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Read Dr. Larson's earlier Community Columns below or here.

While our students are enjoying time off from the school year routine, many of our instructors are working in teams developing relevant units of study. While identifying what key concepts, themes and content will be taught, they also are determining the essential work skills students will need for the future. The implications of advanced robotics, workplace automation, artificial intelligence and driverless vehicles has and will continue to have a profound impact on careers in the future.  Career success in the future will depend less on what our students know and more on the skills and dispositions they bring to the work environment.

Let's take a look at some of the future-ready dispositions and skills that our teachers are integrating into students’ learning experiences:

Pursuing Purpose, Meaning and Possibilities 
Technology and automation are replacing many jobs and creating new career opportunities.  Many careers of the future have yet to be identified.  It is paramount that our graduates be able to discover and pursue their passion and interests. This will ensure they will find value, significance and meaning in their work. This "sense making” also will help them be better contributors to their families, community and society. 

Digital Media Literacy
Success in the future will require the ability to critically assess and develop content and information that uses a variety of media.  Abundant information from tech devices will continue to be seamlessly integrated into our lives.  It will be critical that our graduates are able to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence all as a virtual team member.

Adaptive Thinking 
The ability to filter and process information, frame unanswered questions and drive toward solutions will be critical attributes in the new economy.  This requires students to experience inquiry problem-based assignments that are multifaceted and require teamwork.  Through these challenging projects students are able to demonstrate ingenuity, enterprise and resourcefulness. 

Cross-Cultural Competence
In the future, all successful workers will need to operate in varied cultural settings and will be expected to connect with others in a deep and direct way. This will require perception, intuition, understanding and empathy.  To nurture these traits, instructors are mindful of the importance of fostering the elements of belonging and equity into the classroom culture. 

Grit and Perseverance 
Teachers use insight and technique in designing learning experiences that help students set goals, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks and failure and learn from constructive criticism. More than just intellectual abilities, students are learning that effort is key on the pathway to their success. 

The future of work is uncertain.  The good news is that your local public school teachers continually work hard to design and prepare learning experiences that provide more than just knowledge.

David F. Larson, Ed.D.

Read Dr. Larson's earlier essays below

2017-18 Community Columns
Good to see summer learning becoming the norm here

2016-17 Community Columns

Education is not just another commodity here

Public schools benefit from richness of diversity here

Be wary of snake oil salesmen in education here

Characteristics of Strong Education Systems here

Leveraging the election for growth here

Glenbard emphasizes importance of service to others here

Challenging courses prepare teens for college, careers here

High School Parenting is Gardening, Not Carpentry here

Fight the Summer Slide here

2015-16 Community Columns

Equity in Advanced Placement here

Growth Mindset Makes a Difference here

Send Consistent Message Opposing Underage Drinking here

Hold Hands and Stick Together here

The Value of Rigor in the Classroom here

Studying the Arts Enhances Student Achievement here

Parent Involvement is Important here

Making America Great Again here

Property Tax Freeze Would Harm Students here

Teachers Advance Their Craft During Summer here.

2014-15 Community Columns

Be Wary; Education Cuts Never Heal here

Increasing Responsibilities of Public Education here

The Governor's Playbook for Compassion here

Important Partnership here

Strategic Planning Key to Success of iPad Implementation here

The "Year of Over Testing" here

School Funding Reform Act Senate Bill 16 here

Watch the Screen Time here

2013-14 Community Columns

Attack Season here

Impressive Community Support here

Referendum Focus here

New Year's Resolution here

Celebrating Diversity here

Shrinking Middle Class here

Future Ready here

Fight Summer Learning Loss here

2012-13 Community Columns

Public Education is Inclusive, Diverse here

Transparency Builds Community Trust here

Technology Will Transform Learning here

High Levels Of Communication here

Pension Reform Observations here

Key Habits of Fiscally Responsible Districts here

Doubly Impressive here

High Expectations For All here

Democracy here

Those Special Teachers here

Football Start here

Freshman Transition here