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Back to Basics: Life Skills to Help Students Succeed

Learning Life Skills in Education - TeacherCast Guest Blog

Educators all across the nation try their hardest to encourage their students to reach for the stars and to keep an open mind about opportunities that may come their way. They strive to develop students in a way that prepares them for wherever their futures lead them. One of the single most important ways teachers are doing this is by imparting their students with knowledge of some of the most basic elements of success.

These elements of success are found throughout every niche, industry, and skill level. They are the types of characteristics that every employer looks for and values within their employees including teamwork, communication, and dedication. Although there have been massive developments in technology and the way we work, foundational elements of success will always remain essential to gainful employment.

Key Elements for Success

By looking at the composition of any successful manager, we quickly understand that the ability to communicate effectively in a workplace setting, developing empathy towards the people you work with and the ability to find solutions that fit a number of employees with different backgrounds are very important skills. In a number of ways, teachers work to mold students into professionals with these types of characteristics. They encourage them to take leadership roles in the classroom and to sympathize with other students who come from different situations.

Whether or not students eventually reach management positions, these still will still be critical. Once out in the workforce, for example, at some point every student will likely work within a group dynamic. Even in group settings, leadership is important for developing a direction, and an understanding of how different personalities handle problems can aid in the ultimate success of the group.

Integrating Technology

As teachers look to encourage skills for success in their students, it is valuable to acknowledge the impact that technology has had. For example, technology has provided numerous paths for students to develop leaderships skills and the actual take charge of their education. Digital tools have made it easier for students to further investigate subjects that interest them and personalize it in a way that builds value to them specifically and makes them excited about their education.

However essential technology is in the workforce nowadays, it still has some drawbacks. For instance, communication has been forever changed by the ease of sending an email or a text message and has rapidly increased the speed and accessibility of work for employees. But regardless of this, numerous studies have indicated that communication in person is still the most impactful from the perspective of building trust, cementing new ideas, and developing long-lasting relationships.

How Teachers can Aid Student Success

The role that teachers play in shaping the development of the keystone skills of success should not be underestimated. In some ways, educators can look at nearly every activity they have students participate in as a means of building these skills. Team projects help students learn to work together and adjust to different personality types and learning styles – skills they will inevitably need in the workplace. Furthermore, talking about subjects they have learned or materials they have read with others can help students to develop communication skills.

Because no student is exactly the same, it can be expected that the way they learn these types of skills will also vary significantly. Therefore, finding multiple ways to teach the same skill can be a valuable exercise. For instance, a mix of formal presentations, group conversations, and question/answer sessions can all help students learn to communicate their ideas more effectively. It can also open them to differing perspectives by listening to other students, which is also a valuable trait in today’s global economy and workforce.

Brittni Brown is a current masters candidate at the University of Idaho. In her free time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.

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