Career Choices and Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Good morning, Parents.

As the parent of two high school aged students myself, I feel it is really important for students to think about possible career choices beginning already in their freshmen year.  I know that selecting a career, and being right, can be very difficult.   Even if sufficient time is invested in considering options, those decisions could turn out to be wrong down the road.  However, I also think we would all agree that the more carefully these decisions are considered, the higher the likelihood they will be right.   I’m  sure we all understand that when students change their minds about careers in the middle of training programs or college, it can be very costly in terms of both time and money.  We would all prefer that our children could avoid changing directions, but we also understand that at times it just cannot be prevented.  The goal, however, is to prepare as well as possible during the high school years to improve our chances of getting it right.  With that being said, it would be impossible to consider career choices fully, based on aptitudes and areas of interests, without the involvement of parents in the process.  You know your children best.  You know what they are good at, what they enjoy, and you have a deeper understanding of workforce realities.  It just seems obvious that as parents we must play an integral role in guiding and questioning our children about their choices for the future.  Furthermore, I think it is important that parents continually bring this topic up for discussion because there seems to be a somewhat natural tendency on the part of young people to avoid thinking about things that can at times feel uncertain, and as a result, a little scary.  As parents, it seems we need to play a central role in keeping the topic on the table.  
It is our hope that the Student-Led Conferences can either, begin this process for you and your child, or continue to move it forward.  Your children will be researching and preparing a 15 minute presentation for you that is focused on their future, career choices and preparations.  (Seniors will be focused on transition from high school to the next steps in their lives.)  They will be doing this preparation during their homeroom time the week of January 30-February 3 under the guidance of their assigned teacher.  Then on the evenings of February 6th and 7th, we will have 20 minute conferences where your student will present their current choices and analysis, after which there will be a little time to ask questions and discuss related issues.  We hope this process will help students to be more intentional in making these critical decisions, and we also hope it will formally continue this important and on-going conversation between students and parents.  
Our teachers are beginning to set up conference times.  They will contact you directly to set up the best time for you on February 6 or 7.  In general, we plan to set up most of the conferences between 4-6 pm, which will allow us to have drop in conferences like we did in the past from 6-7 pm.   Of course if you need an earlier or later time, we will be as accommodating as possible. 
We are looking forward to seeing the parents of all of our Freshmen, Sophomores and Seniors on February 6th and 7th.  We will do everything we can to make these conferences meaningful and a very good use of your time.  
Have a great week,