Elementary School Teachers, Counselors, and Career Education

As teachers and counselors, you know that the elementary school years are important. During the elementary school years, your students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to the workforce. With your help, your students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. As you work with your students, your students do not make premature career choices or career preparations. For your students, elementary school is a time to build awareness.

As elementary school teachers and counselors, you use career education to promote self-worth, skill development, and decision making strategies. Your activities are designed to build self, family, school, community, and career awareness. You use age-appropriate materials that match your students’ developmental levels. These activities expose your students to a variety of different jobs, career information sources, and the reasons why people work.

When you prepare to develop age-appropriate materials products, tests and tools, you use career models like the National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) have domains, goals, and indicators. Each domain represents a developmental area. Under each domain, there are goals or competencies. For each goal, indicators highlight the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the goal. The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) prepares you to make materials that are suitable for your students.

As a elementary school counselors and teachers, you create individual career plans and portfolios. Individual career plans (ICP) –

  • Develop self-awareness
  • Identify initial career goals and educational plans
  • Increase employability and decision making skills

Individual career portfolios summarize career awareness activities and experiences that occur during the school year. In addition to individual career plans and portfolios, you use a variety of resources –

    Career days

  • Career fairs
  • Community speakers
  • Field trips
  • Information interviewing
  • Literary works
  • Mentors
  • Collages, murals
  • Educational games
  • Job shadowing
  • Dramatic presentations

All of the career activities and tools combine academic work with career pathways. Career activities serve as foundations for future skills. As teachers and counselors, you help students build connections between academics and real life situations. You use career education activities to stress the importance of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.

You show students that Language Arts have many uses in the work force:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening skills

You provide examples that show how people solve problems when they use Mathematics. Different types of Mathematics include:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division

In Social Studies, your students learn how skills that are necessary to be successful in the global marketplace. In Social Studies, your students learn about –

  • Countries
  • Languages
  • Cultures

Your students learn the importance of Science gaining skills to solve problems. You show your students how applications of Science are used in different industries, such as –

  • Food
  • Media
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive industry

The connections between academics and real life situations reinforce, develop, and expand previously learned skills. In summary, as a elementary school teachers and counselors, you help students:

  • Know and value self
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Learn and apply the academic material
  • Identify interests and build relationships between the school environment and the work force
  • Build academic, communication, problem solving, and social skills
  • Increase awareness of the need for future jobs skills
  • See the connections between learning in school, academic skills, job related skills, and careers
  • See career possibilities
  • See themselves as a future contributor to the job force
  • Receive empowerment
  • Build self-determination

As counselors and teachers, you build self-awareness, family awareness, school awareness, community awareness, career/ work awareness, attitude development, skill development, decision making strategies, and self-worth. You use age-appropriate materials that match the developmental levels of the students. Examples of activities include individual career plans (ICP), individual career portfolios, career days, career fairs, field trips, information interviewing, and library book reports.

After completing career education activities, your students are prone to get higher grades, academic achievement, school involvement, and interpersonal skills. In addition, your students are more adept to complete more complex courses and have higher graduation rates from high school. As your students get older, they will achieve their career visions and goals.

References

1. American Counseling Association, Office of Public Policy and Legislation. (2007). Effectiveness of School Counseling. Alexandria, VA: Author.

2. Angel, N. Faye; Mooney, Marianne. (1996, December). Work-in-Progress: Career and Work Education for Elementary Students. (ED404516). Cincinnati, OH: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention.

3. Benning, Cathleen; Bergt, Richard; Sausaman, Pamela. (2003, May). Improving Student Awareness of Careers through a Variety of Strategies. Thesis: Action Research Project. (ED481018). Chicago, Illinois: Saint Xavier University.

4. Career Tec. (2000). K-12 Career Awareness & Development Sequence [with Appendices, Executive and Implementation Guide]. (ED450219) .Springfield, Il: Author.

5. Carey, John. (2003, January). What are the Expected Benefits Associated with Implementing a Comprehensive Guidance Program. School counseling Research Brief 1.1. Amherst, MA: Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research.

6. Dare, Donna E.; Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn. (1999, September). Career Guidance Resource Guide for Elementary and Middle/Junior High School Educators. (ED434216). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

7. DuVall, Patricia. (1995).Let’s Get Serious about Career Education for Elementary Students. AACE Bonus Briefs. (ED386603). Hermosa Beach, CA: AACE Bonus Briefs.

