First, some context. I am a first year teacher in California teaching a brand new careers course at my high school's ninth grade academy. Basically, it is a semester-long course where students are working through various activities (including meeting and discussing with professionals from various fields in my community) in order to answer three fundamental questions: Who am I? What do I want? How do I get it?
So far it's been a fun and insightful way to get to know my students as well as the community in which they live. By the end of the course they will have created a plan for where they want to be in ten years. This plan details their passions, work values, and skills; their desired lifestyle and the career(s) that they feel will best satisfy their needs; their plan for how they will graduate high school (my district has a very high drop-out rate that we are working on reducing by targeting ninth graders), and their plans for their post-secondary life. And while the curriculum is not without some faults, I feel it's an important class for first-year high school students.
Okay. Now a question. What is happening at your high school in regards to career planning? I'm curious to know what other high schools around the country are doing to get their students to focus on their future not just beyond high school, but beyond college. I have a feeling that career courses like mine are being rolled out in most states. Please share with me, a brand new, first year, slightly anxiety-ridden teacher!