Teaching for the Future: “9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn”

Preparing our children to adapt to change is probably the most critical lesson we can pass on, whether as teachers or parents (whom I define as the first and most important educators). The following blog was brought to my attention by Kate M.B. (thanks, Kate!).

In the posting, the blogger, Leo Babauta, states:

How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.

Here are the nine skills needed to maintain adaptability, according to the author.

  1. Asking questions.
  2. Solving problems
  3. Tackling projects.
  4. Finding passion.
  5. Maintaining independence.
  6. Being happy on their own.
  7. Feeling compassion.
  8. Practicing tolerance.
  9. Dealing with change.

Reflect on these skills. Teach them. Start a conversation with colleagues, with students, on what these skills mean. Especially, use these skills to foster independent and critical thinking, as skills that foster mere following and acceptance of the status quo are the greatest danger to individual freedom and a democratic society.

Here are some questions to get the discussion going:

  • Is this list complete?
  • Are there redundancies?
  • Can we build a set of commandments or social mores based on these?
  • Add more questions of your own.

Interestingly, these are also the types of skills that help teachers maintain classroom management. Yes, independence fosters learning and better classroom environments. But that’s another blog…

Let me know what you think of the blog by coming back and posting a comment. I want to know what you think.

DailyGood: 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn, by Leo Babauta.

If the link above does not work, copy and past the following URL into your browser:



About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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2 Responses to Teaching for the Future: “9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn”

  1. elketeaches says:

    I like the list, especially the last point: “Dealing with Change”…..although I think that point should be focused on more by parents and teachers. Our kids are the change; it’s parents, teachers, institutions, set curriculum and the pressures of national & state testing that limits this change. I’ve always loved the idea of unschooling.

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