The 5 Best Career Readiness Lesson Plans for Middle School

In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it’s never too soon to teach students about career readiness.

It also pays for students to start thinking about their careers early in life. For most students, it’s best to start thinking about their future jobs as early as middle school.

As a result, middle school teachers are constantly on the lookout for career readiness lessons and checklists to help their students get ready for the real world.

These students may still have four or five years of compulsory education left.

But the sooner they learn about the real world, the more prepared they’ll be to succeed. 

The five best career readiness lessons plans for middle school are:

  1. Digital citizenship
  2. Digital responsibility
  3. Web research
  4. Professionalism
  5. Job seeking skills

 

If you want to help your students get ready for their future careers, check out the lesson details below!

1. Digital Citizenship

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Digital citizenship is a 21st Century concept that teaches students how to use and interact with the Internet.

It emphasizes qualities like online safety, cyberbullying, communication, awareness, and digital footprints.

With that in mind, it only makes sense to use a curriculum that incorporates those qualities.

At Applied Educational Systems, we have a whole series of lessons and activities about digital citizenship

These lessons emphasize the qualities that we illustrated above. You’ll also find lessons that delve into concepts like:

  • Ethics in the digital world
  • Online responsibility
  • How to protect yourself online

If this sounds familiar at all, it’s because ethics, responsibility, protection, communication, and other topics all make people good citizens in the real world.

So it only makes sense that they’d help students become good digital citizens too!

Digital citizenship prepares students for their careers by demonstrating the appropriate use of the Internet.

That way, students have an idea of what’s expected of them in a professional setting.

While it’s true that workplaces have different rules about what employees can and can’t do online, students still need to know that social media, video games, and other distractions are unprofessional to use while at work.

In many cases, they could quickly lead to someone’s termination from a position!

That may sound like common sense to you. But today’s students have grown up with the Internet. They’ve never experienced a disconnected world.

As a result, many of them use the Internet as an extension of their personalities. The anonymity of screen names even facilitates aggressive or insulting behavior in some cases.

But if students act that way at a job, they probably won’t have their job for very long.

With these lessons, you can turn every student in your classes into a good digital citizen who understands proper online behavior.

2. Digital Responsibility

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Digital responsibility emphasizes focus and concentration in a world that’s brimming with distractions.

In that respect, digital responsibility is closely related to digital citizenship in that both topics emphasize a student’s behavior.

But digital responsibility doesn’t emphasize right and wrong. Instead, it emphasizes smart decision-making.

At AES, we have a quick and easy lesson that helps middle school students understand the value of digital responsibility in the 21st Century.

This lesson revolves around the idea of time management. The Internet empowers students to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.

But they have to choose to get that work done.

When students have options between completing work and checking social media, most of them will probably choose social media (at least for a few minutes).

Digital responsibility encourages students to minimize the time they spend away from work while they’re completing a task.

That means taking fewer “brain breaks” as they work, turning off their cell phones, and getting into a daily routine that encourages learning.

In other words, learning becomes a part of a student’s everyday life. They know when it’s time to relax and when it’s time to work.

The idea is that these lessons in time management will carry over into a student’s professional life.

Then, when they’re “on the clock,” they won’t even think about checking their Facebook. 

3. Web Research

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Web research lesson plans teach students how to identify sources of credible information online.

In the early days of the Internet, schools used blanket rules like “Don’t quote sources online” since information was a free-for-all and you never knew who wrote it.

Today, websites like that still exist.

But you also have credible organizations that publish reliable information for free, like Mayo Clinic.

At AES, we have several web research lesson plans that walk students through the process of finding, evaluating, and crediting information online.

This helps middle school students with career readiness because almost every student will one day work with the Internet for a job.

When they work, they’ll run into situations where they need answers and information that they don’t know off-hand.

Then, they’ll turn to the Internet.

Web research lessons ensure that students only bring helpful and credible information to their employers.

More importantly, students can evaluate the information an employer finds to determine if it’s worthwhile.

This makes middle school students excellent assets to their future employers.

After all, no company wants to make a major decision based on unqualified information.

4. Professionalism

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Professionalism lessons cover everything about how a student should behave in the workplace.

These lesson plans are great ways to get every student on a level playing field when it comes to career expectations.

Some students may feel like these lessons are common sense, and that’s not a problem. There’s almost always one or two ideas those students learn that they didn’t know before.

As for other students, they get a firm grasp on what it means to work in an environment more formal than school.

They learn the differences between classmates and coworkers. They learn that employers behave differently and have different rules.

Most importantly, they learn how they can act so they can hold down a job and keep their career going, even in tough circumstances.

Once a student learns how to be professional, their chances of employment go up exponentially. Best of all, the students never forget the lessons.

They’ll remember how to act professionally for the rest of their lives.  

5. Job Seeking Skills

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Job seeking skills include a series of soft skills, practice sessions, and hypothetical scenarios through which students learn how to get the career they want.

These lesson plans are directly related to career readiness. Students can’t be ready for a career if they can’t find that career in the first place!

AES has multiple lessons on job seeking skills that are oriented toward middle school and high school.

This may seem a little early to teach students how to find a job.

But the earlier students learn these lessons, the sooner they can put them into action.

That lets students practice professionalism, personal presentation, and interpersonal skills well before they ever get an interview.

Then, when they do get an interview, they’ll be much more likely to get the job they want.

Do You Want to Teach Career Readiness in Middle School?

Are you ready to show your students how to get the career of their dreams? Middle school is the perfect time to start!

AES's career readiness curriculum is the ideal product for teachers in the classroom. You can run whole classes, help individual students, grade assessments automatically, and identify areas of improvement all from one convenient learning management system!

With AES, you can take your career readiness lessons to the next level.

Watch this AES career readiness curriculum demo to see if it’s a good fit for you!

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