Soft Skills Education
Our public schools' biggest offering is opportunity. Students learn from qualified professionals and from a long list of course offerings--probably the longest at the high school level. But we are not just teaching our students the R's, we are preparing them for the adult world. This means that we are also tasked with teaching our students the so-called "soft skills". Here is a short list of some of these skills:
- Presentation Skills
- Giving Feedback
- Decision Making
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Dealing with Difficult People
- Conflict Resolution
- Self Confidence
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- Time Management
Employers tell us that high school and college graduates who have these soft skills are much more likely to be successful employees than those who don't. Students aren't "graded" on these skills in school, however many of these skills are incorporated into classrooms as rules of behavior (friendliness, conflict resolution, planning), suggested steps in completing assignments (decision making, resilience, organization), and learning strategies (problem solving, critical thinking, giving feedback).
Students who are successful and confident usually possess these skills at a high level. Students who are only concerned with the "book work" of school may possess the knowledge needed for their future, but they may also struggle with relationships with their co-workers. This "soft-skills" education is an important part of our school system. The ability of our students to get along with other students and to organize their thoughts, ideas, and lives is all a part of growing up and being responsible.
And everyone gets to receive this education for free in our public schools.