Teacher Work Attachment at Praxium
In the month of October, we hosted a few teachers as part of the Teacher Work Attachment Plus (TWA+) Programme organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
They got to support us in our Pathways programme first-hand and we got them to share what their experience was like. Read on to hear more about their perspective!
The Experience of Pathways at Zhonghua & Edgefield Secondary School
Student-centred Career Guidance Experience
If any school wishes to give its students an almost-authentic experience without having to set up a work attachment for every student, then Praxium’s Pathways experience is the answer.
It has been a great eye-opening experience being on this Teacher Work Attachment Plus (TWA+) programme, as Education and Career Guidance for me, whether as a student or now as a teacher, has mostly been talks and one-directional learning. In this Pathways experience, students actually get to think about their own pastimes and personalities, consider how these factors can drive them, before they embark on an immersive programme to explore career options for themselves.
Students may envision the way certain careers are based on what they hear from their parents, older siblings or friends, or what are, most of the time, impersonal or distant recounts of job experiences by teachers. They may also have a perception of what “work” is based on what they watch in dramas, films or movies, which honestly, often create fictional or dramatised narratives. Every part of this Pathways experience is student-centred and crafted with the Design Thinking framework to combat the above. The students’ limited life experience gets a bit of a
challenge in every session they sign up for. How? By industry experts and facilitators not only telling them what the industry is like and what the expanse of jobs is, but also taking them through a designed experience of a part of the job.
In this five-week experience, I attended ten of these sessions in two different schools, seeing how passionate industry speakers touch young hearts with personal stories of being in their careers, the ways they got there and the actual, concrete steps they took to land the job. I see students watching these young adults share with an eagerness — not just because they want to ask the popular “How much do you earn?” question — but also because they could see this real-life manifestation of “a dream come true”.
Of course there would be some frontal “teaching” when not all students are fully engaged in the sharing of their own pastimes — really because for some, they have none other than endless amounts of time on YouTube, TikTok or Instagram — and the posing of questions about careers and related jobs. However, the passion from the industry partners emanated and spread around the room. All definitely saw life return to their bodies in the activities section, when they needed to save patients in a “Choose Your Adventure” style Healthcare activity, or tried to beat the bot in the IT activity for a Tic Tac Toe game. There was also fun in the venues engaged in the Business, Social Entrepreneur and Sustainability industries, where students have to pitch winning proposals to their friends over a T-shirt printing business, examine a social gap to plug or find an effective way to reduce the plastics in our society.
As a teacher, I could say “we could do this ourselves internally as well, since we can tap on alumni and parents. However, I would hesitate to say so, because it takes numerous hours for activities and the presentation slides to be customised per industry. When ready materials are present, there also needs to be industry knowledge to update the statistics or to ensure the activities are still up-to-date with the experiences in real life in that particular sector. For uniformity of content and relevance, there must also be time to brief the industry partners and select the best ones to represent the industry, as well as to guide them to run the activities.
This is hard / heart work. However, if you want your students to have the best gains in ECG, trust this company to do Career Guidance sessions for you.
Chiam Qian Zhen, Alethea
Teacher — General Paper / Project Work
St Andrew’s Junior College
The Experience of Pathways at Zhonghua & Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School
The Experience of Pathways at Zhonghua & Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Pathways programme is specifically designed as a stepping-stone, for youths to bridge the gap between their interests and aspirations. During the programme, it can be perceived that participants regularly take on role of an active listener, curious explorer and perceptive analyst.
To kickstart, facilitators conducted ice-breaker activities that nudged participants to share a more about their hobbies. Thereafter, both professionals and facilitators encouraged students to draw a connection among the elements that fuel their love for such hobbies, before moving on to the concept of a career. Taking on the role of an active listener, participants began to unpack the building blocks of a career and were guided to discuss how these aspects could complement with their strengths, values and beliefs. Along with the informative introduction given by professionals to ease the participants into the desired industry of their choice, professionals shared authentic personal encounters, to highlight the importance of developing an open mindset and having a strong heart towards accepting unpredicted outcomes.
Moving on to the highlight of the Pathways programme, participants had the platform to explore and analyse activities that modelled the landscape of respective industries. For instance, students in the Hospitality sector were given thought-provoking role-play opportunities, that bring out the importance of having emotional self-regulation, especially when it comes to exhibiting the essence of customer service. Meanwhile for the Healthcare sector, students took on the roles of different specialists to make tough team-based decisions that had complications on the patients’ mental and physical well-being. The consequence of their choices also allowed the students to observe how decisions can affect all parties (i.e. people and organisations) involved with the patients. Furthermore, to put into application of what the students have understood from the Law professional during the sharing, participants were tasked to analyse a case study, using technical clauses typically used within the industry. Thereafter, teams discussed earnestly and rationally shared varied perspectives, on how the outcome of the case should be.
Concluding the Pathways programme, facilitators focused on the vital skills and attitudes that various industries look out for, potential job prospects, outlook in the market and the possibility of progressing within the career track, through the illustration with concrete examples for relevant industries.
In a nutshell, it was heartening to observe Praxium collaborating with different stakeholders to encourage youths in pursuing their dreams during their growing years. Besides having professionals to give a macro-overview of the vast industries available in the market, participants had to reflect on their ideals and re-examine their fortes, to construct their ever-changing self-identity. It is a beneficial enrichment that piques participants’ interest in volatile real-world context, while motivating them to persevere in embracing challenges to keep up with the ongoing changes in this digital age.
Jasmine Tan Teacher — Mathematics Hua Yi Secondary School
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