We hear from businesses and employers that they value very different characteristics in young employees than they did 50 years ago. Yet the education system has mostly not kept up with those needs. Markham says:
‘Smart’ these days includes grit, resiliency, empathy, curiosity, openness, creativity, and evaluative thinking. Figuring out how to teach, instill, or elicit these strengths in children as they move through school is the most acute challenge education has ever faced. No one really knows how to design a system that leads to ‘better’ people—and yet that’s the task.
Teachers and classrooms are often disconnected from the realities of the world and how best to prepare young people. Markham makes solid suggestions for staying inspired and energized. Always remember that we are part of the global community and teachers have great opportunity to contribute to improving that community. Every student we teach will add value to the world, and we have the ability to support their aspirations and push them to live up their potential. There are huge digital networks of teachers all over the world that you can tap into for support and reflection. We're not out there alone. Constantly look for new ways to encourage curiosity, inquiry and creativity since these are what will create adults who have the skills to thrive in the modern world.