are structured like this, but some schools such as a school in Kentucky, have created seminars in which students can participate in to learn about taking care of future responsibilities (Holohan). The support the school received from hosting the seminar was extremely positive. Millard can act in similar ways or by incorporating courses to prepare students for the future better.
A big factor that can benefit Millard’s students’ success is being active with counselors and staff. Friendships in high school, whether it’s with students or teachers can be beneficial to teens mental health (Monroe). High school is a time where teenagers go through many emotions, some they may not have felt before, and being able to vent to someone is crucial. With negative emotions at youth, academics and involvement in school tend to go down (Valiente). Without friendships during these years, students will struggle all around. Another factor that can affect this is the teacher’s involvement in the class. If teachers are incorporating students into the curriculum properly, they will feel better about their involvement and performance.
Solutions
Add Classes to the Curriculum
Millard Public High School’s curriculum could be changed in ways that will benefit the student more for the future. It is time for a change because MPS has not seen a change like this ever. Millard should add courses that revolve around ‘adulting’ to the curriculum so that can students can be better prepared for the future. Adding classes such as banking, saving, college preparatory, ownership, moving out, retirement and workforce would benefit students a lot. Creating courses revolving around money would be one of the more important ones because, in 2018, approximately 69 percent of students graduating took out loans, and their debt averaged at $29,000 per student (SLH). That is why being able to learn and retain this valuable information that is relevant to student’s lives would be superb at this age level. Millard would have to replace some courses for this, but that shouldn’t be a problem as some of the courses taught seem to be unuseful. Another good way to promote success in the future is to set up events about career opportunities. As mentioned earlier, a high school in Kentucky has done this and folks loved it (Holohan). Setting up the events wouldn’t have an impact on other events the school already has planned for the year.
Have Counselors and Staff Be Active in the Students’ Lives
On top of adding classes to the curriculum, Millard should have high school students meet regularly with their counselors. Students would be able to talk about anything from personal life to their goals for the future. A guidance counselor can be a great resource for all your school needs (Mearsheimer). Examples of ways counselors can help are writing letters of recommendation, ACT prep, college prep, scholarships, AP courses, improving academics, solving conflicts, making decisions, venting, and so much more. The best part of it all is that they don’t tell the students’ parents about anything. Throughout the four years of high school, students go through whirlpools of emotions and being able to reach out to an adult is helpful. Obviously, bad moods correlate with poor performance. Fifty percent of all mental illness cases begin at age 14 (Youth). With numbers that low, counseling should be a requirement at MPHS.
Have Teachers Engage Students More
Teachers at MPHS should make classes more meaningful by engaging students more. Out of 777 students surveyed for a study, over 90 percent of students admitted to using their cell phones for material that didn’t involve the class during class (Jaschik). Ninety percent does sound accurate when thinking about the new generation of youth. Technology is distracting in this new era, but cell phones should not be allowed to be used during class time. A Millard West High School counselor once said at a lecture: “Technology will be the cause of death for some children because they can’t seem to stay away from it” (Hancock). Some ways that teachers can structure classes to engage students are having mind warm-ups, use movement, collaborating with other students, learning about the students, and integrating technology. These types of engagements are ones that will help students challenge themselves. Students will be paying more attention to the teacher which will create better bonds between the two.
Supporting Arguments
High school students are constantly growing and changing. Their age is relevant because high school is a prime time for kids to mature and grow up. Mature students are more ready to learn and have a drive (Collins). Students are moving out after HS, joining the military, or even starting their career. These are big changes in people lives but isn’t as relevant as it should be. Adding certain ‘adulting’ courses to the curriculum will benefit students because it can teach them about being responsible and self-care.
Another reason why MPHS should prepare students better is because it will help them succeed better after high school. Kids who have some sort of guidance or plan are more likely to accomplish more than that student without. Most students who have used counseling for college or future career possibilities found it useful based on a survey (Fig. 1.). This is a prime example of why meeting regularly with counselors or having strong relations with teachers will benefit students more because then it is made sure students are helped. As known from earlier, only 45 percent of 165,000 students surveyed felt ready for their future (Leal). This ratio is clearly saying that a good portion of high school students nationwide are unprepared for what the future has in store for them. Also, with high dropout rates in the United States, success is certainly affected by this.
Fig. 1. The chart is showing the number of students who used their counselors for help relating to college (under 40%). Over 50% of the students who used it found it useful (Stringer).
Teenagers and their mental health is also an additional reason why Millard should try to prepare their students better. Everyone who has gone to high school knows that high school is a time where teens go through a ton of emotions and dealing with them may not be easy. Talking about mental health in high school is super important because approximately 1 in 5 children have a diagnosable mental health concern (ACMH). Having a mental health disorder is very challenging at a younger age because students will have more to worry about than just school. The most common symptoms of mental health disorders are depression, mood swings, anxiety, and ADHD.
