What Works Career Choices
Go with What Works: Career Choices & the 10-yearPlan - Classroom Ideas

Scenario Unit a Hit in Oklahoma

To help her eighth graders at the Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma, get a feeling for what their future lives might be like, English teacher Dana Mayers had each student draw a "futures scenario" from a hat. They learned that they might be professionals, skilled tradespeople, or workers with limited training or education. Individuals then used newspapers to locate jobs they might be qualified to apply for, housing they could afford, and so on.

After completing research about their "career"-the kind of training needed, where they might have gone to school, how much money they could expect to earn-students referred to Chapter 11: "Getting Experience" in Career Choices to prepare resumes and write business letters requesting interviews with prospective employers. For the "interview" students dressed in business attire, and were even instructed in the proper way to shake hands and sit in a chair. Mayers inquired about qualifications and asked them to explain why they should be given the job. "They were so well-prepared from doing all the activities in Career Choices, almost everyone was `hired,'" Mayers told us.

The most emotional moment during the nine-week class came when a young woman whose scenario was to be a single parent and a high school dropout told Mayers tearfully that the night before, while scoping out "cheap" food at the grocery store, "I saw me!" Whether pricing macaroni or bologna, she kept running into the same single mother with her unkempt and inappropriately dressed child. "I could easily have become that person," she said, vowing at the same time that she never would.

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