The 21st Century Skills for Success You Need to Start in Preschool

Did your education prepare you for life in the 21st century? If I asked you to come up with a list of “things I didn’t learn in school,” I bet you’d have no problem running off a number of essential life-skills you had to learn on your own. Meanwhile, you spent four years in high school reading Shakespeare and practicing Calculus… If you want to make sure your students learn stuff they actually will use in their lives, this podcast is for you! 

When you were in grade school (or even college), how much time did teachers spend explaining practical, useful, every-day topics? How much time did your teachers dedicate towards helping you build healthy habits, exercising, and creating a healthy diet? How long did teachers spend going over how to grow and strengthen relationships with friends, family, and partners? How often did your classroom discussion revolve around being a great parent, handling finances, student loans, deciding on a future career, employing critical thinking skills, etc.? If your public school experience was anything like mine growing up, the answer is probably “rarely” or “never.” Despite using these skills everyday in adulthood, they were nowhere to be found in our outdated school system. So we learned them on our own.

How many other skills and talents did you have to learn on your own to get to where you are today?

In this podcast, we take a new approach to actually give your students the skills, mindsets, and knowledge for success. Just because we had to learn on the go, doesn’t mean our students have to go at it alone. You can right the ship and bring these essential life skills into your classroom! That way, your students leave your classroom not just ready for the following grade, but ready to take on a competitive world!

The world is changing. And fast. The iPhone was invented 10 years ago; today is pretty much part of our bodies. Imagine where we will be in 10 years with virtual reality and 3D printing! Yet our curriculum remains bogged down in the ideas of the past. As I look back on my education, I am not angry that school didn’t prepare me for the real world. If anything, I am worried and scared that the school system may never get fixed and future generations will continue to suffer from these outdated expectations.

The standards from the mid-twentieth century simply do not translate to success in the 21st century. The days of memorization are over. Every piece of information is available at the click of a button on your smartphone. The sooner our education system recognizes that obvious fact, the sooner we will be able to nurture our students to thrive in the over-stimulation and fast-pace of the 21st century.

Information is everywhere. And in this world of information overload, we should be teaching students how to sift through the bombardment of opinions and how to distinguish fact from fiction. Our focus should be on helping our students access that information, then sort through it, make sense of it, and apply it to their lives to solve problems. Teachers don’t have to be the arbiters of information anymore; instead you can teach your students to fall in love with learning and pursue it on their own!

That is the true 21st century standard for success.

In the world we live in, you can learn ANYTHING with internet and a library card. The kids who can take advantage of these resources to always to learn, grow and improve will be the adults who change the world. Teach your students that their future is in their own hands; that success and learning is totally in their control; it is only determined by their effort!

So what are these 21st century standards? Anything that will set your students up for happiness and success!

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What do you think people need to know to be happy and successful in life? What life skills, mindsets, people skills, and knowledge are the keys to a well-rounded happy person? Listen to our podcast and find out! When you’re done listening, click below for a FREE content upgrade giving you my personal list of the skills needed for success in the 21st century.

As a result, your students will learn and retain SO MUCH MORE than they every could relying only on teachers for their information. Give your students the tools to succeed — not the facts to succeed. There’s no reason for them to learn things “the hard way.” Save them the drama. Save them the heartache. Teach them the things you wish someone had taught you!

To get the full details, listen here!

Resources and People Mentioned in this Podcast:

  1. FREEBIE – 21st Century Skills for Success
  2. Pre-K Entrepreneurs
  3. Bloom’s Taxonomy
  4. 003 – How to Build a Growth Mindset Classroom Culture

Show Notes (w/times):

  • 6:40 – Mindset Shift
  • 8:40 – How to put 21st Century Standards into play
  • 13:20 – Strategies – What are 21st Century Standards?
  • 17:00 – Life Skills
  • 20:20 – Critical Thinking Skills
  • 26:03 – Skills for Success
  • 29:49 – Social Skills
  • 34:08 – Academic Skills
  • 37:45 – Changes you can expect to see

Thanks so much for joining us this week! Did you think of some important skills I missed? Would you mind sharing in the comments so all the great teachers can use it too!? Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post. Also, please leave an honest review for the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful and greatly appreciated and I will read all of them!  If you have any questions or want to learn more, head on over to! And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates!

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