Career Development - D. Reflection

4. Career Development

How did students change as a result of the lesson? 

  • Since this was a one day lesson, I decided to just collect data from students after our activity. These students are currently Juniors at FJSHS and are preparing to enter into their Senior year. At this point they have almost all completed a career and college prep class and have nearly completed their diploma requirements, so it made sense to target them for a day long lesson about careers.
  • Again since this was just a 45 minute lesson, I am not sure there was any life-changing revelations that happened in our time together. However I was able to notice an increase in discussions about their future careers and areas of study. This is a topic that many 17 and 18 year olds are more than willing to discuss, simply because they are interested in where life is going to take them in the next few years. I did notice an increase in the number of students who were also asking questions about classes that they should take and colleges that they should look into for their specific careers.

What worked? 

  • This lesson was pretty simple, and when you have a simple lesson, there’s less that can go wrong! In this case things were pretty fool-proof. We navigated to Indiana Reality Check and spent a few minutes going through those prompts. After a brief discussion of who was the most high maintenance and who was the most frugal we moved on to using Indiana Career Explorer. 
  • Indiana Career Explorer was useful to the students because many of them had forgotten about it. They’ve all used it either in Jr. High or in their high school Prep for College and Career class, but that has been several years ago for most of them. Refreshing their minds to this gives them to chance to use this tool much closer to their actual graduation and subsequent entrance to college or to the workforce.

What would you do differently next time? 

  • I think this lesson could be much more meaningful, simply taking a couple of surveys can be helpful but if we just stop there then I don’t think the students are getting all of the feedback that they could. If time would allow it would be neat to take a few days and to do some brief summary interviews with these students or at least follow-up meetings. This would allow for them to share their thoughts and ideas about their post-secondary plans. It would also allow for us as school counselors to really expose them to all the resources that we have at our disposal. I think this is something that I would definitely like to do in the future, and I am sure that it will benefit our students.
  • The other thing that I think I would do differently is a partner project were students switch computers or share information with each other. The idea is that students could help each other figure out all of the different information that goes along with their selected career. They can help each other find information on college that match their interests, job openings, educational requirements etc. This would be a good way for all students to learn a bit more about finding career information and about helping each other.

How has this activity impacted you?

  • As I mentioned before I really do enjoy working with students on their college and career exploration experiences. Sitting down with students taking a look at their interests and all of their experiences and setting some goals is a really neat experience. It is especially nice when you can see student who has graduated and you can see all the progress that they have made towards their career goals. Some of them have even completely changed their goals and are no longer even remotely interested in what they used to be.
  • I enjoyed this particular lesson because it was with a group of honors students that I usually don’t get to work with, but they were students of mine when I was teaching last year. It was a lot of fun to be able to connect with these students again and to freshen some relationships that have been dormant. We were able to spend a few minutes talking about them and what all has happened since this time last year when they were my students. That catching up made me really happy and proud of all the things that my students have accomplished. 

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