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9 Soft Skills That School Teaches You

CCA students standing over a microscope

Quick. Recite Euclid’s theorem. Anyone? 

We get it. The academics you learned in school have a limited shelf life. Maybe you wonder how much of what you learn in school is useful. 

First, keep in mind that it’s important for children to learn increasingly complex concepts. Each step builds the capabilities of thinking critically and functioning across a multitude of settings. Plus, all children deserve the chance to find their passion, and if mathematics will become a lifetime pursuit, then they’ll use Euclidean theory every day.

But school teaches much more than textbook lessons. The discipline and organization needed for academic success — especially in online learning — translate to soft skills for students. These are the interpersonal skills kids will need to navigate the world of work and personal relationships. The importance of soft skills for students becomes especially apparent after graduation, when children who have mastered their soft skills have a head start on success.

9 Soft Skills That School Teaches You

Ask any employer how they choose their new hires, and they’ll probably say, “I can train anyone on the skills they need to do the job. I can’t train them to be reliable team players. They have to have those skills before I’ll hire them.” 

In short, getting ahead in life — whether that means enrolling in college, getting a job or career training, or enlisting in the military — depends on a skill set that proves your child’s dependability, critical thinking and value in the marketplace and workplace. 

Online learning can be especially useful in teaching that skill set, because cyber school students learn independence. They learn the organizational and emotional skills to take responsibility for their assignments and deliver quality work on time.  

Schools are adept at developing soft skills in students, instilling these character traits and capabilities that your child will use for life.

  1. Communication: Miscommunication is at the heart of every blunder and missed opportunity. It is also a big contributor to conflict, whether it’s starting a clash or escalating a misunderstanding into genuine conflict. Children who learn to communicate by expressing their feelings and ideas well get along better with family, friends and co-workers. They learn that others need to understand what’s going on, which helps work projects go smoothly and according to plan. When conflict arises, they know how to resolve the situation through honest, direct expression of their own views and consideration for the differing viewpoints of others.  
  2. Financial literacy and budgeting: When your child grows up, will they know how much money they need on hand to pay for emergencies and stave off financial ruin? More than one-fourth of Americans wouldn’t be able to pay their monthly bills if an unexpected expense of $400 came along. That’s one car repair or emergency root canal away from eviction. Consider, too, the staggering amount of college debt that many students take on without learning to manage their expenses so they can pay off the debt and get on with their lives. Financial literacy teaches children to manage their money as a tool for meeting their monthly commitments and achieving their long-term dreams.
  3. Emotional intelligence: Anyone can tell a misbehaving child to calm down, but not every child knows how to do that. Increasingly, schools are recognizing the importance of social-emotional learning as a key to academic success. While parents provide the foundation, schools can teach children to recognize destructive moods such as anger or frustration and dial back on inappropriate responses, such as tantrums and disruptions. Even in early childhood, studies show that children whose schools teach them to cultivate emotional intelligence are less aggressive and anxious. They also score higher on standardized tests. Emotional intelligence equips children to deal with the ups and downs of adulthood, including career setbacks and family challenges.
  4. Teamwork: Increasingly, the 21st century workplace is a hotbed of collaboration. Team members work across the table and around the world from each other. Employers racing for an edge demand the most innovative ideas, and they don’t care who generates them. They just want them to happen and, more importantly, be implemented. At school, group assignments teach students to contribute their unique talents, motivate their teammates and take responsibility for the results — no finger-pointing accepted.  
  5. Motivation and grit: It’s another day. Time to get up and face the world. Maybe your kids don’t have bills to pay, but that doesn’t keep stress and anxiety from weighing on their minds. Children who find motivation within themselves and the grit to power through obstacles are building skills they’ll use for life. In online school, kids find the personal strengths they can call on to make sure that assignments are done and projects are completed. They can also learn to recognize and manage their weaknesses, turning their shortcomings into speed bumps instead of barriers. When they grow up, that ingrained motivation will compel them to do the dreary but necessary tasks of life — paying the bills, doing the taxes — and seek paths to success.
  6. Thinking outside the box: In a fast-moving global economy, new ideas make the world go around. Entrepreneurs turn glimmers of insight into products and services that fill needs no one even knew they had. Thinking outside the box is about finding solutions to thorny problems through the use of creative, resourceful approaches. Online schooling offers children a rich array of learning resources to cultivate creative thought and innovative problem-solving.  
  7. Integrity and ethics: Many people say it’s not always easy to know the right thing to do. That is true sometimes, but in reality an honest look at any ethically charged situation often reveals the right path. Children who attend a school committed to a true anti-bullying culture and who learn to empathize with the needs of others are building a store of integrity that they can use for a lifetime. As adults, they are better equipped to scrutinize a dilemma, make the proper call and own the decision. 
  8. Time management and organization: So much to do. So little time. People who are organized and goal-oriented know how to get through the day without becoming frazzled. Employers value their efficiency, independence and initiative. Online schooling is especially good at instilling time-management and organizational skills because teachers aren’t in the same room with prompts and proddings at every moment. Cyber school students learn quickly that a well-organized workspace makes the school day go more smoothly, freeing their time for creative thinking and pursuit of the activities they love.
  9. Civics: Today’s employers do more than make widgets. They pursue social missions meant to improve the environment and uplift communities. Employees are expected to be part of that drive, contributing by volunteering for civic causes, understanding the policy issues at play and engaging with their elected officials. That kind of participation requires a strong foundation in understanding history and the operations of government. Schools with rigorous civics courses and leadership opportunities prepare students for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Soft skills are at the core of online learning. At CCA, children delve into rigorous, personalized academics, tailored to their interests and passions, while they acquire the personal and emotional skills for lifetime fulfillment and happiness. Our career pathways are lined with guidance, career clubs, pre-apprenticeships and internships. All introduce your child to real-world, practical experience and instill the soft skills crucial to success — the teamwork, communication, motivation and more that will lead the way. We prepare our students today for the world beyond school tomorrow. Learn more about how your child can benefit from online schooling by contacting us today.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

January 19th, 2021

Category

Learning Lab

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