As the school counselor for over six hundred students in a low-income, urban, school district. I see students from all types of families and income levels. Our school has one hundred percent of our students receiving free breakfast and lunch everyday.
As an elementary school, we should be a place where students can share their feelings openly and honestly without fear of being bullied and ridiculed.
In our school, I feel our students do help each other out when things happen. One student went home and bought a pair of shoes for his friend because his pair was ripped and he knew that his family could not afford to get a new pair.
Our neighborhood school is a place for students to feel safe and well loved. Most of our students have known each other since birth and their parents have grown up in the same neighborhood.
The state of Pennsylvania has mandated career counseling to be done in all levels of education. As a school counselor of two of the elementary schools in our district, I am looking how I can make career counseling engaging so the students' interest sparks. I have learned that different books, puppets and other props help engage students in kindergarten to fifth grade on the topic being taught. Currently, we do not have any books or puppets that are specific to the topic of careers.
Building a child's spark toward their interests, helps them start to guide themselves toward a career choice.
One way that is done is through a career fair; however, that is limited to only the presenters that come to the fair. The books will help expand the choices and show my students what they can do when they grow up if they put their minds to it. The puppets will be used in kindergarten to have students understand what different careers are out there and how to recognize some of them. One of the lessons I will use is playing a game to see what they can identify by what the puppet is wearing.
Why start Career Counseling in elementary school? The reason is to start building a child's "Spark" through their interests and knowledge of what different careers do. Many children state they want to be an athlete, musician or actor, which they do not always realize how education is important to those careers. These materials will help engage my students in other new ways.
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