dIt is hard to believe that we have finished another school year during a global pandemic with much more success then the previous year when students moved to learning remotely full time.
Our Grade 12 students graduated- some schools held drive-in graduation ceremonies while other schools held more creative events to celebrate this very important milestone. The important thing to remember is we celebrated regardless how big or small the event was.
The graduates of this global pandemic are described in the video below as young people with GRIT - a combination of passion and perseverance. If our young people demonstrate both of these qualities they are well on their way to succeeding in life no matter what comes their way.
The Manitoba Career Fair is a virtual event, hosted by Manitoba Career Prospects and organized by the Manitoba Tourism Education Council. This event helps fill the void of cancelled and postponed career fairs in 2020/21 as a result of social distancing efforts.
The purpose is to help students, parents and educators discover and learn more about the thousands of career opportunities in Manitoba in a multitude of industries. Information about industry trends, major employers and education options will also be available.
Learning opportunities include over 40 exhibitors in a virtual tradeshow environment with live chat, fun and informative live streaming events, games and contests.
Manitoba Career Fair Link
March 23, 2020 - this date will be forever etched in my mind. The sudden exodus of students from the normal institution that we call “school” to a home learning environment. Hallways that were full of students were now empty, there seemed to be a sense of “meaninglessness” for those of us who career counsel high school students. There was new terminology like cohorts, remote learning, blended learning; remote teaching, contact tracing etc etc. Teachers were navigating in uncharted waters trying to give some sense to the new way of teaching.
Now fast forward to the Fall of 2020 - and we are no where near normal. The pandemic has changed us. We have learned to be creative via virtual meetings, virtual events, virtual learning. Will we ever experience the normalized instituton we call school again?. Students need to look at this pandemic as a pivotal moment of drastic change in which they will need to adapt, embrace and move in a direction that will allow them to continue learning and striving to reach their goals and dreams. This cannot be looked upon as “woe to me” but as a challenge.
On Sunday Nov 15, 2020 SpaceX launched with 4 young people, their destination - the International Space Station. Were there challenges? - yes; Did they have to overcome obstacles? - yes; Were there disappointments along the way? - yes; Was it hard work? - yes; Did they succeed ? - YES! And that is what counts!
Our job as career counsellors is to be relevant and effective in our communication so that we can help our young people fully engage in knowing that there is hope and opportunity in the years to come. The challenge will be how to accomplish this.
As we continue to adapt to the "new normal'" it has been clear that many many events will not be happening in the near future. Events like Career Symposiums, Career Fairs and many other events too numerous to mention, just will not happen. As students look at what the next step is for them whether it is work or post-secondary school, the most important thing that needs to happen now is communicating to students events that are starting to pop up online. This post will be a post that I will continue to add events regarding careers, work and other related issues that are impacting our high school students. Starting tomorrow and accessible for a week is the Virtual Manitoba Career Fair, here is the link.
Another event that is taking place is a Virtual Student Expo Event (June 5, 6 and 7) for students across Canada. Over 1,000 colleges and universities from across the country will be represented at the online event to answer questions regarding registration, scholarships, or any other concerns students or parents might have. Here is a link that you can go to:
Both of these events are free and I believe the information that students will be able to glean from each of these events will be very helpful as they make future decisions.
Take a look at this promo video.
Unprecedented has been defined as “never before known or experienced event” and uncharted waters as “a new and unknown area”. This pretty much sums up the past two weeks in the lives of the entire world from economics, to the health care system and of course the education of all students K-12 in many provinces across Canada. Initially, cancellations of many school events to the end of April seemed reasonable, but once the decision to suspend in-class learning became a reality, approximately 18,000 Grade 12 students in Manitoba will not be able to walk across the stage to receive their diploma, a significant milestone that represents a lot of hard work and the beginning of a new journey.
With in-class learning suspended indefinitely, teaching looks very different. I witnessed first-hand teachers embracing the challenge of rethinking how they were going to connect with their students. The insurmountable learning curve has just become a reality for the entire world. No longer is there physical face-to-face interaction but with the advancement of technology, teachers are doing face-to-face with their students through Hangouts, GoMeet, Zoom etc. Doing assignments through Google classroom allows the teachers to measure success.
It has been a huge learning curve for all of us, many are working from home, In the last two weeks, I have learned how to use Google classroom, Go Meet, Hangouts, Zoom, What’s App, voice over for Google slides to create presentations and the list goes on and on. I know first hand the amount of work our teachers do in the classroom and in a short period of time they have moved from their classroom to each individual student’s home via this amazing thing called Technology, emergency remote learning, not online teaching. There is a huge difference. Here is a link to an article I read recently regarding this – a great read for anybody who is connected to the educational system - .Emergency Remote Learning
On Thursday April 2, I had my first experience helping my grandson with his ELA assignment via Hangouts. I had the opportunity to hear him read his novel to me and then discuss and answer questions. I want him to succeed, I want my granddaughter to succeed. I know that their teachers and parents are working hard together to make this new adventure work.
Our role, whether a teacher, parent, grandparent, counsellor, mentor, we all have an opportunity to make an impact on those entrusted to us. Everything has changed, what we had yesterday we may not have tomorrow, but it will be something better if we are willing to embrace these new uncharted waters.