You may not know this but, as of this year, 65% of our students are preparing for careers that don’t even exist yet. While educators discuss the importance of adaptability. It’s also known as “future-ready” and “the future of work,” but the reality is that it’s largely uncertain. So how can we prepare students?
We do this by cultivating adaptability in the classroom.
The pandemic put students’ natural adaptability to the test as it shook up their learning environments with an overnight evolution of technology. The unpredictability of education last year was criticized despite heroic efforts of teachers and students to adapt quickly. It serves as a reminder of our students’ uncertainty when they look ahead to their futures – from kindergarten to senior year.
Building more skills in adaptability while they are students provides them with long-term benefits as they get older. It’s especially true when they need to pivot their skillsets or learn technology at a moment’s notice. This kind of necessary adaptability was felt by many teachers around the world and in multiple industries.
Teachers have a unique opportunity to build students’ confidence in softer skills like adaptability and resilience, which undoubtedly complement harder, professional skillsets.
It helps students adapt to new situations and develop new skills more quickly. Plus, adaptable students are more likely to have higher self-confidence and satisfaction in their lives.
Teachers have a collective responsibility to prepare their students to embrace and adapt to challenge and change. To better prepare them for the future of work, we’ve collected a few of our favorite strategies for fostering adaptability.
Adaptability and resilience go hand in hand! Resilience is the ability to overcome challenges positively. But it’s also a mindset that our students should develop early in life.
If something negatively impacts your student – whether it’s falling behind on grades or not getting into the college they were hoping for – they’ll rely on their resilience. It will help them find creative ways to push forward and improve. This skill will be incredibly beneficial to your students in a world where technology changes on a dime.
Teachers can help to foster this by encouraging them to find creative solutions to their problems and provide a safe environment to explore new ideas.
As they grow into adulthood, students will need to learn how to manage their emotional thinking, especially when facing challenges.
Adaptability is a teachable skill that gives them the ability to handle unexpected situations without evident frustration. In addition, teachers can reinforce this skill by educating students on setting achievable goals, scaffolding, and other classroom activities.
Dispel the Fear of Failure
No one likes to fail, and for many people, the idea of failure is devastating. It can be debilitating for students and adults alike. However, there is always the risk of failing when a situation starts to change. Fear of the unknown and not wanting to do something that won’t be as successful as keeping the status quo.
But it’s important to remember – and teach students from a young age – that success comes from failing and learning from it. Educators can teach this through recognizing effort, building community among peers, asking questions, taking risks, and self-reflection.
By not being afraid of failure, students will be more motivated to learn and find exciting solutions to changes in an uncertain future.
Encourage Continuous Learning
Learning and developing new skills is something we experience throughout our lives, but when applied to a future workspace where change is rampant, this willingness to know is what keeps you a few steps ahead.
Teachers can build this excitement for education with their students by indulging their curiosity and even displaying their enthusiasm in a subject. In addition, taking the metrics of education can often encourage students to see a lesson in a new light.
Adaptability is something that they will carry with them throughout their lives and help foster critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
It’s not possible to prepare students for every eventuality, but educators can foster adaptive skills. They can also teach students how to respond to challenging, changing situations in positive ways. With adaptability, students will grow into adulthood able to keep pace with unexpected situations and find professional success.