Liliana Venditti ‘17 – Some students complain that “we will never use this in the real world”, which is true. Many will not need to know the Pythagorean theorem, the size of a mole of a hydrogen atom, or that King Henry VIII was married six different times. The chances that the average American will use facts like this on a daily basis are pretty slim.
According to xpmath.com, there are only around 37 jobs that use the quadratic formula on a day to day basis. Of course, these facts are useful for things like the SAT, specialty jobs, and Jeopardy, but many do not pursue these paths.
The majority of students plan to go on to college, be successful and then settle down with a family. A recent study done by Gallup.com expressed that a mere six percent of Americans aged 18 to 40 do not have, and do not want to have, children.
Now I understand that children are a long ways away, but it is never too soon to learn how to become a good parent. Besides, many teenagers babysit to earn a little extra money and parents would want to know that their children are being left in good hands. The only problem is, how does one become a great caregiver? What are you supposed to do when an infant is screaming their head off? Or how do you know what is normal for little kids, it has been a while since we wore diapers.
Fear no more, Romeo High School actually offers a life skills class, Personal and Family Dynamics and Parenthood and Child Development. Both classes are only a semester long, and although they can intertwine it is not necessary that one class is taken in order to take the other.
“Family Dynamics and Parenthood gave me skills I’ll never be able to learn anywhere else,” Ava Easterwood ‘17 said. “We learned actual life skills that are irreplaceable.”
Personal and Family Dynamics is a class focusing on relationships between others and yourself. Ms. Borlinghaus often says, “this class is an hour dedicated to you.” The class opens students’ eyes as to what a well rounded friendship or relationship is supposed to look like.
After personally taking the class, I was absolutely shocked at how many toxic friendships I had in my life. Not only does the material help identify bad friendships, it helps students see signs of abuse, but also how to deal with these deadly relationships. The class allows students to look at themselves also.
“Personal and Family Dynamics is the most beneficial class a student can take for personal growth,” Ms. Borlinghaus said. “I grow as a person, I become a better person every time I teach it. The class allows us time to reflect on ourselves, look at relationships differently, help with stress, time management, stress and things that are really important that every student struggles with.”
Let’s face it, you are not perfect and no one handles everything well all the time. I think it is obvious half of us are on the verge of a mental breakdown by this time in the year, so why not learn how to cope with it in a healthy way? In class, students spend a whole week learning different stress management techniques everyday.
Ms. Borlinghaus expressed that she wishes they would switch the title of class because although students do go in depth about families and relationships, the class is mainly about you as a person. It is about students learning how to deal with life and death, and everything in between.
“I really liked the classes,” Kamryn Hugo ‘17 said. “I took both parenthood and child development and family dynamics. I think the class really helps prepare for your future. It really gave me an idea of what is would be like to raise a child.”
Parenthood and Childhood Development is the class where you get the “Baby Think It Over” simulation babies. These “dolls” are not like your average toy. They eat, breathe, cry, sleep, burp and even need to be changed. Each doll has a specialized schedule, because each baby was actually based off of an actual infant where the parent recorded everything that happened within a week. So, if that baby cried at 4 a.m, so will yours.
Whenever the baby needs something, like a bottle or new diaper, the baby will start to whimper, if care is not given within the appropriate time frame the baby will start to cry and scream. If the parent does not give care in time, the baby will register that and the student will be marked down. In this semester students learn what a child looks like, acts like, and needs at different stages of life from conception to over five years old. The class outlines proper care, such as bathing, feeding, and dealing with the frustration of a crying baby all day and night. After students have learned all the important milestones that children should be following, the major test comes, that’s right, the baby. Not to mention the baby portion is entirely run by teacher cadets which creates an interesting, more relatable atmosphere.
“Coming from a parent perspective, [having raised her niece and nephew], I want them to do better than I did,” Ms. Borlinghaus. “I think I did good but I want them to be even better and this class helps students achieve that.”
I personally believe that these two classes should be mandatory. After taking Personal and Family Dynamics and being a student teacher for the Parenthood and Child Development class I can honestly say it touched every student. Everyone should at the least consider taking one semester of either of the two classes because they are beneficial and could greatly impact a student and the way they view life.