by Kiran Shetty, Founder and Head Trainer, ELOQUENTWe celebrate Teachers’ Day in fond remembrance of a great teacher, Dr S Radhakrishnan, who believed that a great teacher is one who trains us to think for ourselves.
We are currently facing one of the most distressing and confusing global crises humans have ever known. The ability to think for ourselves is what will stand us in good stead, as we learn to adapt and survive.
For students and teachers and all those involved in the field of education, it has been an extremely challenging time. From learning to adapt to teaching and learning online to becoming a digital platform expert, we have come a long way in the last six months. This new abnormal is probably going to be our normal for a long time.
So, what do you need to become an independent thinker who is ready to deal with the real world in the 21st century? Apart from the four big Cs, that is communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration, we need credibility.
Let’s look at these in the context of what is happening around us currently. When the pandemic hit us in early March and then spread rapidly around the world, there were all kinds of theories and suppositions. But the lack of clear communication confused everyone. Rumours were flying around freely. There was a lot of finger-pointing and the cacophony of allegations muddled our perception of reality. If we were taught to respond to any crisis calmly and logically, imagine how different things would have been.
Moving forward, here are a few tips to learn to be ready for the real world:
- Develop communicative competence. Learn how to express yourself in a clear and concise manner—especially in all your communications with family, friends or teachers. This training will be helpful when you pursue higher education, and in your career.
- Develop critical thinking skills, by asking the relevant questions about the information you receive, be it from social media or society. Ask the questions ‘why’ and ‘how’ in every situation. Then apply logic with a healthy dose of common sense.
- Be creative in your thoughts and actions. Creativity is a skill that can be developed and is not limited to the arts.
- Be willing to collaborate with family, friends, teachers and society. This teaches us to be a productive member of a larger unit. This skill will be invaluable as you realise that in the real world, everyone is dependent on each other to exist cohesively.
- Build credibility for yourself by consistently following up your words in action. This is tough but very rewarding in the long run.
In conclusion, it’s very important to believe in your ability and develop and hone skills that will empower you and make you self-reliant.