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.

15. Williams, Jean A., Ed. (1999, January). Elementary Career Awareness Guide: A Resource for Elementary School Counselors and Teachers. (ED445293). Raleigh, NC: NC Department of Public Instruction, NC Job Ready.

16. Woal, S. Theodore. (1995). Career Education–The Early Years. AACE Bonus Briefs. (ED386603). Hermosa Beach, CA: AACE Bonus Briefs.

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How I Passed the CSET….Little Tips and Pointers That Made the Difference Between Pass and Failure

The CSET — Your Path To A Rewarding Career!

Few careers can provide the levels of responsibility, satisfaction and fulfillment that teaching brings to California educators. Each day, thousands of teachers across California help their students to study, to learn and to reach for their dreams.

Good Teachers Create Great Lives

Teachers can touch lives in ways that no one else can. Everyone remembers at least one teacher who provided them with encouragement and inspiration, with the help and advice that they needed just when they needed it most.

You are one small step away from becoming such a teacher.

Good Teachers Also Lead Great Lives

But teachers don’t just inspire and educate. As a teacher, you’ll enjoy respect from your family and friends, and a social status given to few other professionals. You’ll have long paid vacations that will enable you to travel the world or pursue your own goals. And you’ll have an income that will bring you independence and a career path that can lead you from challenge to success.

All that stands between you and a rewarding career of educating, guiding and inspiring students right now is your CSET test.

Pass The CSET exam, Pass On Your CSET test Knowledge

The CSET exam is a series of single-subject tests intended to prove to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing that you have the basic CSET test knowledge and ability to teach your subject in a classroom. There is also a CSET Multiple Subject exam which is required for K-8 certification.

Currently there is a

  • CSET Mathematics
  • CSET English
  • CSET Social Science
  • CSET Science
  • CSET Spanish
  • CSET Business
  • CSET Health Science
  • CSET Home Economics
  • CSET Physical Education
  • CSET French
  • CSET Spanish
  • CSET German
  • CSET Industrial and Technology Education
  • CSET Art
  • CSET Agriculture

    With hard work and, no less importantly, the right CSET test preparation, you should find it easy to pass the CSET and start your teaching career.

    What You Need To Know About The CSET

    Whichever subject you intend to teach, you’ll find that passing the CSET test will require you to make use of two sets of skills: recalling the CSET knowledge that you possess about your subject; and answering exam questions quickly and accurately.

    Both of these skill sets are vitally important on the CSET.

    What is the CSET?

    The CSET is a single subject exam, intended to replace the old Single Subject Assessments for Teaching and Praxis II tests. There are three types of test in the CSET:

    Single Subject Teaching Credentials are mainly used from grades 7-12 and authorize a teacher to teach one particular subject.

    Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials allow teachers to teach a range of different subjects and are generally used in elementary schools for grades K-6.

    Education Specialist Instruction Credentials allow teachers to teach students who have a particular disability or special need in grades K-12.

    Each exam in the CSET contains a number of subtests and lasts up to five hours. The sub-tests themselves are not timed however, allowing you to spend more time on areas that you find difficult and less time on the parts that you know best.

    Time management will be an important element in getting the score you need to pass the CSET exam and become a teacher.

    Two Types Of Questions, Two Types Of Challenge

    CSET exam questions come in two forms: multiple-choice questions ask you to choose the best answer from a number of options. In these questions, it is important to remember that the best answer isn’t necessarily the only correct answer. You may find that two CSET exam answers look correct but one answer will be more correct than the other. (This also means that when two answers look the same, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of guessing the right one.)

    Constructed-response CSET questions ask you to discuss, describe, analyze, explain etc. Often you’ll be asked to complete more than one task. Always read the question carefully and make sure that you have completed all the tasks.

    CSET Test Taking Tips for Essay Writing

    CSET Test Preparation– How To Cram Fast And Effectively

    Whatever your subject, the CSET exam is going to expect you to have memorized vast amounts of information. Some of that CSET information you’ll know well because you use it every day. But much of the details that will turn up in the exam will be the sort of knowledge that will normally have you turning to the books to find the answers.

    In the CSET, you’ll need to be able to recall those facts from your memory. That means being able to cram.

    Top Methods To Quickly Complete CSET Test Preparation

    At some point, just about everyone finds themselves having to cram for an exam. It might not be the best way to learn, but it’s often the only way to pass the test.

    There are a number of effective techniques that you can use to fill your head with the information you need to breeze through your CSET exam.

