8th Grade: A Portal to the Future
From the Rocket Newsletter – An initial survey of the current Spencer eighth grade class revealed that about 21 percent of the boys intend to become professional football players as their first career choice. After sharing the most recent statistics related to professional football (According to the NCAA, only 0.08 percent of all high school players play at any professional level), most of those students reflected on their initial thinking and discerned that they need a more realistic plan.
Through Academic and Career Planning (ACP) events, we’re hoping that we can help students be more realistic about everything that’s required to get where they want to go in life. Our students have a lot of ideas about what being an adult will be like, but providing statistics and actually getting out there into some real workplaces makes it much more concrete for them.
The reality of available jobs isn’t the only kind of surprise our students face. Many students learn for the first time that you need to find a school that offers the degree you want before you decide where to go (if going on to higher education is your choice). One girl with a goal of becoming a veterinarian was shocked to learn that Wisconsin has only one veterinary school, so she would have to either attend UW-Madison or leave the state to complete her graduate studies. That kind of news sets kids back for a bit, but we are working hard to provide solid information and help students research all options so they make the best choices they can as they move into high school.
The role of schools is becoming to help students get exposure to a wide variety of career options as well as to educate them about what to expect from each job. Eighth-grade students participated in the first Academic and Career Planning event of the year on Wednesday, October 3, when Northcentral Technical College in Wausau hosted the Heavy Metal Tour, an event designed to bring exposure to industries infused with technology. Later this year, they will participate in the MACCI-sponsored Reality Store simulation, create a four-year high school plan, and learn more about moving directly into the workforce compared to seeking technical and university degrees.
The Academic and Career Planning that our school offers today is not a college-only focus anymore. The idea is to open students’ eyes to all opportunities, bringing attention to career, technical and university avenues equally as a way to keep students interested in their studies, help them imagine their futures in any realm they choose and boost their chances of finishing high school successfully.
Article submitted by Heidi Much, 8th Grade ELA Teacher