6 answers

How Can I help my kids decide their future?

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I am a study skills teacher from grades 9 - 12 and my kids are not all going to college. I would like to know that they will be ready for the employment world after leaving high school.
#education #teaching

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6 answers

Lorie’s Answer

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The best way that I feel that you can help your kids decide their future is by listening to them and saying what they like. Sometimes we have to ask questions to get answers because in most cases students won’t talk to you outwardly you kind of have to pull teeth to get answers in some cases.

College is not for everybody, college was not for my brother, college was not from my sister, but I could’ve stayed in there forever!! Knowing that it’s not for everybody is important but there are also tons of other things to consider like trade schools, or other professions that don’t require college such as truck driving or a banker just to name a few.

Help them realize the avenues like trade schools are not bad ( they sometimes can have a negative connotation to them) and you could make a really good living off of a trade career. On top of having a really good job you don’t have any student loans that you have to pay back so that’s like an added bonus!

I would for sure ask them what is they like to do, what they could see themselves doing in the next 10-15 years, what they’re passionate about, and what they’re excited about.

Some people genuinely don’t know and that’s OK, everybody that goes to college doesn’t know exactly what they’re going to do, I certainly didn’t! Overtime they will figure it out.

If they don’t have an idea right then and there, all you can do is be there for them as a sounding board or resource, they may come back after they’ve graduated or after they’ve moved on to another grade be there for them to help them talk through those things.

I have cousins that have made a living out of being in the military and they haven’t been overseas fighting in wars! Some are in Air Force! This is always a great option and depending on what you do you’ll never have to fight in the war, and you may even get to travel the world!

Lorie recommends the following next steps:

  • I will start by just asked him questions fillers there are also assessments and aptitude tests that can point a student in the right direction career wise. I would start with that as well!
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Mr. Ernst’s Answer

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Sylvia H,

Address the elephant in the room early who wants to go to college, who does not and why?

Mr. Ernst recommends the following next steps:

  • Nurture them.
  • Communicate to their parents.
  • Explain the pros of pursuing higher education.
  • Promote trades of beneficial factors to them.
  • Advise & counsel them with precise discretion when necessary.
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Laura’s Answer

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I would use tools that are available online; the department of labor has video libraries and profiles on tons of careers. Mynextmove.org offers a free online interest assessment based in the RAISEC that can provide both a list of jobs and labor market data.

Incorporate occupational research into your lesson planning. Have students do projects around a day in life of a _____. Include interviews, job shadowing, etc.

Also incorporate Job readiness skills into your curriculum, such as resume writing and interview skills. Your local American Job Center May be able to coordinate with you to provide instruction and/or lesson plans.

Check with your local American Job Center; these are found all across the country and are sponsored by the US Department of Labor. They may be able to help you set up internships and volunteer opportunities. They may also have a lot of resources and suggestions for you. Workforce development and education go hand in hand, so look for area organizations like Job Corps and other youth programs that are career and work oriented.

If your students aren’t college bound, seek out other types of programs that may be more suitable. You may consider touching base with vocational rehabilitation if you’re working with students with disabilities.

You can also try connecting with area businesses and your local chamber of commerce to see if they have a youth program, or if they’re willing to establish one. I have a child with mild autism and was able to set him up with a couple of local businesses as an intern over the summer.

Laura recommends the following next steps:

  • Reach out to youth programs, such as a job Corps
  • Reach out to your area American Job Center
  • Use Interest Profile Assessments like MyNextMove.org
  • Integrate career exploration and job readiness into your curriculum
  • Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or area small business networks
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G. Mark’s Answer

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Encourage them to eventually take a career personality profile, like RIASE. The idea is to not test a kid on what specific skills they've acquired or test preparation they've done. The idea is to assess the kid's personality to see how closely it maps to folks who are successful in various careers. Some of the questions may even seem out of left field. But these tests are remarkably successful in not only predicting what a kid will be good at, but how much they will enjoy it. The results may be surprising. I, for example, apparently matched physicist, engineer, psychiatrist, entertainer and park ranger. I never did end up working alongside Yogi and BooBoo, but I did end up very happy. These types of tests will make you more confident that your kids will be happy as well as successful. And happy is big in my book.

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Lissette’s Answer

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Hi there! Honestly, just ask. Your kids may or may not already know what they want to do. Listening to their wants and needs Vs. telling them they need to go to school just because will make a whole lot of difference in their lives. I have many family members who are doing alright out there in the world without college experience.

Lissette recommends the following next steps:

  • Sit down with children and have the discussion about future. If they don’t know, that’s okay!!!. Try putting yourself in their shoes.
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Karen’s Answer

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Encourage them to explore a lot of different careers by searching online or talking to adults who enjoy what they are doing. Volunteering at various organizations is another way to gain exposure to a variety of organizations and positions.


As others have said, kids don't need to plan their future in detail, but the more they can be open to possibilities, the greater their chance of being successful and happy.


With every good wish!

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