I try to be a source of inspiration for my students. In the rural area where I teach, a lot of my students can’t imagine themselves doing anything spectacular with their lives and many seem content to seek mediocrity rather than greatness. My job as their educator is to inspire them to climb mountains, both literally and figuratively. Every year my students create a resume where they must identify specific goals and the methods they intend to employ to reach said goals.
Inspire Your Students
It is important to set a good example in your classroom and show your students that you not only believe what you are telling them, but that you yourself have done what you are asking them to do. The other day I was speaking with my juniors about Europe and I mentioned the last time I was in Paris. Someone raised his hand and said, “Mrs. T, you are unlike anyone I’ve ever known, you actually do the things you say you are going to. No one I know ever fulfills his dreams.” I told him the difference between me and whomever he is talking about is not that I could do it and they couldn’t, but that instead of simply talking about doing it, I did it. Something as simple and straightforward as that can blow the minds of children used to living amongst naysayers. Be a positive influence in your students’ lives and you will teach them to believe in themselves.
Before taking my students to the computer lab, I tell them to clear their minds and give me their attention. I want them to think about the endless possibilities that fill this world of ours. I direct their eyes to the poster next to my white board with the heading “You never know what you can do until you try.” Underneath that heading is a picture of a skydiver. I ask them look a little closer at the picture to see if they notice something. This is when my astute observers incredulously ask, “Mrs. T is that you?!” Several years ago I went sky diving and I enlarged the photo of myself and pasted it over the picture on the poster. I tell them it is me and that if I can jump out of a plane, they can think outside the box and imagine the infinite amount of opportunities they have.
Now I’ve lit a fire, and I need to fan the flames. I give them the handout below along with instructions regarding Microsoft Word for those students who are not familiar with it. This resume isn’t just a list of their accomplishments thus far — it is also a proposal for who they will become.
Include with the following directions for your students a sample resume for them to use.
Directions: You will create two resumes this week. One will be for use in future and present endeavors, the other will be a reflective resume to help you focus on long-term goals. Both will be completed for a grade for this class. Use Microsoft Word templates to build a resume. Your resume should be properly formatted, proofread, and without error.
This process should help you learn more about yourself and what you have to offer, and should also help you in the future when you begin distributing resumes to universities and potential employers. A resume helps you present your accomplishments, talents, and skills.
Create your own reflective resume. The purpose of this assignment is to pinpoint both your achievements and your goals. Think about which skills you have and which ones you need to further develop. What are your long-term goals? What skills will you need to achieve those goals?