A Glimpse into Their Future
by Nancy Battet
The Guidance Oriented Approach to learning (GOAL), and the Academic and Career Guidance Content (ACGC), both components of the Quebec Education Program (MEES) emphasize that educational success is enhanced as students learn about and integrate career and life plans into their educational experiences.
These programs allow students, beginning in cycle 3 elementary school, to better understand their interests, values, aptitudes, and aspirations and begin to make links between how their interests may help to guide them in their educational and career choices in their future.
Students today are living in a technology-based society where over 70% of jobs they may have in their future are yet to be created. It is important that students see the relevance to their learning and how what they are studying in school can be applied to the world outside the classroom and the career choices they will make in future. As well as knowledge gained throughout their schooling, students have access to a wealth of information on the Internet and social media and they want to share their voice.
“Don’t ask a student what they want to be when they grow up –ask them what problem they want to solve” (Quote by Jaime Casap, Google Educator).
It is important for students to recognize not only the importance of their academic strengths and choices, but also their soft skills such Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration, and Citizenship. Students are naturally curious problem solvers, especially if they are given the opportunity to be leaders in their schools and communities. Students understand and want to learn more about global issues such as global warming, social justice, LGBTQ rights, and homelessness, to name a few. They want to be “changemakers”.
It is important that students understand the many educational pathways so they can learn the value of the skilled trades, as well as other important pathways such as three-year technical programs and two-year pre-University programs. Throughout high school students have many opportunities through their teachers and Guidance Counselors to explore these pathways.
In partnership with Pearson Partnership program, many elementary schools have events where guests are invited to speak to students about their careers. Students learn not only information about various careers, but that all careers are dependent on each other. For example, the Arts and Sciences are intertwined. Nothing in this world can be created without the mind of an artist, and nor can anything be built, tested, or designed without the expertise of an engineer and scientist. As well, if students are interested in a business career, perhaps in Marketing and Sales, there is a strong Arts component when designing web sites, logos, and creative packaging.
There are many important messages from professionals who speak at career days. Recently when guests spoke about their careers at Maple Grove elementary, a scientist spoke of her love for rocks while growing up and how she dreamed of being an artist. Today, in her role with NASA, she studies and does research on rocks collected on Mars through the NASA Curiosity Rover.
Recently, Pearson Partnership teamed up with two elementary schools, Maple Grove and Mount Pleasant, on two separate days on the zoom platform to host grade 6 career days.
Frank Caraccilo, Practicing artist and Arts Consultant for LBPSB participated in both career days and said ‘I so enjoy career day and sharing my background with students and exposing them to the many creative fields in the Arts they may not have thought of. What always strikes me is their curiosity and interaction.
Vicky Lazaris, grade 6 teacher at Maple Grove has done career days for 6 years. “Every year we do the interest survey with students and the follow up with career day it reminds me how these activities support the students in understanding themselves better and how it can help them make meaningful choices in their future,” said Lazaris.
Keneth Richer Hall, grade 6 student shared his experience by saying “Career day was a very inspirational experience. We met so many great people with so much experience in their line of work. I got so many ideas of what I want to be when I am older and I’m sure my classmates did too.”