Connections: September 19, 2023

Helping Each Learner be Future Ready

What do you believe is the purpose of school? Most educators, at some level, believe that the fundamental role of schools is to help prepare learners to be successful while attending school, as well as after they graduate.

What do learners actually need in order to be successful both in school and after they graduate? America Succeeds studied over 80 million job postings on what skills employers are looking for when they hire. This study reveals that 7 of the 10 most-requested skills are Durable Skills, also known as employability skills or professional skills, such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and fortitude. These skills are essential for learners to be successful after they graduate, but also support success for students while they are in school. In order to ensure learners are developing these skills, PreK-12 educators need to provide opportunities for every learner to build these skills throughout their time in school.

To help support educators and schools in this work, the Future Ready team at Northwest AEA has developed a set of Future Ready Core Beliefs and a Future Ready Toolkit. Over two-thirds of NWAEA districts have begun engaging in this work to various degrees to build consistent opportunities for all learners throughout their PreK-12 education.

There is still more work to be done to ensure that every graduate leaves our schools having discovered their passion, explored and engaged in a number of career opportunities, and developed the skills needed to be successful in whatever career path they choose. Our Future Ready team at Northwest AEA is committed to serving families, educators, and schools to inspire learning and change lives. Look for more information about a Future Ready Workshop on November 17 and other ways to engage in this work.

Mark Shea & Jordan Menning, Education Consultants