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The 6 Defining Traits of a Truly Future-Ready Educator

author:GDC Team

Preparing for the future is no easy task. One might even say it’s perhaps a mild exercise in futility. After all, how does someone prepare for something they can’t predict? When it comes to being a future-ready educator however, the drive is different. It’s not about predicting what’s on the horizon, but rather about preparation for the unknown.

This preparation comes through a focus on skills that attune themselves to our progressing and evolving times. In turn, they teach these skills to their learners and prepare them to enter that same unknown without fear. Ultimately, our children are approaching a time where they will solve problems we can’t imagine and fill positions that have yet to be invented. A future-ready educator understands this, and models the abilities to accomplish this for all learners.


Matthew Lynch talks about future-ready educator skills in his article What Does a “Future Ready” Educator Look Like? Although the discussion about this often revolves around technology, Matthew’s suggestions go beyond that. Below are the 6 characteristics he defines for being a future-ready educator.


6 Ways to Be a Future-Ready Educator

  1. Be a Lifelong LearnerLifelong learning is the key to being future-ready. Alvin Toffler warned us that “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” It’s a strong statement that sums up the need for lifelong learning mindsets to be given to our students at every level. This is the calling of the future-ready educator.
  2. Be Highly Adaptable—Matthew tells us in his article “future-ready educators understand that technology is constantly changing and evolving – therefore, they are highly adaptable.” This doesn’t apply to only technology, in our view. Additionally, it means being adaptable to different learning styles and varying levels of learning ability. From there, a future-ready educator adjusts and personalizes instruction where necessary.
  3. Be a Strong Collaborator—One of the hallmarks of modern learners is the strong desire to collaborate with both real and virtual partners. “Successful future-ready educators are also strong collaborators who recognize the importance of group dynamics, team planning, and strategizing with others,” declares Matthew.
  4. Be Relevant and Engaging—”Future-ready educators find digital content and educational technology that is relevant and engaging,” says Matthew. In turn, blended learning and flipped learning practices help them bring this content to their learners in relevant and engaging ways.
  5. Be Globally Conscious—In an article from TeachThought, we read that “globalization is about interdependence and increased consciousness.” A future-ready educator practices a broad awareness of the world and all the teachable moments that reside therein. “These teachers invest in opportunities where they can help prepare their students to become global citizens,” says Matthew.
  6. Be an Astute Digital Citizen—Encouraging digital citizenship in our learners isn’t a passing fad. In fact, it’s a way of living well in a virtual world that we ourselves have created to serve us. If you want to succeed at teaching  global digital citizenship to your kids, you can benefit from using these powerful questions.

Read Matthew’s full article on the future-ready educator at The Tech Advocate.


GDC Team  January 2018 2012