    1. Organize Your Priorities

    No one excels at everything. There will inevitably be some subjects at which you are stronger and others at which you are weaker. You’ll need to make sure that you spend more time memorizing and learning your weaker areas than your stronger ones for the CSET.

    Don’t worry if it looks like there’s a huge difference between the amount of work you have to do and the amount of time you have to do it. The next step will be to chop down the work and preparation required to pass the CSET.

    2. Pick And Store for the CSET

    Once you’ve identified those areas that will need the most work, read all the information through once. Highlight the most important points (don’t just underline: it’s easier to picture a highlighted page than an underlined sentence).

    There are a number of different methods that you can then use to store your CSET exam information in your head:

    o Break up what you need to learn into bite-sized chunks. There’s a limit to how much you can stuff into your short-term memory in one go. Take each piece a little at a time.

    o Acrostics help you remember a list in the right order by turning them into strange sentences. My Dear Aunt Sally is the famous way to remember to Multiply and Divide before you Add and Subtract. You can create your own acrostic for any set of facts on the CSET.

    o Turn your CSET notes into musical notes. If you can put the words you’re trying to memorize to a tune you like, you’ll find them much easier to remember. You might not be able to hum in the exam, but you can sing in the shower — and in the process, keep memorizing for the CSET;

    3. Get the CSET Rammed Right In There!

    Cramming only puts the information you want in your head for a short time (using what you’re memorizing will keep it there for the long term). In order to stop what you’ve memorized falling out before your CSET exam, you’ll need to keep seeing it and going over it right up until you need it on the day.

    Acing The CSET

    The actual content of your exam will depend on the subject you’re thinking of teaching. The official CSET study guides will tell you what you’re supposed to know before you walk into the CSET exam room. You should certainly be familiar with the CSET guides that apply to you.

    What the CSET study guides won’t tell you though is how to ace the CSET when you aren’t sure of the answer. That isn’t because you can’t do it; it’s because they don’t want you to know how to do it.

    Here are 5 Ways To Ace The CSET (Even When You Don’t Know The Answer)

    1. Do the easy questions first

    Use the first few minutes of the exam to zip through the paper. You’ll certainly find some of the questions easier than others. Do those straight away. It will make you feel a bit better and give you more time for the tough questions. And if you find yourself getting stuck on a question, make a mark, leave it and move on. Come back to it at the end when you’ll have more time, more focus and less panic.

    2. Use a process of elimination

    This is an absolute must on any multiple choice question. There will always be one or two questions that are outrageously wrong. Knock them out quick and your score doubles.

    3. Drop extreme language and numbers

    One way to pick the bad answer choices from the good is to look at the wording of the answers. The examiners generally prefer the correct answer to be wishy-washy. Any answer choice that uses words like ‘all’, ‘never’ or ‘always’ are probably wrong. Similarly, on math and science questions, the highest and lowest figures are usually bad choices too. Take them out.

    4. Identify similar answers

    Another way to hone in on the right answer choices is to pick out any answers that look the same. Usually on the CSET exam, two answers will be extreme, one will look right and one will be right.

    The one that looks right has been put there deliberately to confuse you.

    The examiners are hoping that as you rush through the exam, you won’t notice that there’s a better answer right next to it and pick the wrong choice. That’s mean, but it actually does you a favor. When two answer choices look similar, one of them is likely to be right.

    5. Use previous questions

    One of the great things about long exams like the CSET is that the answer to one question can often be found in another part of the test. It’s going to be almost impossible for the examiners not to repeat a subject or duplicate a point. If you’re scratching your head over a question, move on and keep an eye out for it later. There’s a good chance that they’ll give the game away in a different question.

    Those are just five simple tactics you can use to ace the CSET test. There are dozens of others and you’ll need them all to put yourself in the classroom and in front of the blackboard. To learn all the tactics you need, and to make sure that your CSET test preparation is right on track, check out our Study Guide and start your teaching career with top marks.

  • Teaching Passionately

    I attended a graduation this past weekend. As the dean of the school of education confirmed the degrees I thought, what number of those students who selected teaching as their career really have the passion for teaching. Do they have the right stuff to be a teacher?

    What does passionate teaching look like? Personally, I think it is a calling. Teaching is something you pour your heart and soul into. You care and you admire. Teaching should be a fun and colourful. Your students should love learning.

    Teaching is totally full of personal relationships. Students need these relationships to be able to learn. According to Jerelyn Thomas in Passionate Teaching, “Bonding with students rests on what the teacher gives rather than what he / she asks of the students.”

