The new common core standards are on the near horizon and one of the key components is that we need to help prepare students for both College AND Career. We have done a fairly nice job of preparing students for College over the years, but what of Career?
I absolutely LOVE this!!! I will never forget when I went to work for a high school with a larger than normal dropout rate. After careful examination of the situation, it became apparent than many of the students were very bright, some even gifted, but were simply lost in the sea of poor or lost funding. That is to say that with budget cuts the arts were extinct. Many of the classes that inspire or begin the process of laying the groundwork for careers were non-existent.
With the help of an awesome school counselor and leaders who wanted to make a new path, I was able to create some classes for my students. We had art class where student’s explored and excelled in areas they were passionate about; a technology class where students designed their own web pages and blogged. (this was way before blogging was cool!) One student even started his own car detailing business! The student’s were very excited about this process and were absolutely able to make “real world connections”.
Now Common Core is giving schools the green light to say this is important as well. The question is how will we get there?
Below are the Common Core College and Career Readiness Standards:
- Demonstrate Independence
- Build Strong Content Knowledge
- Respond to varying demands of task performance and discipline
- Comprehend as well as critique
- Value evidence
- Use Technology and digital media strategically and capably
- Understand others perspectives and cultures
How teachers embed these standards into their practices may look a little different depending upon the grade level taught!
Here are a few ideas to ponder…
Consider asking students what they believe they need. I recently heard a Podcast from a colleague of mine Jerri Kemble. She was talking about students in her school that had a dream to start a coffee shop. They started it in the school. Talk about real world connections!!!
I was thinking about all the possible things we as educators could do to get students thinking about their future. And guide them toward the path that is a good fit for them as individuals? What opportunities might they have within the walls of the school that with a little planning and creativity, seeds might be planted, watered with a little creativity and something beautiful would grow?
- Print shop
- Scientific research lab
- Alterations shop
- Accounting firm
- Art Studio
- Car detailing business
- Snack shack or coffee shop
- Construction or welding business
The possibilities are endless!!! Of course most of these would take place at the high school level, but what types of conversations might we begin having with our K-8 students to prime them in setting the stage for those that choose a career oriented option?
As we launch into this era where common core, technology, and real world connections, I challenge you to be thinking – perhaps planning right now for how this might look in YOUR school!
College and Career Readiness: What does it mean?
***Tune in next time “What’s writing got to do with it?”***