How to be Future Ready?

The Concept of Being Future Ready

The word ‘Future’ is an enigma. We can dream of what our future “should be” but no one can predict what ‘our future “will be”. Between the two set of words, ‘should be’ and ‘will be’ lies the whole concept of PLANNING. Without a plan, the outcome can be anything but ‘what we want’, and even if we luckily drift towards ‘what we want’ it will be a mere chance. With an effective planning the probability of the outcome being closer to ‘what we want’ would be near certain. This planned journey cumulating focus and sharpening critical thinking skill will make a student future ready.  

Gaining knowledge through formal schooling is the first step towards future readiness for every learner. The extent of learning and its relevance to the contemporary demands in higher education as well as in job market depends on individual learners:

  • Aptitude,
  • Learning ability and
  • The demand of the academic syllabus.

The rest is acquired through:  

  • Environmental learning i.e., Context
  • Observation and
  • Inquisitiveness.

Aspiration, drive and structured learning approach at individual level can aid radical changes to shape the future career direction of every student.

Future Ready - A Reality Check

The appalling status in employability of Engineers and MBAs in India are indications that there is a need for introspection of right approach to guide students towards their passionate goals/aspirations. Few observations captured from National Employability Report 2019 and Employability of MBA Graduates 2016 published by Aspiring Minds reveals that —

Can these students, who fail to meet the soft skill requirements of job market or university admission be considered as future ready? The answer is obviously NO. 

In the positive side, though these outcomes are alarming, learners can make themselves future ready through personal interest, dedication, focus, structured learning approach (plan) and honing up of critical thinking skills from an early age.  

1. Focus and confidence

Although clichéd, let us consider the example of the best student of the mythological story, Mahabharata. During archery practice, arranging a target on the tree top, Guru Dronacharya asked his disciples, what they were able to see on the tree.

While some saw the bird, few others could see the head of the bird. However, Arjuna was the only student who could see the eye of the bird and pierce the target with just one shot of an arrow, implying that Arjuna was the only student who was focused in the group.

The anecdote clearly justifies that with focus comes achievement and it also helps to build up confidence. Therefore, if one is not focused, there will be a larger chance of missing the target / goal. 

2. Critical thinking and visualisation

It is important that the focused task need to be effectively shaped through critical thinking and visualization. How can these heavily termed words be explained explicitly?

 

Let us consider a real world situation and apply critical thinking

A half constructed cement structure left for a long time unattended. A water puddle next to it is covered with dumped garbage. The filth in the water is evident. On the top of it, a load of plastic garbage is garnished. Few cattle thrive on this garbage and contaminated water.

Try to imagine— 

  • When and where have you noticed similar scene?
  • What all could have been the reason for the problem?
  • Potential current and future problems (local, social, environmental) this area can cause.
  • Probable solutions that you can offer to resolve such issues

How Thinking Happens?

Human mind is a complex machine where thinking happens in endless directions and mapping all these in to a set of structured finite directions makes it easy to assimilate.

Therefore, this bird’s eye view model is one of the ways to map thinking into structured direction resulting in holistic thinking.

1. Reverse Thinking

This primarily is to look back and think, say in the above mentioned situation, 

  • Where have I seen a similar situation in the past and what could have been the reason?
  • What could have happened that resulted in water stagnation?

2. Expanded Thinking

Expand your thought into vertical lines.

  • How it is impacting locals? Probably foul smell, mosquito menace, malaria, dengue, trouble in walking, secluded place and criminal activity.
  • How is it impacting animal life? Cows drinking polluted water and feeding on plastic.

3. Fast Forward Thinking

Think what way it could impact in future.

  • Groundwater contamination / pollution,
  • Affecting health and hygiene. 

4. Bird's Eye View

It is practically the holistic view on the entire topic

  • On an overall basis, what is the problem? Can it be written in a single sentence?
  • What could have been done differently?

The example situation provides an evident approach to the learners to think objectively.

Thus, critical thinking and visualizing every aspect of knowledge are primary steps to find out the core passion of an individual learner. Planning through creative approach at an early stage of learning may be a baby step; however, it can lay a strong foundation for your future career ready goals. The dismal scenario of the statistics that shows the dearth of skill in Communication and English learning skill along with critical ability of a learner can be identified through this time tested approach called PLANNING.

The journey from knowledge to understanding is interpretation. Hence, in the next post we are going to focus on the need for interpretation through critical thinking approach in various subjects.

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# Me and My Teacher: Teacher’s Day 2020

Happy Teacher's Day 2020

# Me and My Teacher is a one month long objective based initiative started on Teacher’s Day 2020 @ Yesmindz Academy to promote language learning among students  that encourage  effortless yet serious participation. Therefore, as an initial activity, the question intended for the students to answer is… How do you remember your teacher as …? With a write up in not more than 50 words is the first  task we  put students into action….  

