Middle School Career Exploration
Middle school is a time of exploration. Students are in a period of physical, personal, and social change. As adults, we can use this naturally occurring "cycle of change" to provide them with opportunities to explore various disciplines before having to focus on high school graduation requirements. Elective choices in middle school give students the opportunity to experience other subjects which may be of interest to them. An elective choice of today may become a career of tomorrow.
At Lake Braddock, we focus on helping students identify their strengths through an activity called “Strengths Explorer”. Students access this on Family Connection through their Blackboard 24/7 site. All seventh grade students complete this and use it to help them connect their personal strengths to possible future careers. Eighth grade students learn about Career Clusters. After completing an inventory inquiring about student interests and abilities, they are matched to career cluster and can search within those for specific careers.
All middle school students create a SMART goal each year through Family Connection. Since lessons are held in December, we ask students to create a SMART goal about the second quarter. The purpose of this activity is to help students learn how to create and achieve SMART goals. They are asked to write SMART goals in many of their academic classes. The experience we provide for them gives students an opportunity to work freely on any school area in which they’d like to increase their achievement.
SMART goals are defined as:
- Specific: What specific thing will you accomplish?
- Measureable: How will you know when you have accomplished this goal?
- Achievable: Is this goal realistic? Do you have the tools you need to achieve it?
- Relevant: Why is this goal important in your life?
- Timely: When can you achieve this goal?
Career Lesson Delivery
Students receive one career lesson per year through their math class. School counselors deliver these lessons. Students may or may not receive their lesson through their specific team counselor. The lessons require one full class period to complete all of the tasks assigned through Family Connection.