This question is one that I have been asked by all audiences; principals, teachers, parents, and community members. It is a hard question to answer no matter who you are talking to. This post will help you with the "what and why" answers to this question.
  • Don't become stagnant! 
    • Sitting still in the world we live in today is a death sentence. Our world is in a constant state of improvement, if you don't or can't move upward, you will become obsolete. It is a bit of a blunt statement, but a true one. If you have not seen the video "humans need not apply" you will see what I mean.
  • Adopt a new method of thinking
    • Students today have resources like never before. Each and every student has had the ability to go to Google and type in a question to find the answer. If the computer can provide the answers, what are you doing differently to educate? Education need to shift from what to learn, to how to learn.
  • Jump In
    • All too often, teachers will test the water and determine that they don't want to jump in. I am telling you to just jump in! Your students do it everyday, you should also. Obviously, get permission from your administrator first, but once you have that, get on that diving board. 
  • Collaborate
    • This is an essential skill for all but it is most important for educators. Put your pride aside and ask for the help! Nobody in the world knows everything there is to know. Connect, ask, and share the burden of teaching these ever changing minds.
  • Model it
    • Practice what you preach. Show students how beneficial having 21st century skills can be and teach them how to do it themselves. Students today run full speed in many directions and can switch very fast. Be the traffic light and road signs for your students to guide them down the right path.

In summary, educators need to be continually improving. No matter how big or how small the steps, they need to be taking them. Doing things that are outside of comfort zones not only challenges thinking, but builds new skills for all who partake.