By Diane Ross, M.Ed., Realityworks Senior Field Account Manager for NC, SC, VA, WV
When fax machines first came on the market, a friend told me a story about one of her sales. She had gone into an office and sold them a fax machine. She taught the office manager how to use it and everything was good until the next morning. She was listening to her messages when that same office manager called and said, “I can’t get this fax thing to work. I keep putting the paper in the machine, but it keeps coming out the other end.” Funny as it was, just imaging the recipient who kept getting the same fax, over and over.
This reminds me of how far we have come with technology. It also reminds me of how important it is to have students demonstrate their learning before moving on.
I work for a company that works to reach students by allowing them to try something difficult (or dangerous), in a realistic setting so that they can make better life choices. They can try their hand at welding, or take a cow apart and feel the ruminant’s texture, or they can see what it is like to care for an infant.
We now start talking to kids about making career choices as early at sixth grade. This really isn’t too early because the world is a very big place. Waiting until they are entering high school and using the old ‘tell them over and over the importance of choosing a good career’ doesn’t work with today’s kids. They want to feel it, touch it and experience it and they want to know what’s in it for them.
One exercise I’ve seen going on is creating a PERSONAL BUDGET. You can start this in middle school. Have the student create a monthly budget. Where do you want to live, then research apartment rents. Don’t forget about utilities. Do you want a car? You’ll need insurance and gas. What about food?
Put this budget together, then start looking at careers. How much do they pay? What schooling with they need? Can they work while in schools? How much money will you need to support your life? What careers meet these financial goals. I think it is important to talk to kids about their financial goals. How do they want to live? What is important? Then, show them how to get to those goals.
Realityworks’ Employability Skills Program can help you get started with these conversations. Our products will help you continue the conversations and allow student to gauge their interest in a field before they commit money toward a goal they really don’t know much about.
For a great overview of what Realityworks has to offer take a look at our 2017 Product Lineup or visit our Products on our website.