Bridgeforth Middle School
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Parent Guide for 8th grade:
· This year I will be using the curriculum "Develop Your Future" with all eighth grade students. This is a career planning course for middle and high school students. You may not believe it but you are the most important influence on the future career choices of your child. Research has consistently shown that parents or other caretakers exert the primary influence on a young person's thinking about the future. Therefore, it is important for you to be at your child's side and he or she begins to explore the future through this course.
· It is important to understand that young adolescents are not ready to make final career choices. However, prior to entering high school, your child will be asked to choose a focus of study for their four years in high school. Research has shown that a child's interest are fairly stable by this age. Students will take the "Kuder Career Search with Person Match”, an online interest inventory, to group their interests according to occupational clusters. By relating interests to occupational choices, students can see what is required of them to prepare for entry into that occupation. For example, if interested in becoming a doctor, they need to know that they must master the most challenging science and math courses in high school.
· This course is intended to help students and their parents make informed choices in the high school curriculum. Of course, the level of coursework in high school depends on previous knowledge and performance. Therefore, a side benefit of career planning at this age is to open the eyes of students to the connection between current academic achievement and future educational and career choices.
· Characteristically, many young adolescents have unrealistic goals. Many want to become professional athletes or rock stars. A small percentage of young people do reach the top in these fields; so dreams should not be discouraged. However, in both areas, fame is short-lived. Therefore, parents can play an important role in encouraging aspirations while helping their child consider a back up plan.
One final word of caution: your child is not you. Much time, money, and effort is lost when a young person pursues a career only to satisfy parents. That does not mean that your child may not want to follow in your footsteps, but for now it is important that you listen with an open mind and heart.