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The New School That Teaches Adulting

Boomer instructors will offer Millennial students key life skills


“Adult” isn’t just a noun anymore. It has been verbed, as in, “Mom says I need to get a job and move out. I guess it’s time to start adulting.” And now there’s a school to teach just that. If you have Millennial kids, you might want to tell them.

Portland, Maine entrepreneurs Rachel Weinstein and Katie Brunelle recently opened The Adulting School where students can gain access “to everything you need to lead a successful financial and personal life.” And the Millennials’ instructors are often, as you might imagined, boomers and Gen X’ers.

Where Boomers Learned Their Life Skills

“Most people over 50 are adept at the practical life skills necessary to be successful adults,” said Brunelle. “Since the baby boomer generation was more inclined to learn these skills from their parents or from the school they attended, it is confusing to most of them as to how these skills ended up dropping off.”

The Baby Boomer generation was more inclined to learn these skills from their parents or from the school they attended.

— Katie Brunelle, The Adulting School

So some of those boomers will pass on those skills by becoming Adulting School teachers and, as Brunelle says, “advocates for young adults.”

Right now, The Adulting School offers monthly, live webinars called Assemblies. How to “rock your next interview” is scheduled for March 28th. Starting in April, school will be in session in earnest, with online classes available for a $19.99 monthly subscription (plus, of course, a private Facebook group). New course content and lessons will be added monthly. The school’s “4 Verticals” are Finances, Make It/Fix It, Relationships & Community and Health & Wellness. Mini-lessons will include such topics as How to Fold a Fitted Sheet or Remove a Red Wine Stain.

Money Management Plus Dinner and Booze

Students in the Portland area can also attend local events at bars and restaurants where they can learn skills they’ve been missing, sometimes as “happy hour events.” Examples of a few local sessions: An insider’s guide to buying your first home and a financial workup on managing money. Tickets for the financial workup are $75 for three hours of instruction “plus dinner and booze.”

The Adulting School idea sprang into psychotherapist Weinstein’s mind when she saw a sign for an insurance company offering to teach “grown-up insurance stuff” to young adults. She then called her friend Brunelle, a former elementary school teacher turned health coach and business brand promotion and sales guru. As The Adulting School site says, Weinstein told Brunelle: “I HAVE THIS THING. AN IDEA. AND EVERYONE LOVES IT. BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT!” and then added “I know that I need you to help me.”

What YouTube Can’t Do

You may be thinking: Can’t Millennials just learn this kind of stuff by watching YouTube videos on things like changing a tire and folding a fitted sheet?

Perhaps, but Weinstein and Brunelle would tell you that the videos aren’t classes. YouTube has no back and forth between teacher and student, except maybe in the comments section. That’s hardly a substitute for having a dedicated teacher available to answer questions in an online chat room or via email, as The Adulting School will.

Becoming an Adulting School Teacher

If you’re interested in becoming an Adulting School teacher, you can apply at the school’s site. Just bear in mind that, for now, the school isn’t paying its instructors.

“As a very new startup company, we’ve been asking our teachers to provide one mini-lesson for our online school,” said Brunelle. “A short video intro with a takeaway like something downloadable. Most teachers are interested in providing this because it promotes their business or service and gives them world-wide exposure and an audience.”

Since The Adulting School operates in a tech-heavy environment, teachers need the ability to make and edit a video and upload it to a website or storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

But Weinstein and Brunelle ultimately plan to expand their offerings, which would result in teachers getting paid. “We are in the process of reformatting parts of the online school that will include more course-like lessons and would involve compensating teachers,” Brunelle said.

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By Stephen L. Antczak
Stephen L. Antczak is a freelance writer,  specializing in articles about money, work, volunteering, education and aging.

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