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Thread: Life Skills

  1. #1
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    Life Skills

    I am a high school art teacher, and our school does this thing called "Interim Term". During Interim term, students take classes or trips that help further their education... but it is usually something that they can not learn in a typical classroom setting. I am teaching a one week class on life skills - things you wish you knew when you went to college but didn't (for example: how to change a tire, etc). I need some help coming up with some ideas of things that I can do at a school (a private school in the middle of Downtown Dallas) that don't require a lot of expense or supplies (some supplies are ok!). I will be teaching five 2 hour long sessions, so, I was thinking about doing something different every day. Any ideas would be great!

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  3. #2
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    In a crafty vein, repair and maintenance of clothing, shoes and other personal effects. An amazing number of people young and old do not know how to thread a needle let alone what to do with it. They don't know how to remove stains or shorten hems or change out buttons. Polishing shoes or getting rid of scuff marks, how to hand wash things that need blocking.

    A big thing that young people don't always learn is maintaining a check book or that sort of financial bit.

    How to plan a party maybe. Depends on the group I suppose. I've had many adults ask me how I figure out what to have and when or how to handle invitations.

    There are a lot of things crafty people take for granted that others don't seem to know.

  4. #3
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    All good ideas...
    There is another teacher doing a financial class, such as balancing a checkbook and whatnot, and I was considering doing a laundry day - how to sort and do your laundry, remove stains, iron and fix a button or something like that. I guess I should have said MY ideas, and then build on that.

    -Car maintenance - when to have your oil changed, how to check and make sure your fluids are all filled, how to change a tire, etc.

    -laundry - like I said above - sorting, washing, how to read the tags, ironing, etc.

    -basic food preparation - what various terms mean, how to know when meat is cooked, and then maybe do a very simple meal with them.

    -stress management - what stress is, what causes it, how to deal with it, meditation, yoga, etc.

    Thanks for your idea... I really like the party planning one, but I don't know if our principal would go for it. I am going to run it by him tomorrow.

  5. #4
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    i still think that balancing a checkbook is a good idea... even though another teacher is doing it. if the students sign up for your class, they won't be seeing it twice, right? even beyond checkbooks, what about a lesson on credit? SO MANY college freshmen get roped into credit card deals that they don't understand, and end up spending money that they don't have. a bad credit history is such a curse in this day and age, and the credit card companies are ruthless when it comes to signing up young people. they set up tables in the student unions giving away tee shirts and candy to people that sign up for their cards. it sounds lame, but it works.

    good luck with your course!

  6. #5
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    For your basic food prep: I would like to recommend how to cook rice in a basic pot; what "sautee" means; what order too cook foods in, like if youre cooking x,y and z in the same pot, what needs to go in first...

    For clothing maintainance: I would recommend talking about the WHYs of sorting clothes and pretreating stains. Maybe have examples of what happens if you dont adhere to laundry rules.

    For car care: I have a funny book by Cameron Tuttle called "Bad Girls Guide to the Open Road" that I always bring when I rescue someone from a flat tire, and make them read aloud what I'm doing while I'm doing it, so they learn too. She has a lot of good car tips and describes them in an easy, funny way.

    Good Luck!

  7. #6
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    I wish I had learned basic cooking skills in school.

    My family didn't show me anything and I have no confidence in the kitchen. Everything else I've been able to pick up on my own, like how to clean stuff, checkbook, etc but cooking takes a lot of practice and experimentation.

    I also wish I had gotten more job prep stuff - how to write a good resume and cover letter, interviewing skills, etc.

  8. #7
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    Thinking more about the party/entertainment thing, people are often unprepared for guests even when they know in advance. I'm not the only one who does this, but I make sure my house guests know where the bathroom is and if there are any expectations like putting towels in the hamper. I make sure there are spare toiletries and tell them where. Same thing with kitchen and dining. Any limitations or caveats I write down. "Orange Juice has vodka in it!!!" They know what my usual routine is so I don't freak anyone out by leaving early or by having a picnic for supper.

    To be more appropriate for teens, stuff like knowing the rules of the house and when the party is over, as well as getting people to help clean up would all be good. I've also found that party guests of any age will help with hosting by putting out ice or cleaning up or directing parking.

    There are plenty of resources for music and food and random entertainment ideas. I never need them, but I usually have one or two things I specifically include at a party in case there is a lull. Might be Rubik's cube or a photo album or Cirque du Soleil on the television in the background. It just makes the first couple of people more comfortable.

  9. #8
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    How to create/follow a budget.

    How to follow a subway map/bus schedule.

    How to read a map.

    How to read a syllabus (you would not believe how many freshmen we get who have never seen one).

    How to arrange utilities.

    How to move/sign a lease/set up an apartment.

  10. #9
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    I like the car maintenance ideas.

    What about some "worst case scenario" survival tips - only less you are attacked by a shark, more you get in a car accident or blow a fuse, etc. (for practical reasons, but maybe throw in the shark attack for flair)

    Or basic home repair/how to avoid losing your security deposit? Changing a fuse, plunging a sink, hanging a picture (finding a stud), etc.

    Sounds like a fun week!

  11. #10
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    How to use a plunger/recognize that your toilet is blocked. Seriously. My brother had his ceiling collapse on him b/c the idiots above were "solving" a blocked toilet problem by repeated flushing for months on end, never trying to use a plunger to clear out the blockage (or calling a plumber).


 
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