8. Ediger, Marlow. (2000, July). Vocational Education in the Elementary School. (ED442979) Opinion Papers

9. Gerver, Miriam, Shanley, Judy, O Cummings, Mindee. (2/14/02). Answering the Question EMSTAC Extra Elementary and Middle Schools. Washington, DC: Technical Assistance Center, (EMSTAC).

10. Hurley, Dan, Ed.; Thorp, Jim, Ed. (2002, May). Decisions without Direction: Career Guidance and Decision-Making among American Youth. (ED465895). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Ferris State University Career Institute for Education and Workforce Development.

11. Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn; Dare, Donna E. (1997,December).Career Guidance for Elementary and Middle School Students. Office of Student Services Brief, v9 n1. (ED415353). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

12. Ohio Department of Education, Division of Vocational and Career Education, Ohio Career Development Blueprint, Individual Career Plan, K to 5 (ED449322). Columbus, Ohio, 2000

13. Splete, Howard; Stewart, Amy. (1990). Competency-Based Career Development Strategies and the National Career Development Guidelines. Information Series No. 345. (ED327739). Columbus, Ohio: ERIC Clearinghouse on Education and Training for Employment & Ohio State University

14. U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. (1994, 2004). National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). Washington, DC: Author.

Advance Your Teaching Career With An Online Master Degree in Education

The demand for qualified educators has increased rapidly and this trend is not likely to change anytime in the near future. If you choose teaching as your career, you are in the right path because education is an extremely rewarding field with a 2 digits projection growth toward year 2012. Whether you are interested to be a college professor, a high school teacher, a special education instructor or a corporate trainer, you are sure to find a career with a master degree in education.

If you have involved in teaching field for years and you are hoping to advance your career in the education leadership, an advanced degree is a necessity. In fact, many school districts have requested their educational staffs to take graduate-level courses in order to refine and improve their instructional strategies. Hence, you should upgrade your degree to a master degree level if you want to move your career into a higher level.

Many online and traditional universities are offering online master degrees in education that enable you to earn a master education degree from your comfort home while maintaining your current living style. Getting an online master degree in education is convenient and flexible, just one thing to be aware of: Diploma Mills. You need to be very careful in searching and selecting your online master education degree program, make sure you choose the online master degree in education from a prestige and reputable online university to ensure the master degree can helps you to advance your teaching career to next level.

Here are a few online universities that are famous in providing online master education degrees and their degrees are widely accepted in the job market:

American InterContinental University Online (AIU)


AIU online provides master of education degree with concentration in Leadership of Educational Organizations. If you are interested to advance your teaching career to a management position, master of education degree in leadership prepares you with the necessary skills and knowledge for the position.

Western Governors University (WGU)

If you are planning to advance your teaching career that focus on K6 to grade 12, then one of WGU online master of education degrees can be your option. WGU offers various master degrees in education and teaching fields that focus on the education, assessment and evaluation for students in K6 to grade 12.

Grand Canyon University Online (GCU)

Master of Education degrees from GCU can help you to advance your teaching career if you want to make a success career in elementary education. GCU does offer master degree in Curriculum and Instruction that specialized in Reading and Education Technology, so if you need the skills and knowledge in these areas, these degrees may be your option.

Besides the above online universities that offer online master education degrees, there are still many online master education programs available for your selection. Many online master education degrees carry the same title but their courses offered in each program might be different; hence, it is your responsibility to review and ensure the courses of the degree are meeting your teaching career goal.

In Summary

Educational field is a booming sector with a good projection increment in the job demands. You are in the right path if you choose to involve in teaching career, but you must get ready yourself to face the boom, and an online master education degree can equip you to face the challenge in your teaching career and help you to advance your teaching career to a higher level.

Improve Your Career Credential With A Career Related Degree

Most students are getting a general degree to start their career after college graduation. Although many job vacancies do accept degrees without any specialization or degree that is not related to their career fields, they will loss their advantage when comes to job promotion or career advancement in the future.

The job market is so competitive and you must out perform other job candidates in order for you to move your career to next higher level. It will be your wise decision to improve your job credential with a career field related degree if you want to achieve the highest level in your dream career. Today, with the available of online education, you can get a degree just with a click away while continue with your career; online education allows you to focus on both career and study as long as you do some time management to divide your time between these two important tasks.

