In my first year at my current school I was one of the grade 10 homeroom teachers. At the time, the grade 10’s were the eldest grade, the school having only opened the previous year with all grades up to grade nine.
That year our Head of School organised for some parents to come in on an afternoon to speak to our grade nine and ten students about their various professions.
The session lasted a couple of hours while different parents rotated in front of our small cohort of 18 students to tell them they needed a passion.
The next morning the feedback in homeroom was less than excellent. The major theme that came across was that the kids would have liked some choice about what they saw and who they listened to.
Later that year I was given the chance to set up the university counselling program and part of that required me to organise careers day.
In the first year I was responsible for it (my second year at the school) my main aim was to introduce choice for students.
That year we held it in May and the event ran from after lunch until 7pm. From 2pm until 4pm we had a series of career focussed workshops. These were bookended by a keynote and plenary session. The latter were compulsory for all students, but, during the time in-between, students rotated through workshops that they had previously signed up for.
After the plenary from 4pm to 5pm we held a short university fair, hosting universities from Switzerland plus a few others.
Following this we hosted an author who spoke about her book and work that supports international students making transitions to study at international universities.
In my second year, the academic year just finished, we moved the date back to March. Unfortunately, with the extra classroom hours I was working, I simply didn’t have the time to organise a university fair – the amount of time that goes into simply emailing contacts is extraordinary. However, we did run an evening event again this year. This was organised by my colleague in the schools marketing department and took the form of two guest speakers, with dinner and wine for attendees. Next year we have decided to call this part of the evening “future-you conversations”.
This year I am hoping to expand what we do slightly with morning skills based workshops on top of the afternoon career focussed workshops. These will be run in conjunction with inspiring futures who offer two days of their advisor time to members. We bought membership for next academic year.
Grade 12 will have a session on interview skills to support students who will have interviews as part of their university applications but also as many of them will be interviewing for jobs in the next 12 months.
Grade 11 will have a session on persuasive writing for their personal statement. This will hopefully provide them with some raw material with which to begin their personal statement drafts later in the year.
Grade 10 will have a session on cv writing as they will be looking for work experience this year as they have a work experience week in June.
Grade 9 will use the inspiring futures career investigator.