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Six Game-Changing Skills to Instill in Coaches, Teachers and Students

By Ellen Moir — 

The secret to succeeding in any profession – from major league baseball to teaching – is to not only master the fundamentals, but to identify and build advanced skills that take your performance from good to great to elite.

In baseball, coaches and players focus on building a progression of skills, from the basics of each position to the game-changing skills and techniques required to perform at the major league level and improve in-game decision making.

Game-Changing Skills

The same is true in education. The best districts ensure everyone continues to learn and build increasingly advanced skills and knowledge – that includes principals, coaches and teachers as well as students.

No matter who the learner or what the subject, we’ve learned that social and emotional factors have enormous impact on whether students thrive, in school and beyond. Decades of research have revealed the science behind that fact. And around the country, my New Teacher Center colleagues and I work with school leaders, mentors and coaches, and beginning teachers to integrate that research into everyday practice in classrooms.

We have identified six game-changing social and emotional skills that integrate easily into any academic challenge, deepening learning for everyone.

The effects of instilling these six game-changing skills in coaches, teachers and students creates a ripple effect that’s critical to achieving the nation’s goals for student learning. All of the cross-cutting leadership skills essential for success in college and the workplace—such as working collaboratively, communicating effectively, listening well, giving feedback, taking new perspectives, setting goals, and self-management—combine social, emotional and intellectual elements.

Though some call them “soft skills,” they are as hard to learn as any others that serious thinkers need. In our era of information overload, we depend on them to shed light on the key challenges our world faces.

So what are these six skills, and why are they so important?

Check out our guide and case study: Six Game-Changing Skills to Instill in Coaches, Teachers and Students.

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