Real Skills for Student Success - TeamTom Education

Real Skills for Student Success

By TeamTom Education | Research

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Jun 28

What soft skills do students really need for lifelong success?


Students need skills, you know that. But so many skills they need in life have nothing to do with coursework! Look at this quote from Dr. David J. Huber:

Kids need a lot of skills. All are important. Some are on state tests & others not.Click To Tweet

So what are those skills that aren’t in the curriculum? How do we teach them?


Skills that Aren’t on the Test

The state test covers some important skills but barely touches on all of the most important of them. Ask any successful entrepreneur and you’ll find that reading literature isn’t that important. Instead there are Audible, podcasts, face-to-face meetings, attorneys, and many other avenues used to relay information. Algebra is rarely used to complete a balance sheet. Really.

(Before you kill me, please see the importance we do place on reading and math.

Yet so many other skills are needed to be successful in life. Relationships, family, friends, business, happiness…all the areas of life that really define adulthood have so many related skills. Here are a few:

  • Personal Accountability
  • Respect
  • Contemplation
  • Compassion
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Perseverance
  • Teamwork
  • Optimism
  • Trustworthiness
  • Courage
  • Project Management
What are the essential skills that define successful adulthood?Click To Tweet


Skills Needed in Real Life

Research from top executives (Robles, 2012) shows that businesses want the skills listed above more than technical expertise. Expertise can be learned and taught. But no one wants to spend precious employment hours teaching the “soft skills” that are expected from employees or professionals.

Another research article supports the teaching of these skills that are so necessary for success in life. Schulz (2008) argued that teaching these skills not only benefit students in class, but they also make learning content more engaging and meaningful. He found:

  • Employers complain that academically proficient graduates lack communication skills.
  • Recent graduates lack the ability to manage projects and tasks.
  • Soft skills for students include all those skills such as work ethic, creativity, etiquette, cultural awareness, and conflict management.


How Will You Teach Skills Needed for Real Life?

You know it. You see it in the classroom, especially when students struggle. Soft skills are important. But they’re not in most curricula and definitely not in standardized tests. So what will you do about it?

How will you teach students these necessary skills? How will you empower your students to be prepared to find success in all areas of their lives?


If you believe these skills are important, please continue the conversation by sharing this article with your friends on social media.


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