Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Celebrating our Successes

Over the weekend I was reminded of the importance of celebrating our successes.  So, as much my comments are about the need to emphasize 21st Century skills, they are also about highlighting the excellent work of the staff in Delta Secondary’s Work Options Program.

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to observe a class in the Work Options Program.  The program consists of a small group of students who take their lead from one teacher and two educational assistants.  The consistent grouping of students and close contact with staff allows students the opportunity to develop trusting relationships with each other and with staff.  This was very evident today, as the students and teacher engaged in a deep discussion that was relevant to students ‘real worlds’ and can only happen in an environment where there is a high degree of trust and confidence. It was a great example of the type of learning environment that we should be striving for at all times.

What intrigued me most was the students’ discussion about the skills, characteristics and competencies that they feel their future employers would be looking for in them.  The students shared words such as social skills, work ethic, technology skills, working with others, initiative, motivation, responsibility, resilience and problem-solving.  As I reflected on their discussion, I realized that much of what the students identified as key skills, characteristics and competencies are similar to the new 7 C’s (critical thinking, creativity and innovation, collaboration, cross-cultural understanding, communication skills, computing skills and career and learning self-reliance) suggested by 21st Century skills proponent Bernie Trilling (Author of 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in our Times).  

How could one disagree with the value in students developing these skills?  As educators, we are preparing students for a rapidly changing and rapidly evolving world.  It is our responsibility to intentionally provide opportunities for students to develop these 21st Century skills so that they are equipped for the challenges they will face in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aaron,

    Great to see you blogging and talking about personalized learning and technology. I really liked what Brian Kuhn from Coquitlam said, in response to the question about how we move this forward - one teacher, one principal, one superintendent at a time.