Giving Students an Edge in the Future Workplace
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”Michael Jordan
When discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our students, what better way to start than with a quote from Michael Jordan? Even if you are not a part of any kind of sports world, the odds that you either have heard of him before or can identify with the quote mentioned above, are quite high. Most people, however, don’t know that this worldwide basketball superstar we know today, failed to make his high school varsity basketball team during his first year of high school.
While Leaders of Evolution cannot guarantee that your student will become the next worldwide sports sensation, we have well-developed methods to not only help educators identify the strengths and weaknesses of a student, but techniques for how students can learn from these findings, set goals, and become the best version of themselves.
Strengths and Weaknesses of a Student
To grow, Leaders of Evolution believes that individuals must be keenly aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Being familiar with one’s strengths and weaknesses as a student and as a citizen can allow an individual to be highly self-aware. This awareness is crucial to developing goals for the future as well as developing a strong character to go with it. That is why Leaders of Evolution includes important elements of self-awareness into each of the C’s in our 4 C’s Framework, and subsequently into all of our online courses.
While Leaders of Evolution strongly emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, we are not the only ones that stressed the importance of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a student. Self-awareness skills are a key element of the Personal and Social Capability within the Australian Curriculum and introduced in the early years of education. It is the hope that as students develop a level of self-awareness they will be able to recognize and express their emotions, likes and dislikes, and develop reflective practices.
Specifically, within the Australian Curriculum, reflective practices include the ability to understand how a student’s actions affect their skills and achievements. At Leaders of Evolution, we embrace this and go a step further by connecting it to both leadership and workplace goals.
Through a variety of online self-assessment surveys, Leaders of Evolution assists students in identifying their strengths, also known as their superpowers, and their areas for growth, their kryptonite. By encouraging students to gather feedback from their peers, teachers, and family it is our goal that each participant develops an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as a student and are able to adjust course accordingly.
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a student is one thing, but acting on this self-awareness is what makes all the difference. Our course, Building the Mindset of Workplace Excellence gives students aged 16-18 the tools they need to best identify where they will fit in the future workplace.
Through the completion of 36 topics across four lessons, learners identify their strengths and weaknesses as a student and as a future employee, develop skills for how to best pick up skills on the job, and set goals for the future. It is through this goal setting that students will learn how to unconsciously implement backward planning into their lives.
One commonly known way to plan for the future is through engaging in backward planning (In the education world this is known as backward design). Whether an individual realizes it or not, this is what is happening when we decide what we should do today based on where we want to go in the future. However, the trickiest part is realizing what you want to do in the future. To demonstrate backward planning, I will use a personal aside.
It all started as I pretended to be a student in my older sister, Natalie’s “class”.
Since I was the younger sister, I of course was given the role of a student as Natalie stood up at the front of her room and taught me and the rest of the imaginary class how to add. I loved spending time with my sister and even though I wanted to be the teacher, I happily played along. While it was not your typical work experience program, I believe it was at this time in my life that I began to be led toward a career in education.
Although I was unaware that this desire to teach the pretend class would eventually become a desire to teach “real-life” young adults, I felt the impacts of this (somewhat unconscious) goal at a very young age. Starting in kindergarten I was 100% dedicated to all things school and obsessed with my grades (and in younger grades the checkmarks). I thought “If I want to be a teacher, I have to go to college. To get into college, I need good grades. And to get good grades I need to study. Especially spelling, I’m terrible at spelling.”
While this thought process is not natural for all students, the team at Leaders of Evolution believes that through our online training students can develop the self-awareness skills to identify their strengths and weaknesses as a student, and effectively backward plan for their future.
Work Experience Programmes
Childhood events directed me toward my future career, however, many students do not have an inherent desire to pursue a specific career. A work experience programme can provide individuals with the firsthand experience they need to not only determine which career path may be right for them but also to further identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Work experience programmes are designed to help individuals gain on the job skills and confidence essential to being successful. They also offer students a risk-free “taste of a career” because work experience programmes are short in length and do not require individuals to stay with the organization after the work experience programme is complete.
The Australian National Work Experience Programme is mutually beneficial for job seekers and employers and therefore initiates a positive relationship between both parties — the work experience programme offers students as young as 17 the benefit of “getting their foot in the door” of an industry, while employers have the chance to scope out new, potentially long term talent free of charge.
The Leaders of Evolution Building the Mindset of Workplace Excellence course is a perfect opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a student and prepare them for a work experience program. Not only will this course provide students with a confidence boost before beginning a work experience programme, but it also provides strategies for how to work autonomously and soaking in as much information as possible once they are on the job.
Whether a student is looking to increase their self-awareness or could use help backwards planning, all students could benefit from a Leaders of Evolution course. To browse course curriculums and student benefits, click here to schedule an e-learning Hub virtual tour with our co-founder and director, Jon Shepherd.
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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.