The Value of Teaching Life Skills in the Classroom
Schools should not only provide teaching subjects and tools that are normally based on its prescribed curriculum, but, more importantly, they should also endeavor to teach their students specific life skills which these students will be applying in the future, for them to be useful and dynamic constituents of society. What used to be the domain of homes and churches with regards to imparting to children about life skills is now a part curriculum of schools, as they saw the need to intervene and co-assist to teach their students on specific life skills, most especially meant to assist the students in their transition to adulthood. The target life skills are on interpersonal skills, which teach students to understand what a meaningful relationship can bring and how to develop one, and on reflective skills, which trains students to reflect on whatever actions they have taken and teach them how to take responsibility on their actions. Other life skills can be taught as well in values education training in schools, like personal accountability, routines, interaction, at recess time, respecting property.
When schools aim to teach their students on personal accountability, they initiate this process at the nursery level until the students finish schooling, in which schools train them to finish their tasks on time, learn how to subject their tasks for evaluation, and aim to reach each classroom’s and subject’s goals, all these are integral exercises of reflective and interpersonal skills.
Routines or commonly referre to as classroom rules allow for training students how to be obedient to rules, as well as inculcating in them the value of submissiveness, such that teachers train their students on classroom activities, such as follow directions, raise your hands before speaking, remain on your work without wandering, work independently, and many more.
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By training students on proper interaction skills, such as listening to others in the classroom or in an assembly, knowing how to take turns, contributing and sharing, being courteous and respectful in the classroom, as well as in groups, they are, at the same time, inculcating already the higher levels of interpersonal and reflective skills.
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Even in recess time, life skills are applied, such as sharing equipment and sports items, understanding the importance of teamwork, avoiding arguments, accepting sports rules, and participating in extra-curricular activities responsibly.
An integral part of reflective skills is found in the personal property training where students are taught how to care properly on school and personal properties, such as tidying their classroom tables and chairs, returning materials to their proper storage, putting away coats, shoes, hats, etc to their appropriate places, and keeping all personal things organized and accessible.
Life skills are meant for all students, but more so for the special needs children, those with learning disabilities, autistic tendencies, and developmental disorders, such that providing them this training to acquire life skills will help them learn how to cope in life.