Briana Stone Believes Communication and Cooperation Are the Two Critical Success Skills to Teach in High School

What are the most critical skills students need to succeed after high school? Briana Stone, who teaches high school English in Texas, has thought about that question, and pinpointed these two abilities . . .

Communication and Cooperation

She believes those are the skills students will need the most, no matter whether they attend a four-year college, a two-year college, a trade school, or enter the workforce or the military. And she believes that it is never too early to help high school students start building those skills. Even the ninth graders she teaches can benefit from them, even though most of them are not yet sure what they want to do with their lives.

“I think back to when I was in my freshman year of high school and had no idea what I wanted to do,” Ms. Stone explains. “I really procrastinated about thinking about my post-high school life until my junior or senior year.” 

So in her view, it is important for teachers to have conversations with students about their options, no matter what year they are in. “The goal is to help assure they will be successful in whatever area they choose,” she explains.

Why Communication and Cooperation Are Now More Important than Ever

Ms. Stone has noticed that when students are returning to school after a year of taking classes online, their abilities to communicate and cooperate have gotten rusty. Also, many students missed out on important experiences they would normally have had during their childhood and teenage years. 

So as an English teacher, she tries to focus on building those two skills every day in her classroom. In that context, she stresses four activities: reading, talking, speaking, and listening. 

“I stress those four abilities in every class,” she states, “because no matter what students want to go into, they need to know them.” 

Ms. Stone builds their ability to cooperate by letting them work together on shared projects and assignments. 

“They’re collaborating with their peers, with their classmates, “she says, “it’s super-important to know how to do that in order to be successful.”

“As teachers, we need to collaborate with other educators too . . . every person has to know how to collaborate,” she says. 

Ms. Stone summarizes . . . 

“As a high school English teacher, I believe that my class is helping students prepare for whatever they want to go into after high school.” 

And another belief? “I am a strong believer that a four-year college might not be the best option for every student, so I try to show them the options that are available. My goal is to have my students prepared for any area they want to go into. Whatever they want to do, the goal of my class is to help them succeed. ” 

“Our students are our future, and I am super-excited to be able to help them prepare for the world.” 

One source of information she recommends are the reports and infographics that are available from the Student Research Foundation. 

National Student Research Study

If you are a high school educator, be sure to have your students participate in our national student research. This study benefits your students, educators, and non-profits working with youth. Fill out our quick and easy survey request form and get involved in this important work!


Participate in the research study


Teacher Break Room

Career and College Planning Lesson Plan

Request study materials for your classroom

Related Posts
Black Teachers Needed More Than Ever

Great Ways to Integrate Career Planning into Your Classroom

Is It Time to Create a Career Research Center in Your Classroom?

Teacher Satisfaction Matters

More Teachers are Leaving the Profession

Why Teachers Who Expect Every Student to Love Every Lesson Are Setting Themselves Up for Failu