On the first day of my second year of teaching I met dozens of new students and one very important and unexpected adult- my new 3rd period co-teacher. And so it went- we were thrown together and told to “make the most of it.” Luckily, we did just that and through careful co-planning and practice we worked together effectively. I quickly assumed this was the way co-facilitation often worked. I have since learned otherwise. Co-teaching is full of challenges, but it is a very powerful strategy for meeting the needs of diverse student groups, which makes it especially useful for career readiness and exploration courses. When your goal is to help students become future-ready, you must address not only the differences in standard classroom variables like reading level, processing and learning style but also the differences in personal awareness and exposure to the world of work.
During the years that I coached high school baseball, the vast majority of my time and energy was devoted to creating effective plans for practice sessions. While my less experienced Junior Varsity players, some of whom had never actually held a bat, were eager to charge right into playing, it was my job to redirect their energy into careful, step-by-step skill building. Similar to novice ball players, desperate to hit their first home run, young people who yearn for the excitement of a first job or an internship in their dream field, are more likely to realize these opportunities for success with structured, well-balance exposure to the necessary skills. The use of multiple-modalities of learning (visual, aural, and kinesthetic) is a crucial component to structuring the successful development and retention of skills across all domains of learning. Continue reading “Career Readiness Instruction in Multiple Modalities”→
Over the last year, I have watched my first child develop some of the most fundamental skills: making vocal sounds, putting something (OK, everything) in his mouth, rolling over, walking…the list goes on. For all of these skills, I have seen him progress through the same stages. He observes. He mimics. He tries over and over. He looks for approval. Finally, he succeeds.
The stage he spends the most time is the trying, but each stumble, fall, and gentle bit of correction comprises the practice the gets him mastery. This process of exposure, experimentation, corrections and lots of practice is also key to building career readiness skills and a huge part of what we do at Signal Success. Continue reading “The Importance of Practice”→
What can you do to help a teen in your life land a job?
We recently took part in a podcast for the Future ReadyMA Campaign and shared ideas for helping influential adults—parents/guardians, coaches or mentors—give teens support and guidance in landing a job. Our conversation centered on helping young people develop the soft skills essential to getting and keeping jobs in today’s job market. Learn more about how to coach young people in presenting themselves in the job search and in demonstrating professional behaviors on the job.
One of the first things YouthWorks participants do in the Signaling Success work-readiness course is complete a learning style assessment. What’s the purpose of doing this in a soft skills program? While not everyone believes each of us has one particular learning style, understanding learning preferences can help us cope with situations that may feel outside our comfort zones. Find out how learning styles can be used to teach work-readiness skills. Continue reading “Why start with learning styles?”→
The provocative headline in a Boston Globe article last month prompted a needed reality check. We’ve all heard the news about the dismal state of teen employment here in MA as well as in the rest of the country. Here’s the real news: teen unemployment is now much more concentrated among low-income teens. Continue reading “Are teen jobs becoming a luxury good?”→