What Sarah learned at #EducationFest

Are students ready for the jobs of tomorrow?

As my tutor group have matured (well, some of them) and been encouraged to think seriously about their futures I have developed a deeper interest in careers advice and guidance. The cluelessness of some of them has been alarming and some individuals need a lot of encouragement over the next year. Therefore the title of this talk caught my eye. The main focus was on what the future will look like. Research such as ‘Future State’ by KPMG and ‘Megatrends’ by Ernst and Young suggests that there are five key things young people should be prepared for.

  1. A global marketplace where a tolerance of internationalism and ability to cope with uncertainty and react to change will be vital.
  2. Digital futures. They will need to be able to fluently and confidently use and apply up-to-date technology. Are we able to invest in suitable technology enough? Are teachers given enough exposure to this technology ourselves?
  3. Health reimagined. The world is expected to become more health obsessed and an appreciation of this will be valuable.
  4. Resourceful planet. The world is expected to become more environmentally aware and young people need to be innovative in finding solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues.
  5. Entrepreneurship rising. Again, innovation will be a desired skill/quality, alongside creativity and flexibility.

How can we prepare students for these changes? Is teaching individual subjects outdated when they face an interdisciplinary future? It certainly provided food for thought.

How to build resilience and wellbeing

Again, I thought of my tutor group when I saw the title of this talk. They look miserable too often and the lack of aspiration and self-belief of some individuals saddens me regularly. I really liked the suggestion of encouraging students that struggle with optimism/self-confidence/general happiness to keep a small notebook in which they daily or weekly record two or three things that have gone well for them. This activity might only take them a couple of minutes each day but could lead them to a more positive mindset over a longer period of time as they reflect on weeks gone by. The notebook idea can be adapted depending on a particular students needs. For example, some students might benefit from recording a daily act of kindness they have carried out. I’m sure a few potential beneficiaries of this spring to mind for most teachers!


In a talk about how to achieve confident teachers and confident students Alex Quigley referred to the fact that many teachers often feel like they are drowning in work to the point that there seems to be no end in sight. I liked his suggestion of never letting yourself have a to-do-list longer than one post-it-note. Don’t let the tasks keep swirling around in your head. Write down the most important or achievable ones and do what you can. (Small post-it-notes and normal sized writing only – no cheating!)


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