Why Soft Skills are Important - Tutors of Literacy in the Commonwealth

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Adult Literacy Instruction: Why Soft
Skills are Important to All
10:50 am – 12:05 pm
Kim Rossman
Tutors of Literacy in the Commonwealth
[email protected]
www.tlcliteracy.org
814.867.0203
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Agenda
• Welcome
• Objectives
• Soft Skills
–
–
–
–
Definition
Food for thought
Instruction
Assessment
• Activity
• Discussion
• Questions
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Session objectives
• At the end of the session, participants will:
– develop a plan for teaching a specific soft skill in their classroom,
tutoring and/or mentoring session.
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A few questions
If you are currently providing one-onone instruction to an adult learner
please raise your hand.
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A few questions
If you are currently providing
instruction to adult learners in a small
group or classroom setting please raise
your hand.
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SOFT SKILLS ~ DEFINITION
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Definition
• Google
– “Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and
harmoniously with other people”.
• livecareer.com
– “Soft skills are general skills - like the ability to accept feedback, work
collaboratively, manage your time, etc. These are skills that will help
you in a wide range of jobs, not just the target job you're applying
for.”
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Examples of soft skills
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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SOFT SKILLS ~ WHAT DO EMPLOYERS WANT?
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What soft skills do employers want?
“The CEOs tell us, ‘Don’t worry so much about the technical
skills… We need you to teach them how to show up on time,
how to work in teams, how to take supervision.’”
From Hard Work on Soft Skills
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What soft skills do employers want?
• In Are They Really Ready to Work (2006) employers have
indicated the four most important foundation skills needed by
employees are:
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What soft skills do employers want?
• In Are They Really Ready to Work (2006) employers have
indicated the four most important foundation skills needed by
employees are:
– Professionalism/Work Ethic
– Oral and Written Communication
– Team Work/Collaboration
– Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
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2013 Forbes survey
1. Ability to work in a team
2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an
organization
5. Ability to obtain and process information
6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
7. Technical knowledge related to the job
8. Proficiency with computer software programs
9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
10. Ability to sell and influence others
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SOFT SKILLS ~ FOOD FOR THOUGHT
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Do you think instructors can directly, explicitly teach soft skills?
• If so, how?
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Do you think instructors can directly, explicitly teach soft skills?
• Group activities – team building
• Problem solving - walk through real life dilemma,
POCS chart, role playing
• Timeliness
• Organization
• Oral and written communication
• Body language activity
• Mock interviews
• Set up instructional setting like the workplace
• Put learner in employer’s position
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Food for thought
• What are the roles of awareness and assessment in
the process?
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More food for thought
• Can you think of any soft skills’ deficits the learner(s) you work
with may have?
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And more …
• Can you think of any soft skills deficits the learner(s) you work
with may have?
• Do you think the learner is aware of the deficit(s)?
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…
• Can you think of any soft skills deficits the learner(s) you work
with may have?
• Do you think the learner is aware of the deficit(s)?
• How do you think the learner could be motivated to improve
his/her soft skills?
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…
• Can you think of any soft skills deficits the learner(s) you work
with may have?
• Do you think the learner is aware of the deficit(s)?
• How do you think the learner could be motivated to improve
his/her soft skills?
• How can you show him/her where he/she is in terms of soft
skills?
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SOFT SKILL ASSESSMENTS
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Did you know…
PA Common Core Academic Standards have a section for soft
skills?
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Other assessments?
• What have you used?
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INSTRUCTION OF SOFT SKILLS
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Instruction of soft skills
Examples of activities:
•
•
•
•
“What if …” scenario or multiple choice questions (Soft Skills Discussion Resource)
Body Language Awareness Activities
Service learning, projects
Provide a realistic workplace scenario (i.e. you see someone at work take money
that doesn’t belong to them) then ask the questions:





What is the problem?
What do you need to do?
How are you going to do it?
Did you fix the problem?
Did you do a good job?
• Other ~ what have you used?
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Instruction of soft skills
• How can the learner know if he/she is improving in an area?
 Collaboratively develop a rubric
 Other
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Soft skills rating rubric
Skill to be
developed
Beginning
(Rarely)
Emerging
(Sometimes)
Handout
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Developing
(Often)
Competent
(Consistently)
ACTIVITY ~ EXAMPLE THEN PRACTICE
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SCANS skills activity ~ overview
• Complete the following sections of the Foundation Skills SelfAppraisal on behalf of a learner or group of learners with
whom you work.
Handout
 Basic Workplace Skills
 Basic Employability Skills
• Partner with a peer to:
a) Identify a mutual skill needed by the learners with whom you work
b) Develop a plan for addressing needed skill (complete back of form)
c) If time, develop a rubric for assessing progress
d) Share your plan with the group
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Handout
Example of activity
• Completed assessment for learner being tutored
• Focusing on the result: I am on time for work.

