I’m sorry that I haven’t blogged for a while. I’m back on track now so here goes…
Whilst listening to Radio National this morning I heard the line “60% of jobs that children will apply for in the future haven’t been invented yet.” I’ve been trying to get my head around this all day. Does this mean these jobs will be driven by a technology that doesn’t exist yet? Although, when I think about when I was at school in the dim and distant seventies and eighties, would my younger self have believed that one day people would make a living writing about whatever they wanted in a virtual world that didn’t include books and newspapers? Hmmm, probably not, my younger self may well have a straight-jacket behind her back as she listens politely to my mad older self!
I would love to hear your thoughts on what these future jobs might be. App Developers is certainly a job field that didn’t exist even 2 or 3 years ago. Z-gens now entering the workforce are likely to have business cards (if they still exist!) that will baffle those of us from the earlier alphabet years, even possibly the Y-gens that us X-gens are now so confused by. It’s all alphabet soup to me!
And on the subject of young working minds of the future, can we please ensure that along with the basic academic skills of reading, writing and numeracy, that they are also taught some social skills. I have experienced the two ends of the scale recently. Two wonderful ladies (18 and 21) speaking at a recent 21st birthday party; you would think they spoke in front of hundreds of people on a daily basis. Calm, mature, funny and engaging, they completely disarmed me and everyone else.
However, only a few days later I then met a young man of 19 who is hoping to work in a trade. Now, forgive me, bit along with the basic skills of the trade, is there not also a need to occasionally speak with customers? I am sure that this fellow is otherwise charming, and can no doubt Tweet, Facebook and text at the same time along with the rest of his generation, but I was fascinated by his apparent complete inability to open his mouth wide enough to actually let unrestricted sound emerge! “Mmmmmbhmmm” does not a conversation make!
Also on the radio today was a fantastic piece about unlocking creativity in children from an early age. This doesn’t mean turning them in to great artists, it just means enabling them to discover their curiosity and persistence. Due to the Testing culture we now live in, many teachers feel the pressure to teach the curriculum and get those positive test results. I remember battling as a classroom teacher between delivering the outcomes of the curriculum and looking after the wellbeing of my students. Curiosity and persistence came in to many of my classes, including teaching some very challenging 9 year old boys to sew, make puppets, write a script and put on a puppet show for the junior school. This ticked off design tech, English and drama along with creating some amazing social skills whilst sewing!
Another, being in a Catholic school, was teaching the kids about Passover by turning the story into a fitness circuit. Travelling between 2 cities was a jogging task, Jesus’ 12th birthday was 12 star jumps and Passover was, you guessed it, leapfrog (Get it? Passing over each other?). Did I unlock creativity and persistence? Well if nothing else, I engaged them so they wanted to learn more.
I think perhaps this is why I finally came out of the school education system as I was frustrated by the pressure to perform, taking away much of the creativity that I so desperately wanted to pass on to those kids. Thankfully, now that I my own boss, I can make a difference to my Kip kids, both academically and socially.
I promise not to be away so long next time. Please make time to enjoy the lovely sunshine that has finally returned and good luck with present shopping...More...