The career landscape is changing dramatically. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before the age of forty. This requires a high degree of flexibility and adaptability.
Students who leave high school with strong soft skills will work more harmoniously with others and be more successful tackling unfamiliar tasks. However, teachers must explicitly teach these soft skills in school. Teachers cannot assume that students know what it looks like to communicate effectively. Many students have never been taught specific strategies for managing their time. These are skills they must develop and hone in school.
This year I am focusing on both teaching and assessing these critical soft skills. I identified key soft skills I wanted to focus on, including the ability to manage one’s time, communicate, collaborate, solve problems, and think creatively. Then I created rubrics so students would know exactly what these soft skills look like in practice.
Now my teacher team uses these rubrics to give each student feedback on where he/she is in relation to mastering these crucial skills. Because we are a project-based program, these soft skills are often as necessary to their success working on large scale projects as their academic skills.
Below are a few of the rubrics I designed. Teachers are welcome to click on the pictures and make copies of these rubrics to modify and use with their own students!
If you have strategies or resources you use to support students in developing their soft skills, please post a comment and share them!