The ultimate aim of career education and guidance is to equip students to develop their careers throughout their lives. Teaching students an identified set of understanding, skills and attitudes – career management competencies – helps them achieve their life, learning and work goals.
It is with this aim that I was appointed the Curriculum Leader for Career’s Education at Rotorua Intermediate in 2012. During 2012, I attended workshops that provided me with an insight into what Career’s Education is and how it can be adapted in the classroom. This all seemed easy, but the difficult part was getting the staff at school on board and understand the importance of Career Education. 2012 was not a successful year, however, with the support from Career’s Education Advisers and the push from the Ministry of Education on Career’s Education, I was able to start getting policy documents organised during 2013.
During 2013, I had another staff member join me which made my journey a lot stress free. This was the first time I had the responsibility of putting action plans together, gathering resources and unit plans together for all staff to access, run Teacher Only Day workshops, and continually meet with Career’s Education Advisers to make sure we were meeting the Benchmarks. By August of 2013, Rotorua Intermediate School, for the first time, had a folder on their server filled with up to date policy documents including Actions Plans for Leadership, Programme Delivery, and Transition to Secondary School, an Overview which included a breakdown of Thinking Tools, Resources, Books and Booklets, and Unit Plans available for viewing and using.
At the beginning of 2014 a Teacher Only Day was organised with the focus being Career’s Education. I had the help from my off-sider and two advisers from Career’s Education. The TOD was to inform all staff of the WHAT, WHY, and HOW behind Career’s Education at school. Every teaching team received a box of goodies including pre-made resources and a folder containing an Overview and Worksheets. Timelines were provided and set in place so that evidence of teaching and learning were observable and evident by every classroom teacher by a set date.
I found this whole journey a real eye opener to what happens behind the scenes of curriculum areas and policy documents. Because it was my responsibility to have everything organised and staff educated in this particular area, Career’s Education became an area I was very passionate about. I feel the entire process was a fantastic learning experience of my own – one that just isn’t focussed on my own teaching within the class. It showed me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to and that I do a fantastic job within the responsibility I hold. It did mean that any Career’s Education focussed programmes run in my class, needed to be truly purposeful, authentic, and as real life as I could possibly make them.
The only thing I would have changed was in the first year of having this responsibility, I would research further what requirements were needed and seek advice from advisers sooner so that the Career’s Education within the school could have started a lot sooner.