Career Guidance - Creating Career Relevance for Core Courses
By Shantele Raper
As standardized testing has taken the front line in our schools, we are finding enrichment opportunities, vocational training, and career guidance has periodically been moved into an area of formidable lesser priority. Administrators and core teachers are compassionate to our calling to provide career guidance, but continue to closely guard their instructional time in math and literacy schedules. As career counselors strive to build their programs, it is difficult to create “buy in” from an already overwhelmed school staff. It seems everyone has their own priority.
Business and industry continue to plea with the education system to ensure graduates are career ready. Soft skills, such as simple punctuality to in-depth problem solving crest their wish lists of employability skills. Our goal as educators is to provide experiences and opportunities which ultimately produce skills and abilities that allow our students to become viable citizens.
As career professionals we can help teachers provide an answer for the age-old question students seem to ask, “Why do we have to know this?” As we learn more about Generation Z, we are finding they are looking for “the why” before they invest their effort. This group is quicker to catch on, but just as quick to turn away if our message is not clear and relevant to their current circumstances in life.
What Can Career Counselors in Schools Do?
As counselors and educators collaborate, they can offer a holistic approach that helps integrate work place skills within the math and literacy curriculum. This team approach will answerstudents' question, “Why do I have to know this?”
Shantele Raper, GCDFI, has been passionate about Career and Technical Education since she started teaching Business Education in 2002. Her career path led her to Career Guidance where she has served in various leadership positions including, Arkansas Career Guidance Association and Arkansas Career Development Association. She currently works as Instructional Technology Director at Osceola School District and as a Career Development Facilitator Instructor with Knowledge Works. She has a MSE in Business Technology from Arkansas State University and is currently pursuing an EdS in Leadership and Administration. She received the Arkansas Career Orientation Teacher of the Year award in 2009 and she is a National Board Certified Teacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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