Oops! Here’s a 21st century skill you’re probably “underteaching.” – SCN Encourager

As if preparing your students in the core 21st century skills in your schools wasn’t enough!


it isn’t.


For sure, the core 21st century skills already contained in our curriculum and in our instruction are essential.

They’re rock-solid.

And our students need to experience success in: 

•  critical thinking
•  problem-solving
•  collaboration
•  creativity
•  communication
•  accountability

But Georgetown professor Cal Newport, author of the bestseller Deep Work, says we’re overlooking one critical skill.


According to Newport, if  we want to help our students thrive – now and in the future – we should add the ability to focus to the mix of capacities we are purposefully nurturing in them.

To get a better grasp on this concept, you might like this article called “Do I have your attention? Why focus is the new I.Q.”

It includes a list of short tips from 9 young entrepreneurs on how they personally improve focus.

I offered a 10th suggestion, but I missed the age cut-off by approximately 34 years.


But I’ll share my rejected tip with you just the same.

(Since I’m likely to forget it soon!)

It’s the good ol’ school communicator’s mantra.

When you spot a great idea, technique, or format,

consider first how it might fit for your needs,

focus on it,

then quickly swipe it!

Following these steps will ensure you’re not focusing on something which doesn’t stand a chance of working.

I’ve found it’s always a good rule of thumb to evaluate the “success potential” of what you’re about to swipe.

And my tip proves something else, too.

That yes!

It’s possible to improve your ability to FOCUS without having to reinvent the wheel.

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