Durban - Grade 9 pupils are currently standing at the crossroad of having to make subject-choices. This, in itself, does not seem to be too big a deal... EXCEPT that the subject choices that they make now will impact their path into the future.
In addition, many, if not most, Grade 9 pupils are not yet sure of what they want to do when they have finished school.
Cindy Glass, director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, said pupils who are sure of the career they wish to pursue will inevitably source subject-packages that support their requirements for Tertiary entrance.
"We need to remember that career choices are infinite in number and, as a part of the human species, we also know that we can change our minds about where we want to go many times over," she said.
So, how can we help our not-sure-of-career-children make the most out of the subjects offered at school and how would they know that they have made the most effective subject-choices?
Here are some tips:
* Talk to your child about career choices and discuss what they may wish to pursue in the future. Keep an open mind. There are many paths that lead to success. Listen without judgement, your intention will be to assist your child in making subject choices that will support a variety of options. Ask: What would you like to spend every day doing? Work together to learn about the daily activities of potential career-choices. Would this make you feel happy and fulfilled?
* Discuss their strengths and weaknesses. What subjects do they enjoy most? Why is this? What subjects do they get the best results in? Why is this? Which subjects best suit their learning style?
* Encourage your child to focus on what they enjoy most. Once such a subject-package has been identified, do some research. What career options can be supported by those subjects?
* Do not allow your child to choose subjects based on peer pressure or on a negative teaching experience.
* Be careful of making a choice based on it being an ‘easier’ option. It is important to keep the mind challenged to avoid boredom and a loss of interest.
* Seek advice from a teacher. The more information you have regarding the subjects on offer, the better you are able to make an informed choice.
“When all is said and done, encourage your child to choose subjects that will add value to their life, in whatever direction they choose to go. If they
choose subjects that they are passionate about, or at least have a strong interest in, they can’t go wrong! There are many paths to success, school subjects are just one of them," Glass said.