I came across this article that touches upon the very heart of what our high school students and recent graduates are dealing with as they maneuver through the vast opportunities that lie before them, yet for some reason it seems enough is not being done to help students make these very crucial decisions. This four part series that was posted by Global News touches on the following :
Failure to launch kids" Canadian students are not prepared for adulthood
Students are not ready to face the challenges of adulthood due to the lack of knowlege and the skills needed to carry out every day responsibilities (I do not mean attending classes at the post-secondary level - they have attained that skill over the past 12 years of K-12 school). Students can solve a complex math problem but may not know how to set up a bank account or do their tax return. Practical and theoretical knowledge need to be taught hand in hand. The bottom line, students have not figured out what they want to do after high school, we need to provide all the options - college, university, work, gap year for life experience, all of these avenues are viable options.
One size does not fit all, Canadian campuses need better mental health services
Students need to be heard and they need to know that they are not alone, saying you are OK when you really are not needs to be addressed. It is OK to not be OK and be able to say it out loud. Mental illness and suicide rates have increased drastically - this ties in with the demand for more counsellors to be available to help students when they are seeking guidance.
University is not better than college, then why is it getting all the glory
In my years of counselling high school students I give equal weight to both university and college. Colleges provide both hands on training alongside the theory with very positive results. Universities are beginning to understand the benefits of joint co-op programs that can be integrated with degree programs.
Canadian school counsellors are stretched thin, and it's our students that suffer
This final article deals with what school counsellors face on a daily basis within the high school and post-secondary settings. The question that comes to mind is how can we effectively, as counsellors, schools,and parents help the next generations be ready for adulthood? The age old question "What do you want to be when you grow up" needs to be refreshed, or asked in a different way, It is such a broad question with no real guidance for open communication. The answer is usually IDK (I don't know).
Global News (September 17, 24, October 1 and October 8)
Recently I spent time putting together a bulletin board that is highlighting a upcoming Career Fair. But this is not just a design that just happens overnight for me, it takes time to plan, to create, to map out and then produce. Throughout the course of the day there was excitement and anticipation and such positive comments of bringing a huge concept into a small space. This is a very prominent bulletin board that will be viewed by all ages Kindergarten to age 99 because of the location. Everybody loves Dr. Seuss. This book touches on more than just the multitude of pathways in life, he talks about the challenges, the ups and downs, the bumps and valleys, the highs and the lows, the choices that we make - some good and some not so good. Everybody can relate no matter the age.
Recently I came across an idea of creating a Career board that showcases staff members and what type of employment they had during their high school years. What I found fascinating is that the trends of job employment of yesteryear are very similar to the job employment of our young people today..
Usually when you post a bulletin board in a school environment you are displaying the hard work of young and talented students as they progress through the grades. So in a school that starts in Kindergarten to Grade 12 there is lots of diversity in learning. I have actually never seen a bulletin board where students and staff are asked to interact with what is being displayed. But I decided to do something different.
Each silhouette has a job description and students and staff get the opportunity to guess who did what back in the day when our staff were in high school. This particular group being displayed are people within administration, IT. Library and Finance. Over the next few months I will be featuring different divisions within our school community. These staff members worked in grocery stores, babysat, worked for Mom and Dad, cut grass, had a paper route, worked as a waitress, farm hands, gas jockeys, bible camp counselors. So many of the jobs they had back in the day are so relevant today.
I love working at a Kindergarten - Grade 12 school. I have the opportunity to watch students begin their educational journey and then be a part of the graduation exercises when they embark on a new and exciting journey. A journey into the big unknown in which some will know exactly what to do and some will need a little bit of time. I was walking down the hall the other day and had to stop and take this picture. This is what graduation is all about, dreaming big and having the confidence to be able to take that next step, whether it be post-secondary education, working, travelling, or taking a gap year until you can figure it out. As I have mentioned before, all of these options are OK.