Middle school career-related learningAs your children enter middle school, they are also ready to begin career exploration. Career exploration helps them personalize the world of work through research and experience. It explores the questions "Who am I?" and "Where might I go with my life and learning?"
By seventh grade, your children will begin to build an education plan. In order to do so, they will engage in activities that help them learn more about themselves in relationship to work. They might explore whether they prefer to work with data and information, people, or things - and then connect their preference to occupations or a broad career area. They might take a formal career assessment that helps them learn about their personality type - are they more realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional. They might be asked to research different career fields, interview people about their work, or shadow someone on the job.
By eighth grade, you and your students will be asked to think about the transition to high school. Your children will set some broad career goals - which career focus areas they want to pursue, what they want to do after high school, what other activities they want to engage in. Their education plan will also look at the kinds of classes that will be important to their goals. At this stage, the more your children learn about what it takes to achieve their dreams, the better prepared they will be for making the most out of high school.
You can support career-related learning at your children's middle school by:
- Finding out about the career-related learning goals and programs at the school.
- Talking about the education planning activities with your children.
- Helping your children reflect on what they are learning about themselves and their options.
- Reaching out to teachers and guidance counselors when you have questions or concerns about the goals and plans your children are setting.
- Helping your children find and connect to adults who share their interests or career field.
- Participating in career events and activities as a volunteer.
- Talking to your employer and other acquaintances when the school needs the larger community to participate in an event.