March 12, 2021
Thought from Dr. Pacatte
The Future of Work: What has been learned during the pandemic?
In a recent issue of Education Week, an article shared skills that major corporations are noting as being critical to the success of future workers. The value of these skills have become more apparent to employers during the time of the pandemic. Interestingly, some of these skills were key to the success of students of all ages during this time of Remote Learning. So while many of us have fears surrounding the impact of this school year, there is reason for hope and areas we can build upon, which will better equip our students for the world of work.
This article shared what a number of corporations felt were key skills to success for their future employees. These corporations included hotels, health care systems, manufacturers, etc. There were at least a dozen skills noted, but three I found most compelling: empathy, agility, and empower the student as a learner are skills our students have been heavily depending upon for the past year. These skills were mentioned in multiple corporation responses and are skills that can begin to be developed as early as pre-kindergarten.
Empathy plays a role in the individuals and their role as a teammate, collaborator, and service provider. The ability to recognize and honor diversity, opinions, and strategies among your coworkers allows you to recognize the needs and strengths of others and yourself. Empathy doesn’t just move you beyond yourself but allows you to consider yourself as well as others when working on relationships, goals, or deadlines. Our students have to do the same thing with their classmates everyday. They have to recognize that everyone is coming to school with different experiences and tools in their toolbox. As classmates, they can support one another, encourage, and show patience throughout the journey.
Agility is the ability of the individual to be flexible and respond to challenges and changes quickly. The unpredictable nature of the past year has tested everyone’s agility. Understanding that everyone who needs to react to a challenge or a change will need to accept the change and work collaboratively towards a new direction or solution is key. Our students have had to develop agility throughout the pandemic and this is one of the most highly sought after skills! As a district, we need to seek ways to test our students’ agility once we return to the school building as the world is an unpredictable place and agility will increase their chances of success.
Finally, corporations are looking for individuals who have the ability to learn on the go. Hand in hand with agility is the need for individuals to be able to learn new things independently. We can begin helping our students to recognize their strongest learning strategy. Do you learn more through reading, listening, or watching a video? When you are stuck, what do you do? Can you find resources to help you and your teammates move forward? Corporations will be looking for employees who show initiative and can move forward by seeking out the information they need on their own. This skill helps all of our students as well. Many of our Remote Learners have found themselves working on their own more than ever as their parents are working and unable to provide assistance “on demand”. Problem solving and initiative to learn are lifelong skills that our students were forced to lean on this year.
The pandemic and Remote Learning have not been easy, but the skills our students have had to employ will continue to serve them and bolster the resilience required for success!
Tweet of the Week
Spirit Week is happening March 15th - 19th, just in time to launch you into Spring Break!
All of District 56 students can participate if they are in the Hybrid or Remote Program. Families and staff are also welcome to participate. You can submit your pictures with the theme of the day at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit your pictures by Friday, March 19th, at 11:00 am.
District 56 Bookmobiles Update
All-District 56 bookmobiles will run routes for book checkout through the end of April. During the first week of May, the routes will run for book returns only.
Spaulding and River Trail updated Bookmobile Schedules will be available soon.
Virtual Band Concert
Spaulding Students Dancing
Spaulding School students who attend school in-person are learning a variety of dances. Students remain masked and socially-distanced, but they are enjoying moving to music and being together with other students.
Girls Who Code
3D Printing at D56!
Preschoolers working hard
Mrs. Sutter is missing her students while on maternity leave, but she is so proud of all their hard work. Great job sorting by size preschoolers.