Sunday, April 10, 2011

Which faculty/high school do I choose?

   This is a question which we hear most often these days. The final year pupils of elementary and high schools are facing one of the most important decisions in life: the choice of future occupation. Parents are the most valuable advisers to their children and should be well aware of the importance of this choice.
  Most parents often believe that the children should think about the choice of occupation only at the end of primary school, which is wrong. Preparing for career starts from the moment when the child starts to play and can be divided into three phases:
- Preparation phase
- Counseling phase
- Monitoring of the results in the school of choice
    In the preparation phase, the influence of the family is essential in terms of development and learning about personalities, abilities and interests of the child and creating their habits. Parents have at their disposal number of corrective measures in order to guide the child in the desired direction of development.
   One of the most natural and effective educational methods is presenting an example. The success of this method stems from the suggestibility of the child and its tendency to imitate. By giving our own example and by pointing out to the examples of others, parents can help children to prepare themselves for the future career choices.
   Playing is one of the most important activities at a younger age. Through games, children examine and develop their psychomotor skills, strengthen their will and gain experience. In this way, they gradually prepare for subsequent “serious” work. In the later childhood, the games can help you follow the development of their abilities, skills and talents.
    In order to develop child’s work habits, it is important that a parent has the right attitude towards work, especially the relation between physical and intellectual work, especially because the boundaries between the two are becoming less and less visible due to modern technical achievements. The family should also guide the child to learn to appreciate every work, if it is properly done. The children, as early as possible, should have responsibilities according to their physical and intellectual capabilities. Learning is a special form of work that requires a series of obligations from child, but children have to engage in other activities (housework, care of younger children, etc..), as much as their school duties allow.
     In order to be able to properly advise the child, parents need to know, at this phase, child's qualities. By carefully observing the child while playing, parents learns about her/his dexterity, attention, imagination, reasoning, ability to cooperate, sociability ... Parents, through leisure activities, can take notice of the activities that keep their child’s attention for the longest time, and which activities the child avoids. Based on this, they can deduce which are child's inclinations and interests. Homework can reveal what the child's work habits are, how much time was spent on studying certain subjects, how effectively she/he can organize the work, what kind of work represents a special difficulty.
    This is a general overview of our activities with younger children, which are important for the future career choice. I hope you have not missed that phase, and if so, it is never too late to correct mistakes in the second phase.
    The second phase, the counseling, begins in the final years of primary and secondary school. Parents should suggest professions to their children only in cases when the child shows obvious skills and talents, and when the child is likely to be successful in the chosen school, in any case, they should help the child in making his own decisions.
   Here is a suggestion.
    Create together a list of occupations for which your child shows interest, you can add your suggestions. Encourage your child to learn about these professions as well, and then make a list of skills and talents that a child has. The third list should contain the most sought after professions. For every profession from the first list note down the skills and talents that your child has and are required for the job, also write down whether the profession is in demand. Occupations with the most associated skills and talents are probably most suitable for your child, and before a final decision you should pay attention to the demand for this occupation.
    If there are any doubts about your child's preference for a profession, contact the professional teams. Parents are often uninformed or not sufficiently familiar with schools and professions and end up making serious mistakes.
   The third phase is monitoring of the success at the chosen school or college. It is not wrong to change the school or university, if it becomes obvious that the choice is not right.
   Instead of a conclusion, I will describe my experience.
  When my daughter made her choice of college, I was deeply disappointed. She decided for occupation, which was not very much in demand. But her choice was in synch with her abilities, skills and desires, and she was learning very easily, finished college, on time, with high grades,  completed the master studies and soon found an opportunity to demonstrate her professional qualities. She is very successful in her job.

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