Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hey Educators - Can You Help Students to Acquire These Qualities?

Just under a week ago, on our inservice day, employees at East High School had the amazing opportunity to visit several businesses in our area. The two businesses I visited were Omni Premier Technology Consultants and Great Northern Laminations

As we were talking to the panelists of employees and also touring the sites, I kept thinking about this question, "What can we do in our classrooms and in our schools to help prepare our students for careers in today's work force?"

At each of the businesses there were several qualities that are desirable when hiring new employees. 
Omni looks for people who think "around the edges of the paper" which means thinking differently, creatively and openly. They also like people who are problem solvers, team players and who aren't afraid to try new strategies and techniques.  The other quality I heard mentioned multiple times is that working in the technology industry means you must continue to grow and learn throughout your entire career.

Great Northern Laminations looks for people who can persevere through learning difficult concepts, work along side a team to encourage and support each other and who work toward common goals with respect and determination.  They also look for employees that are dedicated to showing up on time for every shift and who are enjoyable to work with and be around

When thinking about giving students opportunities to develop these desirable qualities, I kept coming back to one experience that we are offering at our high school. An experience that can provide students with team building, critical thinking, problem solving, perseverance and thinking "around the edges of the paper". And that experience is. . . 

Our Makerspace! 

Whether students are trying to break open and solve the latest Breakout EDU, or taking apart electronics, or expressing their ideas on the idea wall, or exploring the latest virtual reality app, or incorporating green screen technology into their project or building something with legos or origami paper; they are growing the skills and qualities that are desired for today's workforce. 

What about your classrooms and / or school environments? Can you think of ways that you help students to develop their skills and character traits that today's businesses are looking for?

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