Teaching Kids about Careers through Junior Achievement

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I had such a great time teaching Junior Achievement in the Spring to third graders, I jumped at the chance to try a different grade this time around after being asked if I was free (thanks Meghan!).

First, Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The goal is to teach concepts through experiential learning, allowing young people to put their new knowledge and skills into practice.

This time around teaching JA was a totally different experience. First, Meghan (also a DE) and I were teaching middle-schoolers at Spring Harbor Middle School, two classes back to back, over the course of 5 weeks (as opposed to just doing one class with multiple lessons contained within) in November and December. JA makes it really easy to volunteer, giving you everything you need in a little totebag – materials, posters, handouts and a lesson plan handbook.

We were teaching the JA “Our Future” unit, which offers practical information about preparing for the working world. Students explore potential careers, discover the four factors to consider in choosing a career, and recognize basic job-hunting tools. We covered creating a positive personal brand, high-growth, career clusters, career mapping, job hunting, how to keep a job and more. All of the activities were great, but the job hunting scavenger hunt on the last day was definitely the most engaging. Can’t wait to teach JA again in the Spring!

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