After having read Tony Wagner Global Achievement Gap and reflecting on the reading I began to question a lot of what I was doing in the classroom. I read Wagner's 7 survival skills and felt that I wasn't teaching my students the skills that they would need to succeed in the workforce. Within my class I was teaching my students how to collaborate and think critically but I was not teaching my students how to be adaptable and how to assess information has been given to them. Wagner describes both these skills that I wasn't teaching my students as survival skills in the workforce today, and I want my students to be successful when they get out into the workforce after school.
I feel that the skills Wagner’s seven survival skills are needed to succeed todays society but I feel that there was one important skill that was missing, the ability to get along with peers and be sociable. Being able to have a network of friends that are willing to help you out and talk to can be a lifesaver in the workforce. Students need to practice talking to each other about academic topics and social topics just to build up that comfortability of communication and relations with their peers.
Another skill that I feel that Wagner left out in his book was the ability to be empathetic. Empathy is not a skill that is easily taught or learned, but it is valuable when creating and keeping relationships. The ability to not only understand how someone is feeling but feel what they're feeling can really help overcome problems that come up in a relationship. Empathy is a skill that my students need to help them succeed in life and in workforce.
To incorporate the skills in my class I would have to plan lessons that have students think empathetically and also collaborate and work with each other to create these relationships. By having students collaborate in my class they are required to be social with each other in an academic setting and build relationships. Empathy is not something that is easily taught but is something that needs to be practiced. The best way for me to get my students to practice empathy is to have them think about how each other are feeling, and I can do this by providing questions to have students think empathetically. I have tried both of these methods and empathy is something that is much harder to teach to my students. It is something that I will keep working on.
“How will I measure success?” I will measure success based off the community that I have created in my classroom. Do my students work well with each other? Connect communicate effectively with each other? Are they curious about the material that they're learning and why they're learning it? When presented with a new problem can I find the resources to solve a problem?