53. Using A Scope And Sequence In Career Lessons

Today I am taking you on a journey into the world of teaching careers to our youngest learners.

Episode Highlights:

Kindergarten Dreams:

  • Discover how I introduce our littlest explorers to the heroes of our communities. From firefighters with their trusty axes to gardeners with magic green thumbs, kindergarten is a world of wonder!

First Grade Adventures:

  • Explore the magic of matching careers to skills. Join me as I help students uncover their own unique talents and interests, connecting the dots between dream jobs and the qualities that make them shine.

Second Grade Discoveries:

  • Delve into the realm of career training. I shed light on the different paths our students can take, introducing the concept of college and specialized programs that turn passions into professions.

Third Grade Insights:

  • It’s all about multiple intelligences! Join me in uncovering the diverse smarts within each student, guiding them towards careers that align with their strengths and passions.

Fourth Grade Expeditions:

  • Take a tour of workplaces! From bustling town halls to the heart of a school, I paint a vivid picture of the varied careers that await our young adventurers. Who knows where their passions will lead?

Fifth Grade Discoveries:

  • Dive into the world of career interest inventories! I share how students take the reins, identifying their aspirations and diving into research to uncover the perfect path for their future selves.

Sixth Grade Preparations:

  • Get ready for the next chapter! I discuss career clusters, advanced training options, and the exciting journey towards informed decision-making as students prepare for the road ahead.

???? Free Career Lesson! ????

  • Dive into a treasure trove of career exploration with my specially crafted lesson! Available for download from the show notes until March 29th!!! Don’t miss this chance to spark curiosity and ignite passion in your students!

Free Lesson: 4th Grade Career Lesson



Carol: You're listening to the counselor chat podcast, a show for school counselors looking for easy to implement strategies, how to tips, collaboration, and a little spark of joy. I'm Carol Miller, your host. I'm a full time school counselor and the face behind counseling essentials. I'm all about creating simplified systems, data driven practices, and using creative approaches to age students. If you're looking for a little inspiration to help you make a big impact on student growth and success, you're in the right place because we're better together. Ready to chat? Let's dive in.

