The Complete Teacher


Five essential skills to prepare students for the future

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 04 April 2023, 15:30 SAST
Hlengiwe Zwane photo


View resources on career guidance

As educators, we constantly look for ways to prepare our students for the real world that exists around them. From teaching them how to read, write, and calculate. To the less tangible skills we teach such as working in a team, thinking critically, and being curious about the things they encounter on a daily basis. 

We may not know exactly what lies ahead for our students in the future, but we have the advantage of knowing what skills they will need to give them a head start. Here are the five survival skills of the 21st century and how they can be purposefully applied in your classroom:

1: Critical thinking and problem-solving
Teaching students to develop their skills at seeing problems from different angles and formulating their own solutions. Regardless of the career they will choose to enter, the ability to think and act quickly is an indispensable tool for the future. To practice this, teachers should present students with situations in which they need to figure things out for themselves where skills that they have already developed can be drawn upon and applied to help them figure out a problem.

2: Collaboration and networking
Understanding that not every person is born a natural leader. However, the ability to lead can help a person to advance and become successful in their chosen career. To best prepare students in this area, more than just the typical teamwork is required. Instead of simply getting into a group and splitting the tasks with each other, students should instead be encouraged to take on different roles within their group for each task within the project.

3: Agility and adaptability
Students need to be comfortable with the idea of change and be willing to adapt to the changes around them. Teachers can create a very dynamic environment within the classroom that can help to prepare students for the future. Using different teaching strategies, the setup of the classroom, the ways that learning is demonstrated by students, and even the guidelines for group work or homework can help students learn to adapt.

4: Initiative and entrepreneurship
Students need to be able to take initiative and contribute to the world. Encouraging these skills within our classrooms and our communities. Students can be incredibly creative and interested in shaping their experience in the classroom, pushing them for much more than a list of classroom rules and consequences. Let them know that you are available and willing to listen to any of their ideas about improving the classroom or school. 

5: Accessing and analyzing information
Students have access to unimaginable amounts of information today, the internet provides incredible research tools. Accessing information is easy, but accessing good information tends to be more complicated. Students need to be taught how to sift through the millions of web pages available on a topic and find what they need (and be able to trust what they find). They need to learn the difference between factual information and factual-sounding opinions.

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

Building better relationships between parents and teachers
View our resources on parent-teacher collaboration It has been proven that positive connections...
read more
Five career tips for your students
View our resources on Teaching vocation here When students think about their future careers, they...
read more
Five essential skills to prepare students for the future
. View resources on career guidance As educators, we constantly look for ways to prepare our...
read more
Increasing literacy at the local level
The global and governmental levels for improving and promoting literacy will take efforts worldwide,...
read more
Developing literacy skills
Our resources The big four to foundational phase literacy Promoting literacy development with...
read more
How to keep your classroom in line
The management of misbehaving students can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. It...
read more
Top 3 factors of creating a positive classroom climate
Creating a positive classroom climate may seem challenging at first glance but there are three...
read more
Changing bad habits for the better
Bad habits, and the factors behind them, are often one major obstacle between you and your goals....
read more
Top 5 reboots for our teachers
Now is a good time to set goals for the new year. Below are tips for you to keep in mind and...
read more
Understanding learning barriers
When there is so much to take in, learning barriers can feel like swallowing an elephant. It's easy...
read more

Go to blog