I was adamant when I was younger that I was going to have my choice of the following careers – an astronaut (because all kids love space), a fireman (because firetrucks are very cool) or a librarian (because I loved books from a very early age, especially those dealing with space or fire). After a few years, the career of ‘astronaut’ was replaced by ‘pop singer’, which was then replaced by ‘rock star’ after a few months.
Fast forward a fair amount of years later and the prediction of what I wanted to be when I grew up is quite different to the reality of what I am doing. I wasn’t too far off the mark with ‘librarian’ as along with being the HS/IBDP Coordinator I teach senior English, but my pathway took a few turns before I ended up here.
Last week I asked the current Year 10 students to make some preliminary subject selections for their Diploma Course in Year 11. For the first time at ISM, these students had to think ahead three years, predict their pathway and decide which subjects would be the most appropriate. We ask students to at least have an awareness of what they love to do now, and what they would like to be post-school – this is no small feat.
Answers to questions like ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ are complicated at the best of times, but even more so for students in Year 10 trying to decide on the subjects to help them reach their goals.
The good news is that we help them along! Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will be meeting individually with the Year 10 students. We will have a discussion about where their current strengths lie, keeping in mind that academic strength is only a single part of this question. We will also chat about the possible pathways that the IB and ISM provide, and guide them in the second round of subject selections. Parents are welcome to make a time to sit in on their child’s interview and be part of the process.
There is no crystal ball that can tell our future when we select course offerings, whether at Year 10 level for the IBDP the following year, or at Year 12 level when classes and courses are chosen for university. It might be that we are preparing one of our students for the job of fireman, but in fifteen years they actually have become a nuclear physicist. In life, we do our best to be our own fortune teller and make some calculated decisions about our pathways because we trust that we know ourselves the best, at least in part.
Rest assured that we provide as much information as possible to our students to help them make the best decision for their predicted pathway. The Diploma teachers are always happy to speak about their courses and our students have been encouraged to check in with these teachers about the content and demands of each subject.
Now is the time for our students to reflect upon their accomplishments so far and set some goals for their future which is always an exciting experience.
As always, if you have any questions about the subject selection process or about anything involving High School, please drop me an email.
2 Picture retrieved on February 7 from https://www.am1st.com/tricks-of-the-forecasting-trade/fortune-teller-1/