The Student News Site of Greenhills School




Editors celebrate new classes, ask for more practicality

All of the classes that are being added for next year, of them, every single one, is an improvement on the catalog. Every one fills a need, serves a purpose, and makes this school better. We need non-AP calculus because learning isn’t just about a test. We need globally oriented-history and politics courses because we are part of a global community, not just an American one.  We need to study pirates because– pirates are important we guess?

So every critique we make is only because perfection is unattainable, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. The new classes are different from the ones we need. Ask anyone what classes we need. They won’t say organic chemistry, “sports,” or fiber arts; they’ll say life skills. A year-long required course as seniors in which you learn basic skills for when you go off to college and are on your own. Skills such as cooking, changing a tire, filing taxes, survival skills, how to deal with an accident (if you get in one), fixing holes in clothing (sewing), and first-aid. We do a very good job of investing in our brains, but not a very good job of making sure our floating heads can tie the shoes that’ll get them to work in the morning.

We need classes that teach us how to do things. Life skills to ease the transition to college and beyond. Shop class so we can build the reality that other classes merely help us imagine. We need to learn about what’s going on in the world right now, not just world history, so that we can participate in the systems, political, financial, or otherwise, that will shape our lives.

In short, we need to be prepared for life once we leave academia.

We’re not saying that there shouldn’t be a place for the fun or frivolous in school, but before we add more of the same we need some fundamental life skills. We understand many of these classes are what students want to focus on after high school and in college, and that’s great, there will be time for that, but right now it’s half done. 

If you don’t think the calculus that the College Board wants you to teach is important don’t teach it. We hate them as much as anybody. Teachers should be able to teach the subjects that will be useful and exciting. But it can’t just be about not wanting to take a test, because the truth is we’re going to have to take tests after we leave here. 

If you think that the science that is taught at this school is insufficient, teach something else. Modern physics has done so to great effect. But adding more sciences can’t just be about looking good on a transcript, we will have time for that. It should be about learning all the amazing huge little things that we don’t have time to cover in survey courses.

If you don’t think we learn enough about global history and politics, teach it. But it can’t just be another half-baked Global Perspectives class that promises too much over too much time and delivers very little of it. Teach the global history that is important to us right now. About the Middle East, and Russia, and China, and how politics became what it is today, not how it became what it was thousands of years ago.

We could go on, but the point is we are moving in the right direction, towards interesting, important, necessary skills, but we need to remember not to stop halfway; not to let improvement let us forget the big picture. We need to be better prepared with basic life skills, better prepared to do things with our hands, and better prepared for the science and history that await us in the real world. We’re getting closer, but we’re not there yet.

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