It is common for students to start their first job with a general degree or get a job that is no related with their degree. For example, you may get a job at hotel as an officer or executive with your art degree. But, in the process of climbing up your career ladder, you will need to compete with your colleagues and out perform them if you want to successfully get promoted to a higher job position. Working experience, job performance, skills and knowledge are among the importance factors which will be reviewed by your boss in selecting the best candidate for the job promotion opportunity. You will lose your advantage if your competitors have a related degree with a strong education background and equivalent job performance.

The internet can be the best channel for working adults to earn their career credential without the need to give up their existing job. If you need a career related degree to help in your career path, you should use the advantage of online channel to earn a degree to support your dream career while maintaining your current lifestyle. Today, online degree programs cover almost any field that is available in the job market. You should find one that best fit your need.

Selecting an online degree program is easy with the available of internet, but you may required to spend some time if you want to choose the best degree program that covers the most courses in related to your career needs. Before you make up your decision, try to request as much information as possible from online universities or campus-based colleges that provide online courses to send you their details information about their degree programs. In most cases, information request from universities are free of charge, what you need to do is simply fill-up a request form from their website and those information will be sent to your email inbox within minutes.

Once you get all the necessary information from your preferred universities, you next step is carefully review the courses from each program to select one with courses that best meet your career needs. Depending on your pace of study and the credit hours required to complete your degree program, you could earn a degree from a few weeks to 1 or 2 years. By improving your career credential with a career related degree, you are putting yourself in the competitive edge to get the highest success in your career.

Nursing Career Salary – Four Things That Affect It

A nursing career salary can vary depending on several variables. Whether you are starting a new career or an experienced nurse you need to give some thought to what your salary is and where you would like it to be.

What are the things you need to consider?

Let’s start from the beginning- education. Are you or do you wish to be an LPN, RN or perhaps a Nurse Practitioner? Your level of education will impact what level you reach in your career and with that affect your salary.

Now, what about your experience? Are you just starting our or do you have 15 years of on the job training? You are going to command a higher relative salary as you gain in experience. I say relative because someone with 15 years on the job in one specialty may not make as much as another with 5 years in a higher paying specialty.

So, lets talk about specialties. There are way too many to list them all here, but your nursing career salary can be dramatically different depending on your specialty. If you are just starting as a nurse, or even if you have been one for some time, you should do a little research on what specialties interest you and what the paycheck benefits are for each of them. You might be surprised to find that something you like can pay you 25% more than what you currently bring home!

Geography. Yes this is a big one too. Where do you live? If you live in a predominantly rural setting, your bring home pay may be less than someone in a more metropolitan area. However you also need to consider the cost of living in those areas. The two components combined will impact the affect that your salary has. If you live in a high compensation but low cost of living area you get more bang for your buck!

Education Schools – Training Options for Teaching Careers

When looking to gain the skills and training necessary to work in the field of teaching and education, there are numerous schools and colleges to choose from. You can pursue the career you desire by enrolling in an accredited teacher education program. Education schools provide training options for teaching careers that can be completed at various levels allowing you to choose an area of specialization that fits your interests. Enrollment in an accredited training school will help you gain the knowledge you need to enter into an exciting new career.

Preparing for a career as a teacher can require a lot of time and dedication. You have the options of choosing to earn various levels of degrees and certificates in this exciting field. Training is available at various levels including:

  • Certificates
  • Bachelor Degrees
  • Master Degrees
  • Doctoral Degrees

By pursuing an accredited education at any of these levels you will need to spend a certain length of time on studies.

  • Certificate programs will vary but can last anywhere from several months to one year.
  • Bachelor degree training requires that you hold an associate degree and complete four years of schooling.
  • Master degree programs can take an additional two years of accredited study to complete.
  • Doctoral degrees require an additional four years of career training to obtain.

The type of training will depend on the level of education you choose to pursue as well as the specialized area of study. Accredited education degree programs are available to provide you with the schooling you need to enter into a successful teaching career.

You have the opportunity to choose from a number of specialized areas of study. These areas will help you to pursue the career teaching the subject of your choice. Training is available in:

  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Physical Education

…and many other areas. You can train for a career as a teacher by completing all required coursework for the area of your choice. Training may consist of studies in psychology, English, discipline, math, science, teaching methods, history and many other subjects. Prepare for the career you long for by gaining an accredited education that provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Accredited schools and colleges can give you the preparation you need to start the path to an exciting new career in teaching.