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Specific learning objective
• By the end of this activity I would like the learner to be able to:
– Come to at least 13 out of 15 tutoring sessions on time. If running
late or unable to attend a session, he must notify me in advance,
using our previously established guidelines.
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Measurement of objective
• I will know that this objective was met after 15 tutoring
sessions. We will look at the tracking of his attendance and
punctuality.
• We will develop a chart or other graphic organizer for the
learner to track his own attendance and punctuality so he can
have visual representation of his performance.
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Achievable
• Yes, based on what I know about this learner and the supports
in place for him, he will be able to achieve this objective.
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What is the activity and is it relevant?
• The activity will involve the learner and tutor sitting down
together to establish clear guidelines on attendance. We have
already developed standard procedures for notifying each
other if we are unable to attend a session or if we are running
late so this will be a review of material already developed.
• The activity will involve the learner doing the same things he
needs to do for his job. He will need to show up to the tutoring
sessions on time. If running late or unable to attend, he needs
to follow our agreed upon procedures which are similar to
those he needs to adhere to at his job.
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Authentic materials
• The tasks being monitored are the same as those needed to
keep his current job (and, most likely, any future jobs he may
get).
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Time frame
• The goal is to accomplish this activity within 15 tutoring
sessions.
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Transfer of skill
• The learner understands that these are skills he needs in order
to keep his job. After we work on this activity we will discuss
how he can continue to do these things properly in his work
environment so he can keep his job and possibly, eventually,
get a promotion.
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SCANS skills activity ~ overview
• Complete the following sections of the Foundation Skills SelfAppraisal on behalf of a learner or group of learners with
whom you work.
Handout
 Basic Workplace Skills
 Basic Employability Skills
• Partner with a peer to:
a) Identify a mutual skill needed by the learners with whom you work
b) Develop a plan for addressing needed skill (complete back of form)
c) If time, develop a rubric for assessing progress
d) Share your plan with the group
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Plan
• Learning objective
• How will you determine and measure if objective(s) have been met?
• What contextualized activities can you develop that will provide
measurable outcomes?
• What authentic materials are being used?
• Is the activity challenging for the learner, yet not too difficult?
• Timeframe?
• Transfer of skills?
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Example ~ Soft skills rating rubric
Skill to be
developed
Beginning
(Rarely)
Emerging
(Sometimes)
Developing
(Often)
Be on time for
work.
(instructional
session)
Shows up late for
work 4 out of 5
work days, without
proper notification
(and most likely
loses job)
Shows up late
for work 3 out
of 5 days, with
proper
notification 50%
of the time
Shows up late for
work 1 out of 5
days with proper
notification 80%
of the time
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Competent
(Consistently)
Shows up late
for work less
than 1 out of 5
days with
proper
notification
100% of the
time
DISCUSSION & QUESTIONS
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Please remember to complete the
evaluation at the end of the day.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tinstitute2014
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Resources
• Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and
Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce
• Bissonnette, Denise. 1999. 30 Ways to Shine as a New Employee, A Guide to Success in
the Workplace. Chatsworth, CA: A Milt Wright & Associates, Inc. Publication
• Equipped for the Future Resources
• Guide to Adult Education for Work, Transforming Adult Education to Grow a Skilled
Workforce
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Resources, continued
• Hard Work on Soft Skills, Creating a “Culture of Work” in Workforce Development,
Working Ventures
• “Keep that Job”, article from the May, 1936 issue of Current Psychology and
Psychoanalysis
• O*Net OnLine
• Workforce Skills Self-Appraisal and other PA Workforce Education Resources including
Foundations Skills materials
•
Soft Skills Discussion Resource (Brief), Learning Resources, Inc.
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Resources, continued
New Ways to Work
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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•
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Quality Work-Based Learning Toolkit, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Creating Quality Work-Based Learning
How-To Guides for Workplace Tours, Job Shadows and more
Building the Classroom Connection
Teacher Guide to the Work-Based Learning Plan
Workplace Partner Guide to the Work-Based Learning Plan
Student Guide to the Work-Based Learning Plan
Tools
Factsheets
Resources
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!
Feel free to contact me at:
[email protected]
or visit us at:
www.tlcliteracy.org
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Everyday materials for developing life skills
Employment Material
Public School Materials
Applications
Job Manuals
Report Forms
Time cards
Registration forms
School handbooks
Parent-teacher communications
Homework
Excuse forms
Lunch menus
Permission slips
Newspapers
Want ads
Community announcements
Medical Information
Forms
Insurance
Prescriptions
Over-the-counter medicine instructions
Poison or hazardous materials information
Utility/Financial Information
Bills
Check writing
Account balancing
Shopping
Transportation Schedules
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