After creating academic, personal/social, and career SMART goals and a 6-part resume in the classroom setting, students will participate in mock interviews with real community/business professionals. The counseling team will coordinate inviting community partnerships to interview students based on pre-defined popular interview questions. Because our students will also select a career cluster of interest at the beginning of the school year, we can work to match each student with a professional who represents his or her career interest. One skill discussed in the classroom lessons can be about verbal and non-verbal professionalism, helping our students develop good communication and first impression skills. This activity combines the academic component of writing resumes and public speaking, the personal/social component of creating and pursuing goals, and the career component of demonstrating professionalism and civic responsibility.
ACT’s report “The Forgotten Middle” urges schools to begin serious college and career preparation in grades 6-8. This report suggests that “in the current educational environment middle school is a critical defining point for students in the college- and career- readiness process, one so important that if students are not on target for college and career readiness by the time they reach this point the impact may be nearly irreversible,” (Patterson, ASCA, 2014). Therefore, it is imperative that we seek to get more students on target for college and career readiness by the end of 8th grade, so they are prepared to maximize the the four years of high school.
If my students can leave my school feeling more confident to chase their dreams and advocate for their needs and goals, I am confident that they will break the cycle of poverty in our community. My ultimate goal is for the 7th and 8th grade students I teach about the art of interviewing to feel confident in the job search process and more determined to pursue their college and career aspirations. The impact of this process grows exponentially over time as the students begin realizing their bright futures.
By helping our students learn valuable interviewing skills, teachers and counselors work together to inspire kids to reach for their goals, feel motivated to pursue quality college and career opportunities, and advocate for their civic voice to be heard.
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