Most of us imitated our teachers, admired their way of teaching, appreciated the style of throw in words and also the way they carried themselves. These bunch of words arranged in a form of a bouquet may well define any teacher . However, with the ‘new normal’ and sudden shift to online teaching, the question remain the same, How do you remember your teacher as…? But the response requires exploring.  Hence, YesmindZ Academy with an endeavour to capture some of the views of the young students about their teachers who have transformed the way they think and view the world to be different every day for them, presents the following excerpts of the students views below. Although not everything in a teacher is appreciable, there is something an aura of a teacher that influences every student sometimes or the other in their lives that reflects in every opinion here.

"The person who silently and softly flickers to ignite the future with the fire of inspiration and motivation is a TEACHER" Wish all teachers a Happy Teacher's Day !
- Pratima Roy - Founder and Chief Educator

TEACHERS WE ADMIRE, TEACHERS WE APPRECIATE, TEACHERS WE RESENT, TEACHERS WE REMEMBER!

Acknowledging those little contributions of teacher in student’s life here are few of the appealing views of the students.

Pradhika –Grade 10, IGCSE. 

A teacher is a person who with adoring looks, soft spoken voice, invites instant respect.   

The teacher to me is a Jovial and adorable person whose fingers make the keyboards of young lives rock. The patience, simplicity and thrive for their passion drives students towards their individual passion. A teacher is a hand that crafts the future artistically.  

Rohit R. – Grade 10, IGCSE.
Saanvi – Grade 10, CBSE

Teachers are god-like figures to students in some way or the other. They are the ones who educate and motivate us to do our best in school and make us capable to lead a good life. They guide us, and when we go wrong, they help us identify our mistakes.

Teachers have very good knowledge and power to teach anyone with love and patience. They guide and motivate us to learn new things in life and help to walk the path of success. Teachers are very soft hearted but sometimes strict in teaching to make us better human beings.

Stuti – Grade 12, CBSE
Hriday. C – Grade 11, IBDP

An age when care and fair are just flimsy words, it is one of the teachers who through his humility created a lasting impact. Trying to teach by doing, the teacher tired of reprimanding us decided to punish self. The embarrassment that followed changed us for life. Doing is implementing.   

I remember my teachers as inspirers who make me think differently by throwing complex issues in the form of questions that demands an instant resolution. Each problem makes me think differently. The projects in various subjects make me look at life through the implied meaning of poetry.

Kodeesh – Grade 10, CBSE.
Swetha Visva – Grade 11,  AS Level. 

The teacher is someone who trusted me when many people didn’t. Someone who taught me to think in perspectives while reasoning about others views, admirably in a more tolerant way. This gave me an insight to understand how not to develop prejudices and take any stereotype instantly. 

I remember being inspired not only by the passionate teachers but also by the impassionate teachers. Bit by bit, I have learnt how to perceive things from different teachers. I put all those pieces of learning together into a garland to form a whole new perspective.

Pragdeesh – Grade 9,  GCSE
Vaishnavi – Grade 12,  IBDP

I remember teachers as oceans of unbiased and unconditional love. Only they have the ability to look past every student’s flaws and have a steadfast goal to impart their knowledge into them. This quality has inspired me to try and treat everyone with love, just like how some of my teachers did.

Teachers change the world. A teacher is the one that hold students hand, opens their mind, and touches their heart. The mind-opening situation for me was when my teachers encouraged me to not just memorize the textbook for the sake of it, but to actually enjoy learning.

Jayant – Grade 10,  A Levels
Adithya. N – Grade 11, IBDP

A teacher is an aspiring person with a good sense of humour, always trying to lighten student’s learning atmosphere. They show less and interact more; bring the best out of every idea and guide us up the stairs of hope. Ask for no one greater, for there is nothing better.

The teacher is a person who teaches the importance of remaining calm and not base actions on current emotions. Imbibing this helped me to gain a broader perspective and understand the people around me better. When under pressure, being calm cleared the waves of doubt all through my way.

Vishnu – Grade 12,  IBDP
Saloni – Grade 10,  ICSE

Teachers who have shaped and moulded us in the early years will always be remembered. Their motivation and enthusiasm has encouraged us throughout. I believe that the best teachers are those who give valuable life lessons; help us think out of the box and ignite our imagination.

I remember teachers as an interesting person who teaches the subject interestingly by making jokes. The person who allows the students to learn from their own mistakes is the most appreciable.

Havish – Grade 9, IGCSE