Keep the Conversation Going

Last week I recieved a direct Twitter message from a member of my PLN. In it was this simple message, “Keep the conversation going.” Patricia Hudak, thank you for the push.

Patricia is correct, the positive impact that career development academic interventions have on students is great and the conversation must not slip away. With so much attention devoted to teacher accountability, high stakes testing, etc. our focus seems to be getting lost. We must focus on students and learning.

My role has changed this school year. The career development/personal discovery course that was once required of all students in my school district is no more. It is my assignment to recreate the experience as an elective. To see where we have been and are now in Pathways class visit my teacher website.

I’ve discovered three TEDx videos that have been particularly meaningful in my work this fall.

Do you know your students “sparks”? Do you encourage them to pursue them? Do you connect your classroom content to them? I sent this talk to a retired administrator and former mentor. She responded with this: “I need to change my conversations with my grandchildren. I need to honor their sparks.” Practicing educators must change their conversations too.

Peter Benson: Sparks-How Youth Thrive

In the “new” Pathways class, I am piloting Road Trip Nation. It’s an exciting, interactive curriculum that will eventually lead us to a road trip that my students will plan based on their sparks and passions. It requires that my students discover and  investigate their interests. The following TED talk is directed at high school students and fits in nicely with the RTN curriculum. I’m going to show this to my class on Wednesday and look forward to the discussion that follows.

 Jullien Gordon: Driving School for Life

And finally, one for the older/college aged student in your life.

Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career


One Response

  1. Nice nudge from Patricia, Susan! I think the most important thing relative to sparks is for the student to go out and talk to people who are working in fields where their spark might ignite…like the RTN folks are doing…although from the seventy or so videos I’ve watched so far, the RTN folks are a little too casual and, this is just my perception, I don’t think they are cultivating those relationships long term. But I could be wrong.

    So great to hear from you again!!

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