A Four-part Lesson Plan
Created by Elana Himmelfarb (June 2017)
“My Work Profile” is a four-part lesson plan that results in a comprehensive profile of an individual’s strengths and challenges in the workplace through a review of sensory, thinking, emotional and physical factors.
The process of developing work readiness and embarking on career development with individuals on the spectrum overflows with possibilities. The work may focus on a singular and specific path, or it might offer up several possible positive pathways forward.
For some, there is a lot of work to be done in building the foundation in the area of work readiness: developing the awareness, skills and self-management to make entering the workforce not just a potentiality but a successful actuality. For others, the focus may be on narrowing the field and identifying work opportunities and environments that are a good match for their sensitivities, preferences, interests and personal goals. Some students may already have a focus, passion and developed goals but work is needed to shape them into viable and sustainable work options and career paths. Wherever an individual is in their process of finding their niche in the workplace or on a career path, the Work and Career lesson plans are designed to guide both the teacher and student in thinking about, prioritizing and identifying work and career options.
Our goal in designing these lesson plans is to capture the following vital information in all its richness so it can be carried forward into action in ways that are meaningful to the individual:
- What have I learned about my work/career needs, interests, goals and dreams?
- What am I interested in learning, doing, creating that relates to working?
- Where have I visited, who have I talked to and what activities have I tried that give clues to good work and career matches for me?
The data gathered from these exercises are intended for staff sharing and planning purposes to strengthen implementation the entire work and career development process: in-program exploration and research, site visits and tours, interacting with guest speakers and mentors, volunteering, internships, continuing education/work training and job placement.
The first four activities lead students through the cognitive, sensory, physical, social and emotional components of working. Each lesson plan has a summary sheet that will be instrumental in documenting all the meaningful information that is gathered through the process. These summary sheets can then be added to the student’s work profile.
Pacing is dependent on the individual and there is not a proscribed sequence for work and career activities. Because career options are endless and individual interests and work-related needs might change, this is meant to be an interactive process informed by the student’s experiences. The activities can be continued and repeated as new potential career or work options arise.
Once viable work and career options have been identified, it is intended that the process will then extend into the program milieu for further hands on, engaging exploration (research, role play, creating mock work environments and tasks, guest speakers, etc.).
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