A 16-year-old athlete came into the physical therapy office to undergo rehabilitation from an injury. As she checking in, the clerk asked for her $20 insurance co-pay.
The girl handed the clerk a blank check. Puzzled, the clerk informed the teen she hadn’t filled out the check and tried handing it back to her with a pen. The teen refused to take it.
“Can you do it?” the teen asked with an embarrassed tone. “I don’t know how to fill out a check. I always use a card.”
To the credit of the clerk, instead of taking the easy route of filling in the blanks for the girl, she took the time to explain to her how a check needs to be filled out. Her parents had failed to teach the young woman that basic lesson in adulting.
If she attended Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock ISD, the school could teach her about adulting, a new, silly word that refers to the knowledge and demands of being a grown-up. The weekly Adulting 101 workshop, done in partnership with local businesses teaches students skills including money management, how to build a resume, conduct a good job interview and other tips, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman.
“The idea is to give students an opportunity to learn some skills they don’t necessarily learn in the classroom, in their core content areas or maybe at home,” school librarian Debbie Chavez told the newspaper. “What we want to do is get people from our community to come and teach these classes because they’re working in these professions already and they’ll have the latest information on whatever the topic is.”
While such a program is beneficial to the students, it should not be necessary for the knowledge to be built from scratch. Parents should long have provided foundational knowledge about how to handle money, what it means to pay bills and other requirements of being a responsible person in modern society.
It is not unreasonable to expect a child, by the time they reach high school age, to know how to crack an egg and make their breakfast, for example. They should know how to balance a checkbook and balance the demands on their time.
Without fail, parents complain that religion, sex and other uncomfortable subjects are not a school’s responsibility to teach. Neither should it be required for schools to teach children the necessary skills for conducting life. Those should happen in the home, and that schools feel the need to offer special classes to teach them to students is reflective of parents failing their responsibility to prepare their children for adulthood.