October 28, 2009

Maybe our public schools should be teaching this!

School_House Living in an area of the country uniquely filled with entrepreneurs, many local farms, a beautiful four season environment and filled with civic minded people who have a local mindset, I consider myself very fortunate. Unfortunately there is little “industry” in our area that has interested and attracted many of our young people when they are in a position to make a decision to leave or stay in this area. Often these kids go off to college, and decide there is little for them in the community they left (often returning later in life, but that is another post for another time).

I have a very high interest in local, sustainable community activities and systems. There is no better long term investment in our communities than our children and their education. Parents should be responsible to insure their children have these skills. Of course reading, writing, science and math are essential, as well as a deep understanding of history is essential to having a productive member of society, but I feel there are other skills that should be taught and not necessarily taught by our teachers, they could be local business people, community activists, parents or local government officials.

They are in no particular order:

  • Personal Finance
  • Communication
  • Social Skills
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Economics
  • Health

I have a particular interest in personal finance because of the work I do with small business owners and individuals. I also volunteer my time teaching “Kids and Money” enrichment classes in my local elementary school and as a guest speaker for personal finance in our local High School. I will address each of these in future posts. I think it is easy to blame parents for your financial problems, and that will not be my focus.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you what you think should be taught? And who should be teaching it?

Tom Sirois Great Barrington MA