Teaching Students to Know Themselves
No matter what our students do after high school — whether they continue their education or enter the workforce — they need the same foundational skills.
They need to know what to expect, how to meet demanding expectations, how to communicate effectively, how to collaborate, how to use technology, how to think critically, how to develop and bring to life novel ideas, how to advocate for themselves and how to build networks. Most important, students need to know how to learn by building their 21st century skill sets, so they can continually adapt in a rapidly changing world.
To help students achieve these objectives, CPS has created Advisory and Guidance.
Focusing on the Student
Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, all students in grades 5-9 will belong to an Advisory Team, and all students in grades 10-12 will participate in Guidance.
Advisory and Guidance are designed to help students make connections with others and within themselves. They are making a big place smaller for our students, while helping students bolster their self-confidence and set a direction for their futures. Advisory Teams and Guidance meet at least once a week to focus on individual student needs, dreams and plans. During these sessions, students explore three primary questions:
- Who am I?
- Where am I going?
- How will I get there?
To help answer these questions, students explore career pathways and academic progress using the district’s Naviance tool.
Advisory Teams are made up of a small group of students and a teacher. They are a place where students make plans: for school, for college, for their careers and for their futures. This is a safe time to talk about barriers and needs; to be serious, but to have fun, too. Advisories are helping students build academic and social skills by breaking down barriers, fostering relationships, strengthening listening skills and, most important, building trust.
Advisories have four goals:
- Create a sense of community
- Provide academic direction
- Provide college and career planning
- Encourage social and emotional learning.
While building on the progress made in Advisory, Guidance narrows students’ focus on their post-high school plans. Career explorations become more experiential, giving students a first-hand experience of the careers that interest them. Students also explore general financial literacy as well as the costs and financial benefits of their plans, such as how much they will need to budget for college or trade school, how to pay for their schooling and how much they can expect to make for different career clusters.