Things That High School Really Needs to Teach

I look back on my high school years and can honestly say that It really didn't teach me anything that was really going to be important once I became a productive working adult that has bills to pay and a family to support.

Back in my school days, I wasn't the fastest learner and I didn't make all A's. I wasn't part of the honor society, I wasn't in gifted and telented, advanced placement courses or honors courses. I wasn't the student that raised their hand first for when ever the teacher asked a question. In fact I was usually not in favor of a lot of teachers, especially in my elementary school years, because it took me a little bit longer to learn things. I often made me feel shitty and dumb.

I look back on it all now and the things I used to beat myself up over and feel shitty about were pointless because none of it has anything to do with what I really needed to know as an adult making a living in the real world.

I had to figure out a lot of things out here on my own that I think should have been taught in high school instead of pythagoren theroms and the slope of Y intercept. The things that actually are going to matter when it comes to paying bills and making a living.

The things I feel need to be taught in High school and I wish that I had learned about:

Saving and Investing Money

This is probably the number one thing I would have liked to know about. Instead of just shoving going to college down their throats and racking up thosands of dollars of student loans, teach them what their options are for saving money. Teach them what an IRA and a certificate account is. Teach them how interest accumaulates on money that they put away into one of these accounts. This is such an important part of being a productive adult and why it is not taught absolutley baffles me.

How Medical Insurance Works

They aren't going to be covered by mom and dads plan forever, if their even covered at all. They need to be taught what the difference between and HMO and PPO is, what a co pay is, how to read a statement and what happens if your not covered and what Obama care is and how it works. It's all pretty complicated stuff thats actually pretty important to know about. I had to learn a lot of things about this the hard way like many adults do.

Your Credit and FICO Scores

It's safe to say that at some point everyone is going to have to finance a car, a house or take out a loan. I had no clue what my credit or FICO score was or why it was even important, but it decides whether or not you will save or pay more for a loan or if you even get the green light for it at all. It should be taught why it is important, where you can go to see what your credit score it is and how to raise it and keep it in good standing. I wish this was something that I learned about it high school.

I feel these are the most important things that a student should be taught in high school. I can imagine there are more things that are just as important. Please feel free to share.


Most Helpful Girl

  • I agree, they really do need to teach these things. Where I live (Ontario, Canada), the government is trying to make it mandatory for high school students to take a personal finance class where all these kinds of things will be covered, including insurance on a broad scale (we don't have to deal with private medical insurance on the insane level that Americans do, so they will not focus on that). I hope that the motion gets approved. I believe the course is currently being designed.

    Currently, we only have two courses that focus on finance - Financial Accounting Fundamentals in grade 11, and Financial Accounting Principles in grade 12. However, both of them focus mainly on accounting for business (basically, these are the courses needed if the student wants to pursue a degree in Accounting, Commerce, or Marketing/Advertising) and neither one is actually mandatory for graduation (they're completely elective).

    I have to say that I know a lot about personal finance, credit, taxes, etc and I manage well with all of those things thanks to my parents, who made us all be part of the household financial planning. I think a lot of parents are afraid to talk about money issues with their kids or they're not sure how or what to teach, and some parents don't know jack shit and are up to their eyeballs in debt so that's what the kids learn. Many graduates leave university or college with very little knowledge of how to take care of themselves financially, and it's something that we really need to get a handle on. A student could graduate university knowing how to build a rocket, but then know absolutely nothing about how to balance their bank account and create a budget and that's not good.

    • That’s really good on your parents that you were fortunate enough to have them teach you about finances and such. Unfortunatley there are kids who are no so fortunate, not because their parents don’t want to teach them but because they themselves never learned or know about it. It’s what you said that that their parents are probably up to their eyeballs in debt and this gets passed down to their kids. I really think high school is a joke.

    • You're speaking to a future high school teacher here! LOL! High school, generally speaking, is not a joke but rather it is (or at least, it should be) a fundamental aspect in one's educational career. It should not be flooded with tons of courses that are not pertinent to life after school. There needs to be a variety of courses offered to students as there are all kinds of prerequisites for post-secondary programs, but there needs to be better guidance on which courses to select and which ones to overlook. It will leave more space in the students' timetables for courses like personal finance and maybe even home economics or family studies, where you'll not only learn basic finance skills but also learn the basics of managing a household.

    • The biggest problem in personal finance right now is people overusing their credit cards and financing everything they can. It's too easy to overspend when you're using a credit card, versus using a debit card or cash. That's where people get into trouble. People are buying too many things that they can't comfortably afford.

Most Helpful Guy


Join the discussion



What Girls Said 6

  • Hmm..
    I loved my high school and the teachers taught us a lot of things.
    My school had a business department and it was required that everyone had to take"Basic Computing" if they wanted to graduate and encouraged us to take business math which covered a lot..
    But they had to get rid of the business department because of the recession.
    I wish that my school's guidance counselors were better though.
    I wish that they would've let us know that it was okay to not know where we saw ourselves in 5 years and to not know what we wanted to major in.
    .. For the insurance and credit stuff I could just learn from my parents or ask a teacher.. But it would be nice to learn that at school.
    Oh, and more high schools should require their students to take health and sex ed.
    Apparently there are quite a few schools that don't which is odd to me.

  • using what knowledge will you get a job and earn money? you need to earn money first in order to save some

  • Even more important than any of that, sex ed and health. We need that. I didn't have finances an have still done well, but I needed sex ed

  • My school hasn't bothered to teach me important life skills like how to do my taxes or anything about banking and getting onto the property ladder. If something is not on the curriculum it doesn't get taught to us because it will not be on our exams. Lots of my peers still don't know the difference between a credit or debit card but I guess it's fine because we can work out the area of a triangle in our sleep

    • yeah, thats all schools care about is getting all the kids to pass tests that will have no relevance to anything in the real world

  • Nutrition and cooking, philosophy of morality, handling modern technology and technology-related addictions, expression and speaking...

  • Nutrition and morals


What Guys Said 5

  • Personal finance (banks, credit cards, taxes, insurance, loans, credit rating), basics of running a business (accounting software, marketing, etc), and how the economy works (national debt, lending, stock markets, central bank).

  • What I missed from high school: Common sense and a bit of social science to deal with bullies.

    I only don't know about medical insurance but the rest I already knew.

  • So basically, high schools should offer a finance course.
    Or a better one.
    Most do but they're not required.

  • Teach us how to do our taxes!!!

  • Also they would need to include more sport programs, more programs to socialize in school etc..