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Career Exploration Starts Early for St. Croix Falls School District

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Academic and career planning is not just for high school students. Maria Gjovig, an elementary school counselor at the St. Croix Falls School District, has devoted her career to encouraging students to set high aspirations and revisit those goals often. She feels that students develop a strong respect and a firm foundation for successful careers when they start setting goals early.

Gjovig’s focus is getting kindergarten through fourth-graders to actively engage in planning for being successful adults. On a six-day rotation, she has a special hour with each class where they focus on personal, social, academic, and career-based lessons.

Each year, one of her activities is having fourth grade students create resumes for their dream jobs. Gjovig publishes resumes in the hallways for everyone to see. A major component of student success is to include parents and guardians in career conversations. Making connections with support systems in students’ lives and encouraging career exploration is just as important in each student’s personal journey.

As each year goes by, special artifacts are collected and kept in a folder including copies of their evolving resumes developed between grades 4-12. At the end of their senior year, students enjoy receiving their folders and reflecting on their dreams, goals, and unique career exploration activities. Gjovig, along with her fellow counselors and Academic Career Planning team members have provided a fantastic format for students to revisit dreams and goals.

The best service we can give to the students and families within our school district is the gift of opportunity and career exploration. It is important to teach students to reach for the stars, but it is just as important to work with students on a one-on-one basis to assist them in making sure that they are on the correct path for making their dream job attainable. The St. Croix Falls School District's Academic and Career Planning team believes it is through quality mentorship, thoughtful course selection, and myriad career-based learning opportunities that make their students successful.

As teachers and counselors are looking to develop activities whether students are in or outside of the classroom, focusing on future goals might be a great way to put an important twist on an assignment. Academic and Career Planning activities allow students to dream big and create solid goals.

Subscriber Submission: Dani Schott, CESA 11 Education Consultant