It is vital that children be taught how to demonstrate respect for other persons. It is also of importance that children learn how to identify types of verbal, emotional and physical responses displayed. This podcast touches on the importance of these as well as tips on how to teach a young child or adolescent.
Many years ago, it probably was easier for an adult to say to a child ‘do this, or do that’. And what happened? The child engaged the task, without even asking, why? But children are at an early age engaging in discovery learning and critical thinking; they are inquisitive. It is true, children still go through the various stages in thinking and development, but being exposed to various media, as well as socialization that take place, they are encouraged to question and to explore different ways of thinking.
What adults are finding is that children no longer simply do as they are told but seek reasons as to why they should engage a specific task.
In some task, because of a lack of experience not all children can engage successfully, unless they receive direction. It is therefore left to their parents or/ and teachers to offer the necessary rationale for why they should engage a specific task and also offer the necessary directions to complete the task successfully.
Stay tuned as today’s podcast discuss this.
With our continued shift to a technology driven society, few days go by that I don’t have a conversation with someone concerned about “today’s kids’ ” lack of “Soft Skills.” As the mother of 2 of these aptly named “GEN Z” babies…I can understand the worry. As an adult who has simply adapted to the culture, not grown up in it, I often find myself buried in my mobile phone rather than having an actual conversation. I’ve even recently learned a “wear your ear buds to avoid conversation” trick when I’m exhausted…from my twelve year old.
Yet soft skills remain some of the most important things employers look for when hiring according to the Jobs Can Blog https://www.jobscan.co/blog/top-resume-skills-for-2016-2/ . As educators our job is to ensure our students are prepared for success when they leave our classrooms/schools. I wholeheartedly believe a HUGE portion of this success will increasing revolve around how well our schools teach students soft skills.
Here are 5 Soft Skills that are currently the “Most Often Looked for by Employers” (Jobs Can Blog) and some suggestions on how to incorporate them into your classrooms/schools this year:
- Working together toward a common goal.
- Functioning successfully in different team roles
- Putting the “Team’s Success” before personal success
Admittedly, I was a student who cringed when the teacher would say we were “working in groups.” I would end up doing the entire project/assignment myself due to my Type A personality (among other things)! There was NO Teamwork in these groups.
Thankfully, today I can say I have seen group work done so well I would’ve asked for it when I was a student! The key to this awesome group work I’ve been has been 1) Assigning roles to each team member (which changes with each assignment/project) 2) Clear expectations of the duties to be performed by the student assigned each role 3) A system of checks/balances in place to ensure the group is functioning as a TEAM with each student staying on task with their role. GROUP WORK IS GREAT…but it takes A LOT of work on the front end to establish norms, systems, and behavioral expectations to make “Groups” into functioning TEAMS! Teaching successfully in groups is one of the more masterful arts of our profession.
Another outstanding way to promote teamwork in your school is to encourage participation in an activity, club, or sport school-wide. (For example- Many schools require all entering Freshman to participate in at least one activity.) Increased social activities along with the group activities/teamwork are great ways to build soft skills in even the most introverted student. These can be done during an “activity” period in the day, during excess lunch or recess time, or even after school (if that’s the only option).
- Making a choice based on evidence gathered
- Being definitive…based on goals
Allowing students to choose from a variety of assignment types to show mastery of a skill is a great way to cause students to begin to critically examine their individual decision-making. Instead of “just doing what my friend does” students begin to look at what they would really prefer to do or what allows them to show they have mastered the skill in the most efficient (fastest and best) way.
Another example is providing students “student voice” within the school. Give them spots on committees and other duties that require responsibility. This demands a huge amount of decision-making; 1) are they willing to do it 2) decisions they have to make through the process This is a great way of giving students a “window” into the world of the adults in the school.
- Talking face to face, making eye-contact while speaking, understanding social norms in various situations
- Appropriately using Social Media for communication
Modeling appropriate ways to communicate can go a long way. Educators must assume students are not being taught these skills at home (most are not). Assignments that require interviewing adults, peer-to-peer questioning, and other communication via non-technology means (no emails please!) are great assignments for this. Make sure you do not assume students know how to do properly do this (they usually don’t); provide live examples for them.
Telephone (land line & cell) conversation etiquette is something that needs to be taught. What you should or should not say, text, or post to social media is a very important piece of information that can impact your students’ futures long after their lives in school.
As a school why not train students to greet visitors and give tours. No better way of learning communication skills than actually putting them to use in an important setting.
4) Planning & Prioritizing
- Scheduling for optimum production over time
- Doing what is most urgent first then following with items in order of importance
Educators have a great opportunity to scaffold students’ abilities to plan & prioritize. Long-term goals provided at the beginning of a class that have multiple components and will not be due until far into the term are a perfect example.
For younger students, allowing them to prioritize what needs to be done first in a project versus giving them step-by-step directions is a great way of building students’ prioritizing skills.
As a school it’s important to plan and prioritize and your students can be part of this. Student leaders can maintain an activity schedule they create among the different clubs and activities in conjunction with school administration. Along with planning and prioritization…this also requires the other soft skills we’ve already discussed.
5) Research Skills
- Finding information from a variety of sources
- Ensuring information is truthful & meets actual research needs
- Ability to cite research
Long gone are the days of the card catalogue and the bound encyclopedia from our students’ research repertoire. Teachers are now responsible for instructing students on how to navigate “the Web” for their research needs.
Students must understand the difference between a credible source on the Web and one that may not be credible as well as where to go to find each. Along with this tall task we also must make sure our students understand the importance of citing works and how-to do this when using electronic sources. Thankfully, there have been several tools created to make this simpler.
