In my EDL 680 course, which is a Seminar for Personalized Learning and Leading Through Technology, we have spent time reading John Wagner's "The Global Achievement Gap." This is a terrific read, filled with great ideas for teachers and administrators alike to improve learning outcomes in and outside the classroom. I have taken notes from the book at hope to apply them at AAS.
One of the areas is the seven essential survival skills. In his book, Wagner lists those skills as 1) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, 2) Networks and Leading by Influence, 3) Agility and Adaptability, 4) Initiative and Entrepreneurialism, 5) Effective Oral and Written Communication, 6) Accessing and Analyzing Information, and 7) Curiosity and Imagination.
For the most part, I agree that these are the top seven essential skills. I may reorder them, starting with effective oral and written communication. I have seen too often communication hinder progress of individuals and organizations. To be able to share an idea, a critique, is one of the most important skills I look for in a person. I also look for curiosity and imagination. I tell my staff all the time to dream big, to bring ideas to the table, to find ways to make improvements to our organization. We may need to scale these ideas down when it comes time to implement, but why start small?
These skills can be used in and out of the classroom. They can be part of the performance planning process at AAS, along with our work on our LCAPs. As we do quarterly check-ins on both documents, the ability to problem solve is important to ensure our plans are able to be effectively implemented. We will also need to be able to access and understand the data we have gathered, and if we are not collecting the correct data, make adjustments in our processes and systems.
Personally, these are important skills which will ensure the success of AAS as an organization and the success of each individual employee. They will allow us to evolve and support the program, our scholars, and the entire educational experience. As we lead in the charter community, our systems may become models for like-minded organizations to replicate. To be seen as the model program would be a testament to our ability to create a world-caliber experience for the scholars we serve.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.