Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Career Month - Spread it out to save counselor sanity

As I mentioned in a post at the beginning of the month we are focusing on April is STEMazing. It was my goal for every student in the school to have the opportunity to listen and ask questions of a worker in a STEM occupation. Learning about a career from someone who actually does the job is a very valuable activity. These career visitors in kindergarten through grade 2 are arranged by the teachers. The presenters speak to one class at a time and most only talked to one class but a few were generous and did two. I let the upper grades decide what would work best for their schedule with the understanding they would need to stay in the rooms to monitor behavior. My third grade team chose the Career Cafe format which we have used for several years. There are 4 teachers on the team and an extra class near (which I could monitor) by so I got 5 volunteers and students had a choice of who to hear during lunch. In grade 4 we have 3 classes and an extra room so students picked one of the four but they chose to do it the last 30 minutes of a day. In grade 5 we have only 3 classes so they chose an hour one Friday morning and had students attend all 3 and the students moved every 20 minutes. I asked the teams to spread it out so I had one of theses event a week in April to coordinate which did not have a major impact on the other components of the counseling program. I gave pre-post surveys to all teachers which they had students complete the last week of March and have begun the post-surveys this week. I taught all students a lesson on careers this month with a focus on the STEM cluster. This is our beautiful STEM Bulletin Board created by my fantastic volunteer. I still need to add some pictures of our career visitors. It serves as a reminder about STEM occupations and a thank you to our volunteers. I totally send the message to my staff that career development is a joint responsibility of counselors and teachers just like character education. I will ask teachers and the Advisory Council for feedback if they liked the career visitors concentrated in one month (my preference) or if we should go back to spreading it out next year. 

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