Carol: Hi, everyone. It's Carol. Welcome back to another episode of Counselor Chat. Last week, if you joined me, we talked all about talking about future planning with our students and why it's so important, and I want to continue our discussion on that today. More specifically, I really want to talk about how we can teach careers to our elementary students. Now, there's a lot of debate over talking about careers and teaching careers to little kids that we should let them dream and we should let them just kind of figure it out. And why are we stressing them out about life after high school when they might only be in kindergarten or first grade or second grade even? But talking about careers isn't about having them pick a career right then and there and sticking with it until they graduate. And beyond that, talking about careers and having a career unit is really all about awareness. If we look at capsule competencies, we're really talking about self management and self awareness. It's that what do we want kids to understand about themselves? And I think when we're talking about careers, we really need to think about the scope and sequence to which we teach it. We can't just go in and start naming different careers and talking about, oh, let's start planning your life once you graduate. After high school, maybe after college, we really have to start with an awareness. And so a scope and a sequence, if you're not really familiar with what that means, is the sequence in which you are going to teach certain subjects or certain classes, and the scope is like the depth to which you get into it. And so if we think about a scope and sequence for a career unit, we are really talking about building with this basic knowledge, try to give them some understanding and some vocabulary words when they're in kindergarten and kind of growing with that as they get a little bit older. So when I'm teaching careers, and my district has also adopted this whole career unit with the scope and sequence that I have created for them, we talk about community helpers and their tools when they're in kindergarten. So we're going to talk about who are our community helpers? Maybe what are some of the tools that our community helpers use? And so when I'm talking about this, it might be a community helper, could be a fireman. We all know that a fireman is a community helper. And so some of the tools that a fireman could use or fire person could use can include an axe or a fire truck, or maybe they're going to use a water hose. Right. Those are some of the basic tools that our helper could use. But we could also talk about gardeners and florists and other maybe a hairdresser or hairstylist or whatever terminology you want to use for that right now. And we could talk about what are the tools that this person uses? Who are the people that we might run into in our community? What are those careers that they do? And so we're going to talk about all these different helpers and their tools, and then we're going to find out, well, what's your interest? What do you like? Is there something that you thought that's kind of interesting? I think that would be kind of cool. And that's what we're going to start or where we're going to start in kindergarten. As we move into first grade, we are going to look at those community helpers, but really look at their skills. So now we're going to ask students to match careers to the various skills that one needs to perform that career. So it might be a nurse or a doctor. They are helpers. They like to take care of people. They like to make people well. A veterinarian could really need to like animals once again, that firefighter. They might like adventure. Maybe they are risk takers. Maybe they want to put others first. So these are some of their skills that they have. And we're going to talk all about different skills. People need to do their job really well. An accountant. They need to be really good at math. A builder. They need to be able to use a tape measure and to measure. And they need to have some math skills. They need to know how to work with their hands. So we're going to talk all about their skills as we move into second grade. We're going to start talking about the training that's needed for careers because some jobs require special training. And so we want students to kind of understand a little bit about training programs and college. College might be a new term for them. And so we have to define that term. And what that actually means we're going to also dig in a little bit about strengths and abilities. What are our strengths? What are we good at? What kind of training would I need to really develop some of these skills? And then in third grade, we're really looking at multiple intelligences. So we are going to dig a little deeper into our strengths and maybe even some areas that we need to improve on. But we're going to look at where our smarts are. What are the different smarts and how do people with these smarts, what careers might be of interest to them? As we get into fourth grade, we are going to really look at workplaces because people have different places that they work. So really what we do for this, it's really kind of fun. I throw out a whole bunch of community buildings. Maybe it's the town hall. Who are all the people that could work in this town hall? What are all the different career options available? And we list things from the secretary to somebody who, the town clerk who's dealing with money. Maybe there's a judge there, maybe the police are stationed there. So we look at all of the people that might be working there, and we do that with a hospital and maybe a baseball field or a soccer field at a school. There are tons of positions in schools. And so it's not just a teacher, but we have our OTs and our PTs and we have our librarians. We also have a social media department and we have people that are really working on our budget. So there are tons of people within each of these workplaces. And so we talk about workplaces. And as we move into fifth grade, we really dig a little bit deeper. And we have our first real career interest inventory. And we do a little research. We want students to identify who am I and where do I want to go. And so we have them fill out this career interest inventory and then we have them really research a career of their choice. And in 6th grade, we dive a little bit deeper into career clusters and career research. So they're doing a whole career clusters inventory. They are really looking at career skills training and the job outlook so that they can start to make really informed decisions for themselves. Because as they get into 6th grade and then they start going into middle school, well, they might have the opportunity to pick more advanced classes or credits that can lead to their middle school, high school credits, or once they're in high school, they can earn college credits. So we want them to be prepared for some of the, maybe the different career trainings that are out there. Maybe we start having them look at VOTEC programs and the different programs that the school may offer for VOTEC. So we really want them to be pretty rounded with different terminology of different careers, what it's like, what skills people need for them, what their interests should be. And we try to really tie it all together, because when kids become more familiar with all of these terms and what's out there, they can really start making better choices for themselves. Because let's face it, college is a lot of money. I have three kids in college right now that is a bucket load of cash. And I know for me personally, I want my kids to feel like they have an understanding of the options that are out there. But we really worked hard at having them develop their interests and what their abilities were and really looking for things that would be best suited for them. Sure, one of them has changed majors a couple of times already, but that's fine. They're all still things that he was kind of interested in and he is good at. They're all in the science field, but we want our kids to be knowledgeable with what's out there so that they're not wasting tons of money in the future and that they are figuring out what it is that might make them happy. Because I think the most important thing is when we're picking out careers for ourselves, is that we spend all this time working. We talked about this in the last time. I mean, we have about, the average person spends about 42 years of their life working. That is a long time. And so you have to be able to wake up happy in the morning, ready to go to work. And when you come home from night, you got to kind of feel fulfilled by that part of your life that's taking up so much time. So career and talking about careers, even from the earliest of ages, is so important because it is such a huge component of our life. Anyway, I hope that this was really helpful. And if you've been questioning what do I do with careers, that this gives you a little bit of an idea. And to make this a little bit more interesting, if you are listening to this podcast the day that it airs, which is March 27, I want you to know that I am going to have a free career lesson for you. I will be dropping that in the show notes of the podcast. So I hope that you go to the show notes and you find that link and you download that free lesson, because it's going to be a good one and you'll be able to use it. I think for a while I haven't picked it out yet. So it's going to be kind of a secret and a surprise until the 27th when I actually pick it out and put it there. But I will have that free for you for two days until the 29th so you can download that and check it out. I'm also going to put in my career unit scope and sequence map in there for you so that you can kind of understand what I do and how I map it out and you could see what exactly is in there. And I can link to some really good career lessons for you as well. So please be sure to check out the show notes. Anyway, my friends, as we are ending March but going into April, I want you to know this podcast is turning one year old. I can't believe that I've stuck with this for a full year. I've really only missed one week, and that was the week that we were on winter break and I actually had no voice at all over that time. I was so sick and I figured you guys are all doing your holiday things anyway because it was the week between Christmas and New Year's. So that was the only week in the whole year that I took off, and I'm pretty proud of that fact. So it is really extra special and the next time that we meet again and that this podcast airs will be our one year anniversary. So I'm going to do a little something for that and hopefully it'll just be fun. Anyway, thanks for listening. Have a great week.

Carol: Thanks for listening to today's episode of Counselor Chat. All of the links I talked about can be found in the show notes and at Counselor Forward Slash podcast. Be sure to hit, follow, or subscribe on your favorite podcast player. And if you would be so kind to leave a review, I'd really appreciate it.

Carol: Want to connect?

Carol: Send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram at counseling essentials until next time. Can't wait till we chat. Bye for now.