21st Century Values and Skills

This week while researching texts that would support our new character development theme for the upcoming year-creativity, I stumbled across 11 year old Marley Dias’s story.

If you’ve not heard of her, she’s an 12 year old who had a desire to get more textbooks with girls of diverse backgrounds into that hands of young children.

Her mission is noble but what struck me when I started listening to her was how articulate and poised she was when being interviewed about complex ideas.

Which reminded me why I was searching for the texts for in the first place.

We consider ourselves a 21st century version of school for many reasons.

We allow our students to study topics that interest them. We allow our students to have voices and make choices. We allow our students to create content.

In everything we do, we consider the futures that our students are preparing themselves for and our 21st century values serve as our guide.

Collaboration, self-awareness, creativity, gratefulness, resiliency, kindness, courage,

effort, innovation, joy, problem solving, respect, responsibility, and leadership.

While we address all of them daily, last year we intentionally taught our students about leadership and kindness.

This year we’ll more specifically hone in on their creativity and initiative.

We know that they will need to know how to navigate the world for themselves and that being able to communicate their ideas well is just another facet that will set them apart in whichever career path they choose.

The scientist who can communicate their data and findings gets the funding necessary to continue their research.

The entrepreneur who communicates their ideas well, gets their ideas shared and make the connections that will propel their business.

An employee or employer who can communicate positively and clearly with their colleagues advances.

Another aspect that sets us apart is that while we treat each child like the unique individuals that they are, we understand that each of them needs to learn how to balance the hard and the soft skills in order to succeed and we know that each of them are capable.

Take a look at one of our students end of the year presentation. An original idea that he constructed and vocalized for himself. Now imagine what it will look like when he practices these skills over and over again. A leader in his field for certain.

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