5 Tips for Helping Teens Plan Ahead for a Sizzling Future
Whether you’re a parent, Learning Coach, teacher, or school counselor, we all share a common goal: to prepare kids to succeed in life beyond virtual school. And not surprisingly, setting specific goals for their adult lives can help teenagers stay motivated and focused on learning. Here are a few practical ideas to help high school kids jump-start their future plans during those lazy days of summer.
- Visit colleges and trade schools. Summer is a great time for teens to think about the careers that interest them and to research what kind of education or training they may need after high school. Visit some colleges, universities, or trade schools this summer to get a “feel” for various sizes and types of campuses.
- Job-shadow a person in an interesting career. It’s difficult to understand what it’s like to work in a particular business or industry without experiencing it. Help your high school student research some local companies in a field of interest. Encourage your teen to call and schedule an afternoon of shadowing someone on the job to see firsthand what’s involved in a particular career.
- Volunteer in your neighborhood. Community service is a great way to make contacts and gain valuable real-life experience. Nonprofit organizations always need help, be it visiting a nursing home for a day, cleaning up a local playground, or serving food to the needy. Your teen can help others while also gaining confidence and bolstering his or her resume.
- Practice presentation skills. For everything from college admissions meetings to job interviews and board meetings, public speaking skills are key! Have your teenager pick a topic and do a 10- to 15-minute presentation for your family. Be sure to give constructive feedback! If you have a video camera, record the talk so your student can critique his or her performance.
- Consider the school year ahead. Brainstorm together for ways to make the upcoming school year an interesting and engaging year of learning for your high schooler. Are there new clubs and activities he or she would like to try? Are any student leadership opportunities available through school or in the community? Is an after-school job an option? Your student may also benefit from contacting his or her school counselor to discuss the choices available.
With more free time, fewer academic responsibilities, and these tips to get you started, this summer break may be your best opportunity to help your child research, refine, and establish goals that pave the way for a lifetime of success.
If you’ve come up with any cool tips for helping teens plan for their futures, please share them in the comments below.