How Do We Secure Sophomore Success?
In high schools that are implementing our full sequence of activities, we offer our Stormy Wannabees Advantage Initiative to students in ninth (freshmen) and tenth (sophomores) grades.
Keep in mind that everything we do revolves around data from employers that shape our thinking and our program offerings.
Almost every set of state academic standards in English requires students to write a résumé in senior year. English teachers focus a great deal of energy and effort in helping students construct their résumés using ‘standard’ formatting. Many might think the résumé as a one-page document may soon be extinct, thanks to the dozens of online job sites that ask a series of questions which applicants need to answer. But know this, the process of answering individual essay questions in online job applications means job seekers simply convert their résumés into many independent essays. But whether you offer your accomplishments on a one- or two-page document, or provide individual answers through an online questionnaire, know that the employer will be looking for a wide-ranging base of information that will allow him/her to decide whether the applicant should be considered for an interview’ or not.
Therefore, it is the content embedded in the essay answers or in the résumé bullet points that counts. It is the quality and uniqueness of the student’s notable experiences that is far more important that the format which showcases those experiences (one-page document or online questionnaire). In other words, no matter whether an individual applies for a job using a résumé or through an online application questionnaire, he or she will need an actual record of accomplishment to impress an employer. And that’s what we make sure students know how to do.
For students in sophomore year, our Stormy Wannabees Initiative continues to build on the messaging we started in grade eight and continued in freshmen year. In sophomore year, we ask every student to consider their career plans in light of available research, and we show them where there are online resources that will bring hard financial realities to their lifestyle dreams. They decide the kind of income they want, review the types of careers that might help them achieve their desired work/life balance, track back to what they need to learn in high school to make that goal, while at the same time ensuring that they keep their costs for education as low as possible.
Check out our Sophomores Wannabees activities in the bulleted list at the bottom of this page.
Check Out Our Wannabees curriculum with this link:
Links to Other Wannabees Information:
Click on Each of the Black Boxes Below for More Details:
Compete for a Seat
Students play the roles of college admissions officials and make decisions about which applicants gain admissions to the college and which do not. In making these decisions, students use the same criteria that most colleges use to make their selections.
We offer this activity to students in their sophomore year so that each participant has as much time as possible to improve performance before having to submit a real (and therefore high stakes) college application.
** offered as a program enhancement for an additional fee|
Getting Warmer — or Not?
Students fill out a survey that simulates the college application process. The survey calculates a score that represents a student’s readiness for college. Feedback from the survey helps motivate the participant to ‘fill in the blanks’ of his or her accomplishments while there is still time to achieve the kinds and levels of performance colleges demand.
This activity targets sophomores, since they still have two years left — maybe more — to improve their academic and social performance before they need to apply to a college for real. Students can access this tool multiple times during sophomore year to see how close they come to being accepted into a post-secondary institution and help ensure they meet the goals they have for their futures.
Take It and Make It
This Wannabees activity focuses on sophomores and targets English language skills.
Participating students work in teams and use a bag of popular arts/crafts materials to create a miniature of an animate or inanimate ‘thing’ that would be found in the country, city, or suburbs. For example, using the materials they receive, students can build a cow, an automobile, or a miniature Statue of Liberty.
Student ‘creation’ teams select the object to be reproduced, construct a miniature of same, and then write a set of directions using only mathematical measurements, names of shapes, colors if necessary, and directions for putting pieces together. Creation teams will provide instructions for reproducing the object they built, but cannot use any language that actually describes the item.
The ‘reconstruction’ team must duplicate what the ‘creation’ team built originally without ever seeing the item. The reconstruction team will receive a bag of identical materials used by the creation team, and duplicate the item by only reading the directions provided by the creation teams. Points are awarded for difficulty levels involved in creating/reconstruction the item.
The process emphasizes the need for strong reading and writing skills. Students ‘win’ the game if the reconstruction team can recreate the ‘thing’ made by the creation team using only the written directions.
Technical writing is an in-demand skill, but one that few students cultivate because most writing in school does not demand the level of skill that creates good technical writers. Teams compete — only one team wins. But all realize how very hard it is to write directions. That’s why people who are good technical writers make significant salaries.
The game winds up with a discussion about the law of supply and demand as it pertains to one’s proficiency in language and the search for available jobs.
Strengthen Your Core | Rounding the First Bend
Building a professional résumé and updating it every year (at least) is something that every job seeker needs to know how to do, especially in an economy that will likely not support decades in a single job. In fact, most workers will need to look for a new job about every three years. Those who work in the GIG Economy will have to revise and improve their résumés far more often — perhaps every three or four months. While the résumé as a single-page document recounting a person’s education and work experience may be morphing into a set of online essay questions that job applicants have to answer coherently, the content of the résumé provides answers to those individual online questions.
This will be the third consecutive year that participating students upgrade their résumés with our advice and instruction. These activities help them define their core competencies and set goals for improving same and help them narrow down their career choices.
Sophomores continue to learn how they can quantify their current and future academic and social performance with data so they can build a better story for the résumés they will need to write in senior year.