Nowadays, it seems that a good portion of high schoolers are taking classes just to get by and get a grade. By doing this, obviously little to nothing is being retained which won’t help students for their future. College classes are much more challenging than high school classes. If students plan on going to college, they could struggle intensely and may be forced to drop out. Instead of making grades the end goal for certain students in high school, make classes more reviving and valuable. Also, Millard does a good job of letting students have a great amount of free time. At one particular Millard high school, Millard West High School, students can choose to be there for half the day if they wish. Free time is always good but too much of it can be damaging. Millard needs to make classes for their upper-class more difficult so students aren’t struggling in the future.
As I mentioned earlier, good bonds and friendships can lead to better performance and more engagement. For a high school student to have their counselor be there for them, especially during their upper-class years, is a big advantage. High school counselors can give academic support, parental support, and individual support (Pannoni). In addition to this, MPHS has poor classes on teaching about the real world. These few courses are also taught in early grades, which makes it very easy to forget. Some graduating kids don’t know anything about insurance, credit cards, banks, how to write a check, and even rent.
Opposition
One reason why Millard would not be able to accomplish offering better preparation for the future would be timing. Staff at MPHS may not have the time to incorporate every student into counseling. Although most teachers may agree with this because they are very busy, schedules can be trimmed and time can be freed up. Forty-hour work weeks are possible if teachers plan well (Watson). Another opposition to why Millard would not be able to do this is that it would increase costs on their schools’ budget. Simply swapping out the old classes for new ones that relate to ‘adulting’ would not impact the budget so much. Yes, it would cost more for materials for a new class, but it would go the same way if the district were to change the curriculum of a class as they do often. With all that being said, the opposing arguments would not play a big enough impact to override a change in Millard.
Conclusion
To wrap things up, Millard should change up the way they operate their high schools. Millard Public High Schools should offer better preparation for the future and require students to pass classes in ‘adulting’. As of now, the district does not do a sufficient job on getting students ready for the future. Kids being unprepared for what the future holds can lead to being unsuccessful and struggling. Millard has multiple ways to overcome this. The district can simply add classes to the curriculum, have counselors meet with students regularly, and have teachers be more engaging. By doing this, students would be more ready for graduation than ever because they will have so much more knowledge about the future. If Millard Public Schools wants to be a better district, they need to make few changes in their high schools.
Works Cited
“11 Facts About High School Dropout Rates.” DoSomething.org, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates.
“20 Life Skills Not Taught In School.” Successful Student, 24 Apr. 2019, successfulstudent.org/20-life-skills-not-taught-in-school/.
Collins, Amanda. “The Top Reasons Why Mature Age Students Excel at Study.” More than Motivation: Study, Career and Life Inspiration, 5 June 2017, www.opencolleges.edu.au/blog/2016/11/14/mature-age-students-excel-studies/.
Holohan, Meghan. “Kentucky High School ‘Adulting’ Class Teaches Love, Taxes and More.” TODAY.com, 29 Mar. 2019, www.today.com/parents/adulting-class-kentucky-high-school-teaches-crucial-life-skills-t151240.
How We Rank the Best High Schools. “Millard Public Schools Public Schools” | Nebraska | U.S. News

Restorative Justice in Schools

Restorative Justice in Schools
Restorative Justice is characterized as the individuals who are emotional by the offense or episode being engaged with finding a commonly adequate route forward.
I will be reflecting throughout my paper how prevalent restorative justice is needed within the school system. Helpful equity is an imaginative way to deal with both culpable and testing conduct which fixing damage to connections and individuals well beyond the requirement for relegating fault and apportioning discipline. Schools consist of students with various behavior issues that interfere with their learning abilities and progress in school. Teachers experience various behaviors when students enter the classroom. Some students come into class with attitudes as well as conflicts among themselves. Students these days lack respect for themselves, teachers, parents and their peers. They don’t even have respect for themselves. As the saying goes child rearing starts at home. And it takes a village to raise a child.
The methods and procedures that are outlined in an article written by Belinda Hopkins offers a welcome introduction to the use of restorative justice principles in addressing challenging or disruptive behavior. As an initiative, it shares a good deal in common with a previous article on peer mediation. The underlying principles of the restorative approach advocates as an expression of a school’s dedication, for example, Active Citizenship and the Healthy Schools Programs. Processes and competencies regarding philosophy/ethos are feasible and have been addressed. These interventions, which include mediation, conferencing and restoration circles, share certain vital steps. Everyone affected by some means of behavior, a war scenario or a problem, could talk about what has happened, explain how they have been affected by way of it, describe how they are presently feeling about the scenario and what they want to do to restore the damage caused. An essential element is that this intervention is voluntary. The success of the procedures relies upon a massive measure on the willingness of people to take phase and engage. The most public face of restorative justice consists of all formal or informal interventions which their goal is to put things right, to repair the harm as it is frequently phrased, after some behavior or match which has adversely affected human beings?
