To get their creative juices flowing, students are invited to complete mind maps. Mind mapping is a non-linear note-taking technique that awakens the mind’s creative side and helps break students out of their typical thought process. Mind mapping is especially useful for helping students picture their individual pathways.

Students branch off of the central idea ‘my wildest dreams,’ with words and images that illustrate important areas of their life, which can range from education, to travel to bucket list items. By doing this, students craft an individual snapshot of what they envision for their future.

There’s no right or wrong way to create a mind map. Every student has their own set of dreams and goals, and by encouraging exploration, they can see that their ambitions are possible. After students identify their desires, they can create short and long-term goals to achieve them. Goals should always be SMART, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and have a timeframe.

Here's how educators can inspire students to explore college and career passions

Goals are only useful if we have support in completing them. Helping students to identify who can support them in their plans and providing useful resources can make all of the difference. Teachers can also leverage interactive resources as a tool to help foster healthy student-teacher relationships. A comprehensive, digitally engaging program can help educators facilitate conversations that spark an authentic dialogue about college and career readiness, especially with students who are struggling academically or who seem distant, and it has been tremendously helpful for me when navigating challenging conversations.

By helping students discover their passions, we can empower learners to pursue their interests, and bring their dreams to fruition through an action plan supported by actionable goals. Together, we can help students envision a successful future.

About the Author:

Josh Prater is a United States History Teacher at Sam Rayburn High School in the Pasadena Independent School District.

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