“I think that teachers ought to be talking to students about future jobs starting in preschool. Students don’t have to stick with a particular idea, but they should have a hypothesis that gives meaning to the academic work they do. I also think kids are fascinated by the work that adults do, and that they should have a lot more short-and long-form nonfiction reading about the work that adults do – about the work that they might do when they become adults.” Matt Greenfield in “Investing to Transform Education.”
I agree with Mr. Greenfield’s suggestion because I also feel that when students have a greater awareness of potential career options or pathways for themselves, it does “give meaning to the academic work they do.” As educators, we have talked a lot about relevance being a key factor in engaging students in the learning process, and I think this attention on career exploration and decisions, coming at students from all directions (parents and teachers), is a great way to help students see how what they are learning now is preparing them for their futures. This focus is not just Mr. Cole’s job in the guidance department, it is an area where all of the adults in a young person’s life can support them in making one of the really big decisions in life. It only makes sense that a decision of the magnitude of our life’s work be one that students research and contemplate very carefully with the guidance of their parents and teachers.
Our goal at OHS is not to encourage every student to go to college. Our goal is to work hand in hand with parents to push every student to give serious thought to what they wish to do after high school. And furthermore, the bigger part of that goal is to work hard to make sure all of our students are fully prepared for the next steps in their lives as it relates to pursuing the careers of their choice.
Have a great week,