Stick to FACS
I'm beginning my 10th enjoyable year as a middle school teacher of family and consumer science — previously known as home economics.
So many school districts are discontinuing or cutting back this program of what people generally think of as just cooking and sewing, But it is much more and not that simple.
The FACS department incorporates higher-level thinking, decision-making, evaluation and reasoning, writing development and grammar, math and geometry, social skills working with a group and performing individually within a group setting. This incorporation of core and social curriculum takes many forms in the different areas of cooking, sewing, child care, family dynamics and financial literacy.
FACS requires a lot of prep time just for the basic topics. There's additional planning of core and social curriculums, and we spend a lot of time grading for accuracy in writing, grammar and math. This is well worth our efforts. Students ask, “Why are we doing this in cooking and sewing?” Yet I know these are requirements for excelling at any job.
Our efforts in FACS filter into our personal lives and aid in creating productive and sound workers who contribute to business, the community and our society. Our middle school's PSSA writing scores jumped last year, and I believe the FACS teachers' focus on writing contributed to that.
We demonstrate to students how to apply core subjects to their future lives so they will have fulfilling lives.