On the Road with Realityworks: Career Exploration Teaching Tips from the 2015 GACTE Conference

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

I recently traveled to Atlanta to attend the 2015 Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education Career Tech Expo on behalf of Realityworks. We always learn a great deal when we visit with our RealCare® Program customers who stop by our booth, and this conference was no different.

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One recurring theme that we have heard before surfaced at this year’s GACTE trade show. As Family and Consumer Science (FACS) instructors are ensuring that their programs focus on college- and career-readiness, traditional parenting courses are being discontinued as irrelevant.  More FACS instructors are asking for ways to use RealCare Baby and our other RealCare Program products as resources for teaching transferable career skills. Here is what we told those teachers; feel free to use these tips if you are facing this challenge in your own program:

  • Use our free career exploration curriculum, which we created specifically for the RealCare Program. The 5-lesson Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration uses each of our RealCare experiential learning tools, like RealCare Baby, to jumpstart career exploration in related occupations. Career pathways such as Education & Training, Human Services and Healthcare are included in these ready-to-use lesson plans.
  • Build greater value into your course content by teaching employability or soft skills. A free 6-lesson curriculum can be found here. These lessons can be used in any CTE course and give students active practice on time management, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and interview skills. Many of these soft skills are included in state and national CTE standards.
  • Consider using your courses to lead to an industry-recognized certification. Turn your parenting classes into childhood development and early childhood career skills courses as part of a CDA (Child Development Associate) or similar certification.
  • Work with your local community college to see if a dual credit course or program can be created.
  • Rework your course title and syllabus to highlight the college and career readiness skills that are already being taught.
  • Use the alignment and crosswalk documents found here to clearly identify the Common Career Technical Core Standards that are being taught in the RealCare Program lessons that you are teaching.
  • Participate in cross-curricular planning with other core academic and CTE instructors. Identify areas of common interest and teach interdisciplinary units with common themes. For example, as you use RealCare Baby to teach childcare career skills, your Entrepreneurship instructor could use the start-up of a daycare as a class project.

We hope these ideas help you jumpstart your own creative juices! To view a webinar on using the RealCare Program for career exploration, click here.

Are you using the RealCare Program to teach transferrable career skills in your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear what you’re doing. Share your ideas in the comments below!

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