Why you need to learn 21st Century Skills if you hope to stay out of poverty?
According to the Census Bureau, if you are a single person earning less than $12,880, you are under the poverty line. In weekly wage numbers that means if you earn $268 per week, you are living in poverty in America.
The problem most Americans are facing is they aren’t earning enough money over the poverty line to get out of the financial trap of the economy. Yes, our economy is a trap to anyone that does not earn more than $1250 per week.
That needs to be the NEW threshold for success in America.
Want to learn how you can earn over $1250 per week?
Of course you do. It’s kind of a rhetoric question. Who wouldn’t want to make enough money that “money” itself is no longer the enemy. Because let’s face it when you earn less than $1250 per week, everything costs money.
Money you don’t have. Money you can’t get. And money that seems out of reach.
This is the NEW Normal that Americans are living with and the media seems unphased by. They report about wages being stagnant and they report about the income inequality gap. And they report about a lot of things, but no one tells you how to overcome the gap.
A big reason you are not earning over $1250 per week is because you lack 21st Century skills. Sorry to inform you, but you don’t have them. Not only that, but you don’t even know what they are. Which is even worse for you.
The reason this situation is so bad for 300 million Americans is you don’t know what to do. If you knew what 21st Century skills were, you could go research them, you could study them, you could practice them and you could develop them for yourself.
But our K12 system and our media and our elected officials won’t tell you what they are. Want to know why?
They don’t know what they are either!!
Yes, say it with me “OMG!”
Really? Yes, really, really. All of these people who are in charge have no clue what to do. There is no grand conspiracy against you. There is no collusion. There is no coordinated effort to keep the American people down. The sad truth is that the people in Washington, D.C. are just clueless bumpkins.
The Five 21st Century Skills
So, let’s change that narrative. Let’s just put them on the table. Here are the five 21st Century skills.
- Team Building
- Problem Solving
The first question you should be asking is “where did these five skills come from?”
Great question and here’s the answer. The five 21st Century skills comes out of a groundbreaking research study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University.
Kudos to Georgetown! Thank you for taking a deep dive into the US Economy and trying to understand what is going on in the labor market and in the workplace. Their report, “Workplace Basics” was published in 2020 and took the most comprehensive look at the entire US Economy.
What the researchers ended up doing was breaking every sector down into a ranking of required skills. This was a brilliant idea and the reason the five 21st Century skills could be identified and discovered.
Each job sector ranked the Top 10 job skills workers needed to have. And there are five skills that are needed in every sector. Five skills all workers need in the modern workplace. And thus, five skills that high school graduates should be learning before they leave high school so they are truly college and career ready.
And those five skills are the ones listed above.
The point of this article is not to get into the weeds of each 21st Century skill, but just to highlight the importance of 21st Century skills and to make sure you know they exist, and identify each of them.
So when you reflect on your own work experience, educational background and what you need to do in 2022, now you at least have an idea of what you should focus on.
Take a hard look at your own skill set. How good are your leadership skills? Are you a good team builder? Do you know how to solve problems or do you rely too much on other people? Can you sell yourself, ideas or products? And lastly, can you communicate in many forms and on many platforms? Are you only a good writer, but not a good speaker? Can you make social media posts that people like, understand and engage with? Or does every post you make — receive crickets?
Does this Relate to K12 Education?
The story graphic states “The Future of Education” and you might be wondering why? If you haven’t been following my account until today, then you don’t know that I am on a mission to fix the K12 system in America.
People ask me all the time, “why?”
In my humble opinion, I dont think it’s fair to graduate high schoolers with a 19th century education and then turn around and blame them for not being successful, for being in poverty and for needing massive amounts of government assistance.
The problem isn’t high school students. The problem isn’t teachers. The problem isn’t school leaders. The problem is we don’t teach what we should be teaching. It’s that simple.
If you haven’t been following me then you don’t know who I am. You don’t know that I’m a 20 year educator. I’m a K12 insider. I’m considered an expert in the field of education, and I’m also well-known in the NY/NJ area.
But you also don’t know that I became well-known for being one of the first superintendents to implement a 21st Century curriculum in my high school.
And since then, thousands and thousands of educators and parents have sought my advice and knowledge about how to fix the K12 system. In fact, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Public Schools invited me to provide expert testimony at a public hearing in 2017.
If we want to prepare the next generation for the 21st Century and make sure they are college and career ready, we need to stop believing in a 19th Century educational model and start teaching the five 21st Century skills.
Once you know they exist. It’s easy to see how old, outdated and out of touch the old 19th Century curriculum is in comparison. Is it smarter to teach high schoolers how to develop their leadership skills? Or is it a better idea to make sure that every high schooler knows how to read a Shakespearean play?
I’ll stop you right there High School English teacher! I have to say this because high school english teachers get really mad at me when I make that comparison. But that’s before we talk about 21st Century skills. That’s before they realize that a 21st Century education isn’t throwing out Shakespeare.
It’s more important to teach leadership in high school, then it is to teach reading. It’s more beneficial to teach high schoolers how to build a team to create something, support someone, or work with others than it is to figure out geometric equations. What good is the scientific method, if you have no ability to problem solve?
For the last 100 years, American schools have been using a 19th Century lens and perspective. It’s time to wake up and recognize we are now in the year 2022 and students need to learn the five 21st Century skills listed above.
If you enjoyed this content and want more, follow this account. And if you want to learn how you can learn 21st Century skills, follow the link in my bio. It will take you directly to the Leaf Academy homepage. Leaf Academy is an online school I started to teach regular citizens 21st Century skills.
“If the K12 system doesn’t know how, then I will show them how it’s done.”