Real life must be taught.
By Lukas Supovitz-Aznar
In schools throughout the United States, most writing skills that are taught are not useful for careers. The skills that are useful post-high school are left unclear on how to integrate into a student's future. Although creative writing is important, it is a form of literacy that is overrated and often useless in most professions. Kids should learn how to write professionally for business fields such as persuasive writing, emailing, templates, and sales pitches; which are geared to excel in. These fields have obvious connections to real world material so they would be beneficial to our success. The skills that are useful in schools are the basics, however kids are not taught how to apply it to the real world so these topics are rendered useless.
I have always been open to learning about the different ways of writing throughout my English classes over the years. Unfortunately the curriculum for English seems vague and weak, so it is up to the teacher to help their students excel. Each year the English teacher is a new one, so the tools we learn are often repeated. The product of this system is students having very little “real life” skills. The important topics that are taught are not explained on how to use. For a student to actually apply the skill, the teacher has to put the tool in the description. If the student is not blatantly told to use this skill, it is useless to them. According to Kyle Wiens, a CEO of a software company “I hire people who care about those details. Applicants who don’t think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren’t important.” Coming from a CEO of a very successful company, this shows that kids are not taught to use tools when they go out into the world. In other words, when kids leave school they fail to understand that the tools that are learned are not exclusive to that assignment.
Concepts like business proposals are important, but are not taught in public schools. It often feels like many students are held from there potential in literacy. This is because there are two types of students; the student who realizes that the things being taught in school are to improve your future, and the students who do not see past grades. The students who do not see past grades do not have the prerogative to find out how important other forms of writing are to their future. In other words, the students who do not see past grades are ignorant or lacking knowledge. Kyle Wiens, the software company CEO states “On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right? Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use “it’s,”then that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.” The curriculum is to blame that teachers teach for these learning curves, because students potential is not tapped into.
Learning is poorly defined, and often becomes foggy to students. Students often confuse temporarily obtaining information with learning information. Now let this be clear, do not put blame on the students. The teacher’s curriculum is at fault for keeping these tools exclusive to the class/assignment. A student cannot see past grades because the prerogative to do so is non-existent. There is little real world application to the material taught, which makes the student unknowing that there is any. If kids were taught the real world applications there could be more motivation to try to learn these topics”I put my head down, why did I have to learn this? When was I ever going to use creative writing in real life. I felt like throwing my book on the floor and walking out of the room, but I couldn't because if I didn’t get good grades then I would not be able to do what I wanted in life; baseball. I knew that I had to get good grades to play baseball in college, but I felt like everything that I was learning was useless. Everything that I had done in life never led back to school subjects. I felt like everything that I used on a daily bases I had taught myself. “This is stupid!” I yelled out.” This is a prime example of a student who can not see past grades. Since there is no real world examples shown, it is hard for the student to actually apply the material to their lives. This structure leaves a majority of the classroom in a hole when they get to college.
If students had real world applications they would be motivated to learn, but the curriculum does not include that because those students are classified as useless. It is important to learn how to write in different lights and careers. If students had this, schools would be a more intuitive, and positive place for kids. CEO’s agree that many applicants do not know the importance of writing, that is because kids do not see how it can help them when they step out of school. If curriculum changed to include real life connections, the kids who are classified as “hopeless” by the system would be productive and would succeed.