This short video covers the uplifting role of helping students understand and visualize career paths. Often, students struggle to connect their school work with their future in the real world. For many children, a career dream — whether ultimately realized or not — is highly motivating. Consider asking your students to organize a career exploration initiative. Note that these events work well (maybe even better) virtually.
- How much do your students understand about the landscape of potential career paths?
- How can you help them connect the dots between their dream career and their education?
- Do you give equal emphasis to a full range of careers? Explain that many paths can be fulfilling ways to contribute to the social fabric? That not all fascinating paths require a four-year college degree?
- Walk the halls of your local high school and ask, “Do these kids get the message that the only admired path forward is college?” Does the school celebrate college acceptances, but not alternative paths forward (e.g., enlisting in the military, community service, a job or apprenticeship)?
A career exploration event can be a great start to building deeper connections to the surrounding community. Ask local organizations to
- Identify projects that your students can take on;
- Host students and teachers on a job shadowing experience;
- Share with educators and school boards the skills and mindsets that matter to employers;
- Offer internships and apprenticeships;
- Donate equipment;
- Make mentors available.
The very good news? Businesses and non-profits will often support your well-formulated requests. And there’s real benefit when a community comes together and builds healthy respect for different ways we contribute.