Academic Intervention - D. Reflection Questions

3. Academic Intervention

What assessment information did you use to analyze that helped evaluate the needs of the students? 

  • I didn’t use any formal assessment to determine that this particular student needed to complete a 4-Year plan, but instead just followed the state directive that all 8th grade students need to complete a 4-Year plan. To meet this requirement I met with all 8th grade students in a classroom setting to create their 4-Year plans for high school. As always there are students who are absent on those days so I took some time and caught up with them one on one. In this particular case this student hada set of unique circumstances that really required some thought and discussion about her future plans and her class schedule. 

Discuss what strategies and activities used to prepare students for a full range of postsecondary options and opportunities. 

  • Ideally students get exposed to a variety of things that help them determine their postsecondary goals. I personally am a huge fan of taking interest inventories to at least figure out a baseline of something that they can do. When students are in junior high it is really important that they do some exploration. They are just beginning to figure themselves out and really understand who they are. Some students don’t even get to that point until they are a bit older, but by answering some questions and taking a few surveys they can begin that process. 
  • In a non-covid world it would also be ideal for students to meet with individuals from a variety of different walks of life so that they can begin to understand all the different opportunities that are available to them. I would love to be able to host a career fair for our students where junior high students would be able to do some career exploration and high school students would be able to gain experiences either with interviews, job shadowing, or internships. This networking would be amazing for my students, and is something I hope I can implement in the future. 

How did students change as a result of the activity? 

  • In this particular example I was able to set down with this young lady and discuss some of her goals not only for high school but also her post-secondary goals. I knew that she was a very anxious student and was a bit nervous about talking with me and making decisions on her own. However, as we talked she relaxed a bit and was really able to share her thoughts and begin to make some decisions. 
  • The main change that happened during our meeting was that she was able to complete her 4-Year plan and submit it for approval. Like I said hers was a little weird because she took a semester of Geometry out of order, but she was able to make things fit and it turned out fine (at least until we go to schedule things!).

What interventions or tools did you use when working with students? 

  • Indiana Career Explorer is a really versatile program that can serve a lot of needs. I spent some time taking our school’s curriculum and exported it so that it was in the database for all of our students. This allowed them to go in and create an education plan where they were able to add classes from our curriculum to their 4-Year plan. This really mainstreamed the process because it limited students choices to just the classes that they were able to take. This reduction of choices really allowed students to see the larger picture without having to filter through stacks of papers and curriculum options. 
  • I also utilized a slideshow that I created to really walk students through each year step by step. This simplified the process even more to the point a student really had to read each line and make one choice at a time. This allowed students to be very effective and really the 4-Year plans did not take all that long to complete. 
  • Lastly I used some information provided by the state of Indiana to help explain the process of Graduation Pathways to students so they knew the requirements to graduate. This was a bit tricky, but there were a few nice infographics out there that helped to simplify the process. 

What worked? 

  • This process worked really well. If I had the time to really sit down with each student and individually walk them through the process of creating a 4-Year plan, I’m sure they would all learn a lot more and feel much more comfortable about the process. Unfortunately time constraints mean that I have to teach it as a classroom lesson and then catch the stragglers individually. 

What would you do differently next time? 

  • Next time that I work with a student 1 on 1 I would probably focus more on their post-secondary options and interest and allow that to guide our discussion. Instead I found myself rushing to make sure their schedule was going to work and losing track of the bigger picture. If I can remember that the student is the focus and not just getting my tasks done it will probably make things a little less tedious and more enjoyable. 

How has this activity impacted you?

  • I always enjoy consulting with students. As I mention in my career sections, I really enjoy talking with students about their futures. That was really my main driving force to entering this profession. Anytime I get a chance to sit down and talk with a kiddo one on one I am going to enjoy the experience. I’ve learned a lot about resources and experiences that I really think I can help students, but I have to be able to sit down and talk with them in order to share what I’ve learned. 

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