May 7, 2019 7:00 am

‘Developing the whole student’: Ontario high school hosts ‘adulting’ workshops

A student participates in the home maintenance workshop, as part of adulting courses at E.J. Lajeunesse catholic high school.


Basic skills like budgeting, changing a tire, and cooking for one are often expected in adult life, but many people aren’t explicitly taught them.

That’s why educators at one school in Windsor, Ont. hosted what they call “adulting” workshops: six mandatory sessions each lasting the length of two regular classes.

The idea came from the principal of E.J. Lajeunesse catholic high school – but the staff created and ran the workshops.

READ MORE: Why aren’t Canadians cooking anymore?

Mélanie Moir, the teacher lead for the workshops, said the ideas for the courses came from the faculty’s own experience – and what they would have wanted to know before entering the “adult” world.

“Having been all teachers who have gone through the university track, none of us really took auto class, not too many of us took the construction classes or cooking or more non-traditional courses,” Moir told Global News.

“If we had a chance to go back, we probably would have explored different courses to be able to be better prepared for life.”

After brainstorming the staff came up with six courses, including:

  • cooking for one,
  • house maintenance,
  • automotive maintenance,
  • clothing maintenance,
  • personal finance and
  • mindfulness and stress management.

WATCH: Teaching kids money matters for Financial Literacy Month

In automotive maintenance, students learned how to change a tire – and even the more basic skill of popping a car’s hood and keeping it from falling down.

In other classes, students took on power tools and sewing needles, and learned how to use their banking apps to track spending.

Students participates in the cooking for one workshop, as part of adulting courses at E.J. Lajeunesse catholic high school.


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The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, Moir said.

“Most of our students feel like they’ve the benefited from these workshops,” Moir said.

She also said it was an opportunity for students to see how these “basic” skills can transfer into job skills.

READ MORE: Fewer kids are getting detention — and experts say that’s a good thing

“We had a student who is a very successful academic student who is looking into possibly becoming a surgeon in his future profession. And he was able to make a connection between the sewing workshop and suturing,” she said.

And for those who say these skills should be taught by parents, Moir said it’s important to make sure all students have similar access to this type of learning.

“Life nowadays is very busy,” she said. “We know that both parents are usually working… maybe they have people you know maybe they hire people to do maintenance around the house instead of parents doing that with their kids.”

A student participates in the auto maintenance workshop, as part of adulting courses at E.J. Lajeunesse catholic high school.


In the end, though, Moir said it’s important to her make sure the students are prepared for life outside of high school.

“We work really hard day to day working on building the academic side of the student. But we have to make sure that they’re ready for the real world when they leave our doors,” Moir said.

“We work really hard at preparing, developing the whole child and the whole student.”

WATCH: Learn to adult class teaches millennials basic life skills (2017) 


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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