As a school, moving to e-portfolios that require students to keep a sampling of their work for each term (with various different specifications for different schools) makes great sense. A requirement like this would not only provide evidence your students had appropriate research skills and were applying them in their classroom; it would also show the growth of these skills over time.
We have all made the statement at one time or another, “I just don’t have enough time!”. But we all have all the time there is. Time can’t be managed, we can only manage ourselves. In this article, I share 5 compelling reasons to learn how to manage yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates or a waitress at the diner down the street, God gave us all the same great equalizer – twenty-four hours in a day. What most people lack is not time – but rather, the skills to manage themselves to make good use of the time they have available to them.
Time is much like money. When you decide to spend an hour watching TV, you have decided to not to spend an hour doing everything else. Productive people don’t spend time, they invest it. They expect a return on every hour they invest. Whether time is invested in their business, their family or their own well-being.
“Your time is more valuable than money. Your time is your life!”
When you give away your money, you are giving away something that can be replaced. When you give away your time, you are giving them a part of your life. Waste your time and you are wasting your life.
There are many renewable resources, but time is not one of them.
Control your time and you are controlling your life. Controlling your time really means controlling the events in your life. People in control of the events in their life are confident, happy, and powerful. They possess one thing above all: inner peace.
“Productivity” is not a new issue. There has been an entire industry built to serve the person who just can’t seem to get organized. Everything from Things-To-Do-Today pads, to time management software are available to plan and track personal time usage. Why is then productivity or, shall we say life management, such a challenge?
As human beings, we tend to blame others for our shortage of time. There are many readily available scapegoats: drop-in visitors, meetings, inadequate equipment, telephone interruptions and one crisis after another. However, the only one to blame is ourselves – for letting our time be wasted. Once again, we cannot manage time; we can only manage ourselves!
There is another reason time management is such a challenge: conditioning. We’ve been conditioned to believe that certain things about ourselves and our surroundings are the truth. As a result of conditioning, many people have adopted myths about their lives as being the truth.
Visit a circus, and you will see what I mean about conditioning. Take a look at the elephants tied to little stakes that they could easily pull out, yet those little stakes keep the huge elephants tethered.
When the elephants are young, they are chained by the leg to immovable stakes. However, little by little, over the period of a month, the elephants are conditioned to think they can’t move about as long as they are tied by the right rear leg. From the moment this conditioning takes effect, you could tie these elephants with a string and they wouldn’t move. They don’t move about because they believe they can’t. The tethers in their minds are stronger than any chains.
5 GOOD REASONS TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR LIFE
The value of time management is not to control time, since time cannot be controlled, but to use time to improve our lives. Time management will not give us more hours in a day, but it will give us a better balanced life:
1. Getting organized reduces stress
Deadlines are a major contributing factor in stress. It is impossible to manage stress without learning to manage our time. In fact, by learning to manage our time, we are learning to prevent stress.
The better we learn to manage our time, the more we avoid unnecessary stress and the less we need coping techniques. Why learn to cope with stress if we can learn to prevent the stress that time shortages inflict on us?
If time management equals stress prevention, then time management also prevents illness. Stress is now linked directly to some of our most serious health concerns, heart attacks and strokes being the most common.
In the business world, this means two things: the loss of some of the brightest and most promising managers, and the rising cost of company-paid health care plans. Stress-induced disability claims are becoming a major headache, not only for insurance companies, but also for employers who are sued for causing the disability.
2. Setting priorities helps achieve balance
Most entrepreneurs are self-motivated people, driven by an unseen force from within to achieve the goals they have set for their lives. Usually, that means the goals they have set for their business.
Hence, they see little value in helping their employees achieve a balance in their lives. However, it’s not only entrepreneurs who are addicted to work.
A new set of values must accompany new productivity skills in order to bring a balance to the life of the workaholic.
3. Scheduling eliminates procrastination
Procrastination is the most common self-inflicted time robber. For the salesperson, it’s putting off that phone call. For some, it’s putting off the beginning of an exercise program.
“Putting things off” has probably caused more time management problems than all the other causes put together. We have a natural tendency to do the things we like and put off the things we don’t. We need to develop a sense of urgency for each task and remember that time is of the essence.
4. Life management increases productivity
A good time management system will certainly improve our productivity. The more productive we are, the greater our advantage over our competition.
The reason that today there is so much “downsizing,” “restructuring,” and “rightsizing” going on in companies really comes down to the issue of productivity. The only way a company or a country can regain its competitive edge is to improve productivity.
What’s productivity anyway? Productivity refers to the relationship between results and resources. In other words, productivity equals output divided by input. This formula demonstrates that there are two ways to improve productivity: to hold output constant while reducing input and to increase output without increasing input.
How much can we improve our productivity? While very little research has been done in this area, there is some data available that would indicate that the average manager is only 30% effective. Returning phone calls several at a time can reduce the average time spent per call by 50%. Closing your office door and working without interruption for two hours a day will enable you to accomplish what would have taken you three hours before.
5. Increased focus results in goals achieved
All goals must have a deadline. Without a goal, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to arrive.
That reminds me of the story of the little boy who asks his father as he arrives home from work one day, “Daddy, what did you do at work today?’ “Oh, not much, son.” replies his Dad. “Well then,” replies the boy “how did you know when you were finished?”
There are many times when one activity can be taking you towards two or more goals at the same time.
For instance, if three of your goals were to spend a half an hour a day exercising, half an hour a day in solitude, half an hour a day in prayer, you could achieve all three at once by praying as you jogged or walked alone for a half an hour…………………………………………………………………..