    Mary Powell states in Passionate Teachers Create Passionate Students, “Students equate satisfaction with learning and be more inclined to enjoy school. Enjoying school is far more than just for the student.” Teaching should come from within.

    I might often anticipate the next year and wish to give my class the best experience they may have. I wanted my lessons to reflect the real world, full of excitement and have students remembering what and how they learned.

    Therefore what’s the “Right Stuff”? I suspect the right stuff is when students will walk on water for their teacher. The teacher can show an image of a vehicle and tell them it’s a plane and they’ll believe it without any question. ( Well, at least not initially ). But, you know what I mean.

    I have grown to equate teaching with the idea of a teacher giving of his / her spirit. I Corinthians 12:28 ( NKJV ), “And God appointed these in the church, first apostles, 2nd prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrators, types of tongues.”

    I don’t know why teachers were listed third nonetheless, the undeniable fact that teachers are mentioned is significant. Teachers have an important job. We make a difference in the world. We shape the world. If a society is not educated, it won’t be successful.

    Passionate teaching includes the student being part of the teacher’s life. I think the student learns the teacher cares when the teacher invites the student into their world. The teacher shares their likes, dislikes, trails, achievements and pastimes.

    According to Jerelyn Thomas, “Students benefit considerably from seeing what their teachers are enthusiastic about. Passionate teachers get to the guts of their subject and share with their students. These teachers act as partners in the learning.”

    Students need to learn how to be fond of learning and continued self-learning should be our aim as an educator. Teachers who share their love for their subject and help students relate it with real world applications are passionate teachers.

    According to James 3:1 ( NKJV ) “My brethren, let not that many of you become teachers understanding that we shall receive tougher judgment.” Being a teacher is important. It is a major responsibility.

    There aren’t many teachers who are truly teachers. There are a lot who stand to the front of their class everyday and don’t care for the students.

    If you have just graduated from college satisfying the requirements to become a teacher, make sure before you step foot into the classroom you’ve got the passion for teaching.

    Tips, Strategies and Educational Resources for Parents During Social Distancing

    Approximately 56.6 million students attended elementary and secondary school in the United States in 2019. With the current COVID-19 global pandemic, school districts across the nation made the tough decision to close schools and move to online classes due to public health and safety concerns. Parents and caregivers have been charged with stepping into a more active role of facilitating their child’s educational learning. Below are a few educational tips, strategies and resources for parents.

    1. Ensure that student is participating in all required online activities including instructional time and any additional online chats’ participation.

    2. Discuss with teachers your child’s ongoing academic progress including completion of homework assignments, projects and exam scores.

    3. Parents are recommended to supplement their child’s learning with additional academic enrichment activities including educational websites, at home science projects or fun learning games.

    4. Parents should make sure to create an at home learning environment to help their child focus including having a quiet place away from distractions, routine homework and study times and learning materials including a computer/laptop, textbooks, etc.

    5. For students who are receiving exceptional student education (ESE) services, are under an IEP or 504 plan, should follow-up with the school counselor or school psychologist to determine if there are any required pending updates or meetings required prior to the end of the school year.

    6. If your child was undergoing a psychoeducational evaluation for determination of special education services, please follow-up with school personnel for a status report and to see if the school psychologist may be conducting testing over the summer.

    7. If your child was unable to start his/her evaluation prior to school closing, discuss with school staff if it is possible for your child to have a private psychoeducational evaluation completed if you are very concerned about the potential delay at the start of the next school year. Please be mindful that a private psychoeducational evaluation may be at your own expense and the school does not have to accept the results or recommendations. Additionally, if submitted to the school it becomes a part of your child’s educational record. Please take all of the above into consideration before spending hundreds of dollars for a private evaluation.

    8. If you would like to pursue a private psychoeducational evaluation, consider a more affordable alternative of having the evaluation conducted at a nearby university that has a university-based clinic with graduate students who can complete the testing under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist.

    9. Students finishing their senior year and planning to attend college in the fall, should contact their selected college/university to determine if classes will start on time as previously outlined.

    10. Graduating students already admitted to college for 2020-2021, should follow-up on the status of their financial aid including any awarded grants, scholarships or G.I. bill disbursements.

    EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES:

    Abcmouse- subscription-based digital education program for children ages 2-8.

