- Olathe Public Schools
- Career Corner
Posted by Counselor Mindy Wells on 10/1/2018
Parents of elementary school-aged children don’t often spend time thinking about career paths for their children. However, helping a child take regular inside insights can benefit them for a successful life-launch after high school.
“Inside insights” is a term coined by Dr. Mel Levine in his book “Ready or Not, Here Life Comes” (Simon & Schuster, 2005). Dr. Levine describes the importance of helping children discover their strengths and interests, both inside and outside of school, as well as identifying things they aren’t so good at or things they don’t really like. He suggests completing this exercise regularly with the child and then adjusting to the changes based upon their discoveries about themselves. While it is tempting to enroll a child in activities based upon what their social crowd is doing or what you liked to do as a child, it is most important to really know the child and to help him or her discover the unique combinations of personal strengths and challenges to guide them on a journey of personal discovery.
It is never too early to help a child know themselves and help them to have experiences that are unique to their own personal profile. Using self-reflection to process life’s successes and failures is a skill that will serve them well throughout their life. To get started, use these three prompts:
- Things I Do Well in School: academic (reading, writing, math, social studies, etc.) and non-academic (share, handle my emotions, organization, work and play well with others, etc.)
- Things I Do Well Outside of School (take care of pets, dance, investigate nature, cook, sports, etc.)
- Things or Kinds of Things I’m Not So Good at or Like (both inside and outside of school)
The elementary school years are an important time to build essential skills that will help children eventually be successful in any career path they choose in the future!