Thursday, May 2, 2013

#ESCchat #3 Career Education 5/2/13

My head is spinning-- in a good way! I learned so many new ideas to promote career education in my elementary school! Tonight, future and current school counselors (and friends in related professions) joined together on Twitter for our #escchat. To read the whole chat as it took place, check out our Storify transcript. Here is a summary of questions & answers:

==>Q1: Think back to your own experiences. Who/What inspired you to pursue your career?

  • My aunt and uncle inspired me, they were both school psycs. I originally wanted to be a social worker, but they changed my mind.
  • My grandfather was a "guidance" counselor. I think I discovered my own path via a psych major & love of kids!
  • I coached college baseball for years, got MA in counseling along the way. People mgmt is paramount in both.
  • I interned during college at an elementary school and it inspired me to become a school psych.
  • We all need mentors in our lives to guide us in the right direction. I was lucky to have two early mentors help a great deal.
  • Class in HS inspired me to be in psych, advisor at internship inspired me to do SC, other advisor got me into admissions.
  • Mentors are so important! I run a mentor program for my school. Wish I had enough mentors for all students!
==>Q2: Why is it important to provide education about career opportunities for students, even as young as elementary?

  • I think it helps kids understand the roles of those involved in helping professions and shows them a different path.
  • Educating them early re: career exploration is huge. Wish I had resources like this back when I was in school.
  • Volunteering and community service helps as well.
  • In most schools I've been in students don't know they can go to college/succeed. Career talk lets them know we believe in them.
  • Kids need exposure to all of the possibilities that are out there. That can include rich experiences in their classes too.
  • We can help set kids up with that thinking early on. And families too!
  • is a great career exp. tool for elem/middle school. Interactive and fun.
  • Great website! Also, Paws in Jobland great for elementary career exploration.
==>Q3: Let’s chat about Career Day! Do you have one in your school? If so/not, what makes (or would make) it effective?

  • Haven't experienced it yet but there's one in place. I'm in small-town, agriculture is big, 4H could be great exp for kids.
  • Some of my favorite models are the wax model career days where kids dress like their career and talk about it when touched.
  • Our career day is at our middle school in 8th grade. I usually break out the test kits to give kids a sample of school psycs.
  • I haven't launched my own yet-- 1st year in my building, but would LOVE to. Lucky to have involved parents who would volunteer!
==>Q4: Already shared some, but what are some more ideas for other school-wide career ed events besides Career Day? 

  • Guest speakers, project board where students design career pages. Collab. w/art teachers.
  • Career portfolios--make an age appropriate resume, project about career, interest inventory, four year plan, etc.
  • What about a career door decorating contest? Each room picks a careers, decorate doors w/ info. 
  • Our 8th grade also has a class called "Futures" designed at exploring various careers.
  • We have been just beginning to dig into career cruising for hs and ms. 
  • Paws in Jobland for elem!
==>Q5: What can be done to break down gender (and other?) stereotypes in career education?

  • The biggest problem is gender roles in STEM. We don't have enough girls interested in STEM subjects, we have to encourage them!
  • Kids base what they know on people they know. Bring in male nurses, female construction workers, minority business owners, etc.
==>Q6: FOLLOW UP- How can we start getting girls interested in #STEM in early years? 

  • I think having female scientists in the school on a regular basis or field tripping to visit one would be great.
  • 'm focused on that issue with my own daughter. Encouraging her to take risks in STEM areas, museums, making it fun.
  • For the "girly girls" out there-- 
  • A big part of it is letting girls know what options are available in those fields. So many misconceptions about STEM.
  • It's about constantly sending the message that there are no gender specific subjects. That we all have potential in all areas.
  • Early encouragement is KEY in making all professions gender equal! Compliment brains as much as beauty for both genders!
  • I'm a advocate 4 modeling behavior/aspirations. Would job shadows, job fairs with females in roles outside of the stereotypical.
  • There are a number of scholarships and organizations out there that help encourage STEM careers for females. 
==>Q7: How can we encourage teachers to integrate career/college ed into other subjects? Specific/General ideas?

  • Kids buy in to things they think they can use later in life -- teachers who can make it applicable may have more participation.
  • Let teachers know how career/college ed meets their teaching standards.
  • Just concentrating on engaging lessons in subjects will do the trick. When S's are engaged, they become interested in careers.
  • Maybe encourage them to spend a little time in each subject/topic area to research history and career path of key figures.
  • The first one that comes to mind is Science Fair. Maybe explaining how different science investigations lead to careers.
==>Q8: What school-wide events can we run to introduce post-secondary education options for kids?

  • Local colleges come to HS, MS participates just to see what it's about.
  • A simple "Wear College Gear Day" would be a good start. Students can ask teachers questions about their experiences!
  • Have each class or grade be a different college. They can be that mascot and have contests against other "colleges".
  • Field trips to colleges would be helpful, too.
  • Mock college fair-parents/teacher represent their colleges/trades, students walk through.
  • Having a good connection with local community and 4-year colleges can be helpful, so they can make presentations to S's.
  • A teacher who runs recess football/kickball leagues names teams after college teams- great taste of college sports!
  • We had a College Madness Week this yr. Teachers filled out forms about their college experiences for a bulletin board.
  •  If there is a college nearby, invite college students to volunteer and make a presence in the school.
  • We brought college students in to the HS do a college panel. The seniors loved the "real life" talk.
  • We had an alum come back (he's in med school) and talked about his projects in Haiti. Powerful stuff!
  • We also had a scavenger hunt. Find which teacher did ___ in college or went to ___ college or worked as ___ before teaching.
Did you miss this chat but have questions/comments on the topic? Feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or join the convo anytime at #escchat! 


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