    BrainPOP- Animated educational sites for kids

    Discovery Education- standards-based digital curriculum resources for K-12 classrooms worldwide

    Funbrain- online educational games for kids

    Khan Academy- offers practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard for self-paced learning

    PhET Simulations- provides free fun interactive math and science simulations

    Scholastic- offers books, literacy resources and educational solutions for kids

    Scistarter- connects people to citizen science projects, scientists and resources

    Starfall- reading, phonics, and math educational games and activities for kids in preschool through 2nd grade

    Tutor.com/military- The program provides on-demand academic support 24/7 online in more than 100 subjects for grades kindergarten through college students. Now available at no cost to any adult or child in a DoD civilian or Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve or Wounded Warrior military family.

    FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS:

    Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)-studentaid.gov

    FastWeb- online college scholarship search provider

    INFORMATIONAL ARTICLES:

    “20 Tips for Applying for College Scholarship”, Felecia D. Sheffield, PhD, EzineArticles.com

    “Minimizing Summer Learning Loss- 5 Tips for Parents”, Felecia D. Sheffield & Shameeka T. Meredith, ezinerarticles.com

    Parent Center Hub, Center for Parent Information and Resources- “All About the IEP”

    Parent Center Hub, Center for Parent Information and Resources- “Developing Your Child’s IEP”

    U.S. Department of Education, “A Guide to the Individualized Education Program”

    Greatschools.org “A parent’s guide to Section 504 in public schools”

    Additudemag.com “is an IEP or 504 Plan best for Your Child? How to Decide”

    Copyright © 2020 Felecia D. Sheffield. PhD, HSP All Rights Reserved Worldwide in all Media.

    Survival Tips – Grading Essays

    Maybe it is just me – Ha, yeah right! – but grading is one of the most difficult parts of this whole teaching thing.

    I know I am not the only teacher who feels this way. In fact I had a student tell me that he was thinking of being a teacher until he realized all his teachers complained about the grading. I actually felt bad that I contributed to his negative thinking and apologized to him for complaining about my job. I gave him honest reasons why teaching is amazing and why it can be a challenge.

    I then decided to not say a word about grading to my students and simply keep my thoughts to myself, a few close friends, and you.

    My aversion to grading is rather new. I never used to mind grading. I actually used to like it. I enjoyed seeing what my students learned and reading their thoughts.

    It all changed this year. I know that there are ebbs and flows with everything and that teaching is one of those things. I know there are good years and OK years and years that make you think “Good gracious, when will it all end?” This year is no exception. Overall this has been an OK year for many different reasons. However, when it comes to grading it has been a “Good gracious, when will it all end?”

    I have had many times where I question my ability to teach, where I consider going back to school and getting my MBA, or becoming a PE teacher – why didn’t I do this to begin with? I could wear yoga pants every day!

    In many ways this year I have adapted some survival tactics so that I can enjoy make it through my piles of essays that I will share with you now.

    – Carry stacks of papers from desk to car to home to car to desk to home to car to desk to…

    – Grade two papers a day for a month, you might eventually finish.

    – Before you grade think of the top 3-5 things you want the essay to do, only read those parts and grade accordingly.

    – Take a break every 10 papers or so, but don’t snack, you will gain 10 pounds in a week!

    – Stop grading when comments start to become “Did you listen to any of the directions I gave you?!?!”

    – Remember that it is their paper, not your paper.

    – Stack the deck – I like to student’s who usually produce good work and place their papers strategically though the pile. It is a needed boost when I am considering walking off the job.

    – Find the funniest simile, metaphor, personification etc. One of my favorites was “Love is like a pot of wine, just one drink and you are passed out drunk.” So much about this is beautiful. Who drinks wine from a pot? What kinds of wine renders a person drunk after one sip? How did an 18 year old senior know about this wine?

    – Run a mile after every 20 papers. It keeps you awake and fresh. Works well when you are stuck grading at home and can run around your neighborhood or have a treadmill.

    – Remember that these kids, even though they are not your kids, are some one’s kids. They are daughters and sons and should be treated with worth.

    – Assign grades based on how much I like them, how much they gave me in a Starbucks card for Christmas, how many excuses they gave when they turned the paper in, or blindly make piles of papers in a stack for As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs. Obviously, I do none of these, but it is fun to think of new ways to grade.

    – Instead of getting mad, sad, depressed I now laugh. Just laugh it off and move on. The kids who do care will continue to do well and the ones who do not will change one day or not. You cant fix everyone.

    – Pray. I honestly have to pray before I sit down and grade these days, it helps me remember to be kind.

    No matter how much you want to throw the paper away or just give them all As there are plenty of ways to make it through that mountain staring you down. Do not get discouraged and do not feel like you are alone. This too shall pass.