Saturday, February 15, 2014

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP: Helping High School Students Find Their Strengths

 Even though I have graduated five students, I still have two high school students at home. One is a junior, one is a sophomore.

For many high school students, one of the most difficult questions to answer is, "What do you want to do for a job, or what are you going to do after high school?"

Because it seems to be expected, students often say they are going to college. This, of course, begs the question, "What are you going to study?", another dreaded question for most, but not all, students.

With the increasing expense of college, I want to help my students discover where their interests really lie, what jobs will pay a living wage, and what they can do now to prepare.

Perhaps what they want to do doesn't really require a college degree. Perhaps technical training would be better. Perhaps on the job training would be more beneficial.

To that end, I had my students answer some questions this week to help them find their strengths.

We sat down at the table and they answered these questions:

    What are your hobbies?
    What jobs have you done, paid and volunteer?
    What are your talents?
    What are your skills?
    What people do you like to work with? (particular age, culture, need)
    What motivates you?
    Where do you a see a need?

After answering these questions, we brainstormed how the answers could be used to start something or get involved somewhere. I asked them this question:

    How can you use the information above to help others?

My 17 year old is formulating a plan that will require him to take leadership on a project. It is not the same plan I mentioned a couple weeks ago. I will keep you posted as the details develop. Maybe it will help you and your student.

My 15 year old is still thinking about it, but she has a little more time.

What do you have your students do to help them prepare for life after high school?

Ask your students the above questions and brainstorm ways they can use that information to do something or start something now.

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