Challenging Resources For Your Students That Will Aid Career Development

Overview and Features of Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Models

Counselors and teachers know that the elementary/ middle school development is important. Schooling is a time of transition, a threshold to the student’s future, and a bridge into the student’s destiny. In elementary/ middle school, career development is a time to build career awareness, not a time for premature career choices or career preparations. Career development is an ongoing lifelong process. During the career development process, students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. Counselors and teachers build readiness for future career planning. Students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to the society.

Need for Elementary/ Middle school Career Development

Since most elementary and middle school students have limited understanding of how school relates to work, students use career development curriculum to build a foundation and the connection between career development, Twenty-First Century Skills, school academic subjects, potential careers, and future training options. As a result, students build self – awareness, possess intrinsic motivation, build a positive self-concept, and begin problem solving about career choices.

Benefits of Elementary/ Middle School Career Development

Elementary/ middle school career awareness lays the groundwork for future career exploration by helping students achieve the following goals:

  • Knowledge of personal characteristics, interests, aptitudes, and skills
  • Awareness of and respect for the diversity of the world of work
  • Understanding of the relationship between school performance and future choices
  • Development of a positive attitude toward work

Students who complete career development activities have the following positive outcomes:

  • Expanded understanding of the world of work leading to an openness to an increased number potential careers
  • Improved skills to make informed decisions and complex career information problem solving
  • Enhanced academic, personal, and teamwork skill development
  • Amplified career awareness, self-esteem, sense of direction, motivation to persist, clearly defined goals

Eventually, as students participate in career curriculum programs, the number of dropouts is minimized.

Elementary/ Middle School Career Education Models

There are 4 major career development models:

    • National Career Development Guidelines
  • 21st Century Skills
  • New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
  • Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program

National Career Development Guidelines

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) determine career development knowledge, skills, and decision-making processes. The NCDG Guidelines have three domains, goals, and mastery indicators.

The three domains are:

    • Personal Social Development (PS)
  • Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning (ED)
  • Career Management (CM)

The learning competency stages are:

  • Knowledge Acquisition (K). Students at the knowledge acquisition stage expand knowledge awareness and build comprehension. They recall, recognize, describe, identify, clarify, discuss, explain, summarize, query, investigate and compile new information about the knowledge.
  • Application (A). Students at the application stage apply acquire knowledge to situations and to self. They seek out ways to use the knowledge. For example, they demonstrate, employ, perform, illustrate and solve problems related to the knowledge.
  • Reflection (R). Students at the reflection stage analyze, synthesize, judge, assess and evaluate knowledge in accord with their own goals, values and beliefs. They decide whether or not to integrate the acquired knowledge into their ongoing response to situations and adjust their behavior accordingly.

An example of the Personal Social Development domain is:

  • PS1.K2 Identify your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents.
  • PS1.A2 Demonstrate use of your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents.
  • PS1.R2 Assess the impact of your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents on your career development.

21st Century Skills Model

The 21st Century Model and Skills is the collaboration of the efforts of education, business, and government organizations. These organizations create a 21st Century Learning Framework that outlines the essential learning, innovation, technology, and career skills necessary to be successful in the today’s workplace. A rich, well-designed learning environment promotes creating, applying, remembering, analyzing, understanding, and evaluating processes. The 21st Century Model seeks the development of knowledge, skills, motivations, values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, health, safety, resilience, and other qualities.

The three major 21st Century Model main skill areas are:

  • Learning and innovation
  • Digital literacy skills
  • Career and life skills

Within the Career and Life Skills area, the focus is on:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Initiative and self – direction
  • Social and cross-cultural interaction
  • Productivity and accountability
  • Leadership and responsibility

New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

The New Jersey Department of Education Content Standards connect the 21st Century Model and elementary/ middle school career awareness.

  • In K-5 grades, students learn the interrelationship between 21st Century life skills and personal, academic, and social development. Curriculum areas range from career awareness information and to basic personal financial literacy skills.
  • The development of 21st Century life skills and personal financial literacy continues in the grades 6-8. Students explore careers, academic and personal interests and aptitudes.

The New Jersey Department of Education has four career education standards:

  • Standards 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3 cover life and career skills within the K-12 curriculum.
  • Standard 9.4 includes specialized, career and technical education program skills in grades 9-12 curriculum.

