Marrington Elementary School Counseling Newsletter
By Ann Schuler
Spring is a busy season for us in the school counseling world. In classroom guidance, we begin the month of April talking about honesty, which is our featured Virtue of the Month. Honesty is a virtue that will serve children well wherever they go in life. At home, at school or later on in the world of work, people who are honest will always be valued.
Speaking of the world of work, during the month of May we will be focusing on career exploration. However, the world of work is not a new concept for our students at Marrington Elementary School! Throughout the year, during weekly guidance classes the students learn strategies designed to achieve academic and personal/social excellence. We cover topics such as study skills, conflict management, decision making, manners, responsibility and citizenship. Within each of these units I continually weave the “career awareness” theme. I accomplish this by incorporating the concept that in order for students to obtain, maintain, and be successful in a job when they get older, they must cooperate with others, make good decisions, be responsible and work hard. Each of these units comes from a program that I wrote called “Education & Economic Development Act (EEDA) Made Fun With Puppets and Songs.” Each lesson includes puppets, discussion and songs that I write to reinforce the strategies. EEDA is an initiative that the Department of Education has adopted to introduce students to the world of work, or career awareness.
During our classroom guidance sessions we will be talking about careers and the concept of career clusters. A career cluster is a group of jobs within a particular field. For example in the education cluster, some of the jobs are: a principal, a school counselor and a classroom teacher. I ask the children to think about what they like to do and what they are good at doing. I tell them that although a child may really, really like basketball, if he is not coordinated, has poor eye sight and is really small, he probably will not be a pro-basketball player. However, if a child likes and is good at Legos or mechanical things, he/she might be interested in a job in the construction cluster. Some examples of jobs in the construction cluster are: an architect, a construction worker, or an engineer. The six job clusters we will explore are: Agriculture, Business, Construction, Education, Health, and Personal Services. The U.S. Department of Education has adopted the concept of career clusters as a vehicle to link what students learn in school to the world of work, thus increasing student motivation and achievement.
A valuable gift that a parent can give a child is a vision into what the child might become when he or she grows up based on the child’s interests and abilities. To increase your child’s self esteem in the present as well as encouraging his or her hopes for the future, let them know what you think their strengths are and how special they are to your family!