Need Career Readiness Activities? Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on March 23rd, 2015

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Need Career Readiness Activities?

Career Readiness | CTE Teachers

Have you ever asked yourself: How can I teach career readiness skills when I'm not a career readiness expert? Teachers of all types are being asked to incorporate career readiness activities into their curriculum. Add to that that the curriculum must be engaging and with a real-life context for students. Yet teachers do not have as many resources available to help with this content as they do for their specific subject area.

The Unfortunate Lack of Career Readiness Activities and Curriculum

Case in point...During a recent visit to California, our Mike Collins reported that administrators and directors are sharing concerns that teachers don't know how to teach career readiness content, nor do they have any. Directors want career readiness activities and curriculum that is easy to implement for all elective and CTE teachers charged with teaching career readiness content. Here's what they're saying:

"Teachers are struggling with career lesson plans. They are required to submit them to the district, and when we see a good program with career lesson plans already created, it is a huge plus."

"We need to see more 'real-world' content and lessons in career type activities."

If you haven't already heard, Ohio is leading the way when it comes to career readiness. You should read about their Strand 1 Business Operations/21st Century Skills objectives.

CTE Teachers Feel the Burn

How can teachers spend less time creating career readiness lesson plans and content? Is there a faster, more efficient way? Does any of this sound like you? Each of these comments came directly from emails sent from CTE teachers. I’m guessing you can relate to some of them, right?

career readiness activities

Career Readiness lesson plans are hard work

Here’s the thing…developing curriculum and lesson plans is hard work. Believe me, we know. It takes us many hours by many people and lots of dollars (approximately $10k) to develop ONE curriculum hour of content. And we aren’t even teaching classes, grading papers, working on professional development, etc., at the same time.

And that’s just one curriculum hour, based on just one or two standards or outcomes. Multiply that times 90 or 180 hours or the number of standards that need to be covered and it seems an impossible task for one teacher. No wonder teachers are staying up til 2am developing activities!

I just checked in with a teacher friend of mine about lesson plans, and here’s how it went:

career readiness activities

“Worst part of teaching isn’t the teaching–it’s the plans.”
Yep, that about sums it up!

Elective and CTE teachers want to focus on their craft

Even if developing career readiness lesson plans and content didn’t take so long, most teacher teachers would rather be focused on other tasks, like teaching and observing, and working directly with students to help instill a love of their subject matter and to help them become life-long learners.

For CTE teachers, many of them didn’t start their careers as educators. Rather, they worked in the field that they love—love so much, that now they want to help mold the next generation of skilled workers. I seriously doubt that many, if any, CTE teachers make the transition from their specialty so that they can spend hours pouring over lesson plans and curriculum.

Career Readiness Curriculum Resources

Problem: How can a teacher spend less time developing career readiness activities? One district administrator said, "We don't want to have to reinvent the wheel in terms of what we teach in career exploration. What we are looking to change is how we deliver the material to students."

Solution: Acquire career readiness blended learning tools that do the dirty work. Or at least the bulk of it.

Think beyond the textbook. What if the resource wasn’t just a book, but fully developed, engaging and interactive curriculum that included activities, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, glossary sheets, and study guides.

What I’m talking about here is a value perception.

Budgets are tight. Everyone is spread thin. But burned out teachers don’t inspire students. And teacher turnover isn’t free! Investing the resources you do have on multi-tasking, multifaceted tools that help students succeed and teachers get more out of their time and efforts is smart.

CareerCenter21 is just one option — and it's one that you can check out for yourself right now!

Check Out AES Career Readiness >


About Sarah Layton

Sarah has been with AES since 1998, first serving as a curriculum developer, and now as a customer support analyst and content creator. She is committed to helping instructors gain experience and confidence using our solutions and to providing excellent customer care.