These standards cover the following areas:

    • Career Awareness (grades K-4)
  • Career Exploration (grades 5-8)
  • Career Preparation (grades 9-12)

An example of one of the objectives is:

Standard 9.3 – Apply knowledge about and engage in the process of career awareness, exploration, and preparation in order to navigate the globally competitive work environment of the information age.

Examples of Standard 9.3 are:

  • 9.3.4.A.4 Identify qualifications needed to pursue traditional and nontraditional careers and occupations.
  • 9.3.4.A.5 Locate career information using a variety of resources
  • 9.3.4.A.6 Explain why knowledge and skills acquired in the elementary grades lay the foundation for the future academic and career success

Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program

The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) is a career and technical education curriculum, research, professional development, and innovative instructional resource center.

The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) Guidance Lessons (Strands) are:

    • Academic Development
  • Career Development
  • Personal and Social Development

Within each Strand CD: Career Development area, the Big Ideas are:

  • Big Idea: CD.7. Applying Career Exploration and Planning Skills in the Achievement of Life Career Goals
  • Big Idea: CD 8. Knowing Where and How to Obtain Information about the World of Work and Post-secondary Training/Education
  • Big Idea: CD.9. Applying Employment Readiness Skills and the Skills for On-The-Job Success

The Big Ideas serve as the foundation for building curriculum concepts and behavioral objectives.

Examples of CD.7 Big Idea are:

  • Compare interests and strengths with those of workers in the global community.
  • Describe occupational changes that have occurred over time within the six (6) career paths.
  • Describe the self-satisfaction that comes from completing a work responsibility.

Tips for Finding the Right Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Program

Based upon the National Career Development Guidelines, 21st Century Skills, New Jersey Department of Education Content Standards, and Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE), the key elements of career curriculum provide information on the relationship between job interests, key characteristics, college majors, hobbies, abilities, and related careers.

Teachers and counselors know that students:

  • Are curious
  • Love colorful, multimedia presentations
  • Use colors to improve attention span, concentration, memory skills, and understanding
  • Use their senses and imaginations in career exploration

Counselors and teachers utilize career awareness programs to help students:

  • Discover career interests
  • Build awareness of career interests, abilities, skills, and values
  • Search for meaning, purpose, and direction
  • Discover potential careers that are linked to children’s identified interests
  • Understand the relationship between education, training, and specific occupations
  • Search for tools that will help students plan for the future and unlock their potentials
  • Clarify thoughts, integrate new knowledge, and promote critical thinking
  • Receive new information so that the concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood
  • Hold attention and absorb information

Elementary/ middle development curriculum includes career tests, assessments, games, web sites, and books. Programs should be fun, educational, and not boring. Career development program are:

  • Eye appealing
  • Easy to use
  • Full of resources
  • Suitable for your students’ needs

An effective career education tool motivates your students to explore careers. Creative career tools build a foundation for more detailed career exploration. Career development lessons should answer the question “Who am I?” and “What should I do as an adult?”

With the right resource, students are ready and willing to:

  • Explore
  • Investigate
  • Learn
  • Ask questions
  • Enjoy discovering who they are
  • Gain knowledge, wisdom, and understanding

Steps to Select the Right Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Program

How do you choose the right career awareness program? Look at 3 major areas:

  • Format
  • Cost
  • Resources

When you look at a career education curriculum, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do your students prefer?
  • What is your budget for the curriculum?
  • What resources do you have? Do you have a computer lab?

Then, follow these steps:

  • Select an elementary/ middle school career awareness program that your students are interested in and that provides valuable information about careers and your student’s interests.
  • Look for career development lessons that use well-known career models.

As students grow older, the students will continue to use career models to eventually expand their knowledge of self, careers and college majors.

In summary, when they use career education curriculum, students:

  • Learn and apply the academic material
  • Know and value self
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Identify interests and build relationships between the school environment and the work force
  • Incorporate academic career pathways into classroom activities
  • Build academic, communication, problem solving, and social skills
  • Increase awareness of the need for future jobs skills
  • See the connections between learning in school, academic skills, job related skills, and careers
  • See career possibilities
  • See themselves as a future contributor to the job force
  • Receive empowerment
  • Build self-determination

As a result of completing the career development lessons, students have:

  • Higher grades
  • Higher academic achievement
  • Improved school involvement
  • Increase in career awareness exploration, personal, and interpersonal skills