These interventions require positive competencies on the part of the facilitators or mediators and, it ought to be argued, and it will help significantly if these identical competencies are being developed in all individuals in the schools and all should probability be concerned in the intervention. These competencies consist of ultimate independent and non-judgmental, respecting the standpoint of all involved; actively and empathically listening; developing rapport amongst participants; empowering contributors to come up with selections as an alternative rather than suggesting or imposing ideas; creative questioning; warmth; compassion and patience. Restorative justice does no longer have the monopoly on such an approach in schools. Those educationalists who espouse a humanitarian, liberal child-centered strategy will recognize much of what has been stated about ethos and abilities (Porter, 2000). However, in the software of these capabilities and ethos, restorative justice may additionally be supplying something new, especially in creating a behavior administration policy. It may additionally be stereotyping barely the normal method to behavior management.
Claassen (2001) refers to the first of a set of concepts of Restorative Discipline, which he has developed with his spouse Roxanne and which have been integrated into the behavior administration coverage of the college in which she works. This first precept elaborates on the first point in the paradigm: Misbehavior is considered particularly as an offense against human relationships and secondarily as a violation of a school rule (since faculty regulations are written to protect safety and equity in human relationships). Claassen acknowledges the significance of policies however suggest that every now and then the actual cause of policies is left out and the focus will become the truth of rule breaking as a substitute than the human elements below the rule breaking.
In the neighborhoods when anybody violates a law, we call it a crime. In schools, when any individual violates a rule, we call it a misbehavior. If a misbehavior is observed that isn’t included through a rule yet, we typically write a new rule. Rules are very vital and useful since they help absolutely everyone to comprehend what conduct is now not acceptable in that elementary, high school and college community. Rules additionally prevent, or at least reduce, arbitrary punishment because the regulations are published for everybody to comprehend and contributors of the school neighborhood can appeal to the regulations if it looks that they are being punished arbitrarily. Where this turns into a hassle is when the primary focus of a self-discipline application is on the rule violation and because of that, the human violation is not noted or minimized. Since the cause of setting up regulations is to provide for a safe, fair, just, and orderly community, it is important that this underlying motive is now not misplaced in our effort to be certain we observe the rules.
The common strategy to dealing with conflicts between younger human beings and one that tries to use mediation principles. The intention of the principle/teacher is to get to the bottom of the matter, to sort out who did what and who is to blame. Once the individual to blame has been recognized this person can be dealt with in accordance to the sanctions policy of the school. This is no longer to say that such a sanction may not additionally consist of tries at conciliation between the youngsters in conflict, however frequently this may suggest an enforced and insincere apology. A greater restorative strategy would be to use the principles of mediation in which each or all aspects of a dispute are invited to provide an explanation for what took place from their perspective, to express how they are presently feeling about the incident and then to be invited to discover a collectively ideal way forward.
Many instructors will say that they use this approach and there are simply many natural mediators in schools. However, the method is undermined if human beings are less than unbiased in their physique language, tone, phrasing of questions, or summing up of the events, or when someone is unable to withstand the temptation to provide pointers or incident of hostilities or by means of inappropriate or even offending behavior. It resembles mediation in that the same steps are followed in which every person has a chance to say how they have been affected by using the incident, how they have been feeling, how they feel presently and what can be executed to repair the damage and make things as proper as possible. Some conference practitioners will differentiate the process, which takes area with all concerned sitting in a circle, from mediation. Interest in the plausible of restorative practices in schools is steadily rising and greater and extra initiatives are being started.
There should be restorative justice skill training packages in all schools for teachers, it will supply experiential practical education in one-to-one challenging conditions as properly as mediation and conferencing skills. There is a universal understanding that creating restorative practices in a school is no longer certainly about presenting conferences in conditions the place damage has been caused. The more holistic strategy and the possible to beautify the whole school neighborhood by means of pertaining to in a one of a kind way is recognized by most human beings who are acquainted with restorative justice (Quill and Wynne, 1993; Johnston, 2002). Working in a school as a restorative justice practitioner, working in the discipline of restorative justice in schools I would recommend that the major factors militating towards the improvement of a whole school restorative method are scarcity of time and pressures from conflicting priorities. The scarcity of time is in relation to the time on hand in the elementary schools, high schools and colleges, it will be the day for dealing with problems in a restorative manner as nicely as the time on hand for training, help and overview of practice.
Restorative justice in all schools’ spreads like the news, many such people want information and in-service coaching – the venture will not be profitable until most of the school community is on board. By the neighborhood I would consist of educating staff, support staff, students, governors, parents, administrative staff, lunchtime team of workers and caretakers, and this listing is not exhaustive. It would appear quintessential to seek advice from as many people as feasible earlier than embarking on a challenge and use as many channels as feasible to talk what the undertaking is about. Ideally a guidance group comprised of representatives from at least the above referred to organizations would oversee the entire project. The best way to develop training potential from amongst these organizations so that there is not endured reliance on outdoor education and support.
Whole faculty involvement is at the heart of superb school improvement (Brighouse and Woods, 2000). This is congruent with the restorative values of respect, inclusion
and empowerment and the trust that those with the problems would benefit greatly from the program.
References
https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9604.00254|
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1541204016681414
https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/4rcpPfJsU7shGmYSbSWS/full

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