Bring Xello to Life in the Classroom Part 4: Empowering Teachers
As we round out our four-part series, we’ll focus on ways you can enable teachers—your Xello program gatekeepers–to deliver on both their curriculum and your future readiness goals.
In this blog series, we’ve covered the many options and resources teachers have, across varying student groups, for bringing Xello to life in their classrooms. But by far the most valuable resource is teachers themselves! They are the gatekeepers for post-secondary exploration within their classrooms. And teachers know their subject area. They know their students. If anyone is poised to successfully guide their students toward career and college readiness, it’s the teaching staff found in any school building.
We’ve heard from teachers across all grades and while they want to use Xello more, it can be challenging to make career development connections within their content area–especially when they’re already so pressed for time.
So let’s focus on the ways you can help your future readiness program gatekeepers to make those connections to their goals, while also enabling them to feel more confident about career development lessons in the classroom.
A New Way to Empower Teachers in Xello: Subject Area Videos
First, Xello offers an array of features that help teachers deliver upon their curriculum, like out-of-the-box Lessons that are fun and interactive. They spark student engagement and can make tracking the development of skills, like time management or decision-making, easier.
Now, with the addition of Xello’s new Subject Area Videos, I’m excited to announce that you’re able to make that connection to a teacher’s specific subject area and how it can be useful to a student after high school. These videos combine content knowledge with curriculum alignment by connecting career development to subject areas, like mathematics and science.
And finally, and I would argue most importantly, these resources give you a jumping off point to spark a conversation! We encourage you to use them to spread the word to others in a student’s support system, so they can help reinforce career development outcomes–whether that be at home with families or out in the community.
Use Xello to Achieve Your Classroom Goals: Introducing Goals and Portfolios
Teachers are chronically pressed for time. So how do we ensure that they have the space they need to foster rich conversations and encourage students to dive into researching the world of opportunities that lie within each subject area? How do we create room for utilizing Xello and all that it has to offer with students?
Two Xello features that teachers might find particularly beneficial are Goals and Portfolios. Students can create Goals for any endeavors or ambitions, academic or personal, in any subject area—making it perfect for cross-curricular activities. They can create a subject-specific goal, like reading a certain amount of pages a night for English class, or raising their practice ACT score, and can create helpful supports like to-do lists, action items, and more!
Portfolios are an exciting and dynamic way for students to organize and present their work in a variety of contexts. Whether they’re exploring different college majors, future careers, or a more subject-specific topic (such as researching the Great Depression in history class or the periodic table in science), they can build their Portfolios in a way that best represents their learning and objectives.
If you’re looking for a resource to get started, see the Goals and Portfolios lesson activity plans in Xello Support. And for a more subject area-specific approach, the new Xello Subject Area Resources page has Portfolio lesson plans for twelve different subject areas, from math to business to world languages!
Students will enjoy the flexibility of Portfolios, and teachers will appreciate the way it engages students and keeps them accountable for their work.
Enabling Teachers Begins with Engaging Resources
You may remember earlier in this blog series we broke down how to bring Xello to life in the classroom for elementary, middle, or high school students. We shared specific Xello resources that helped teachers bring future readiness to their students. Now, let’s take it one step further by looking at how Xello helps teachers continue those conversations within their own content areas with Xello’s new subject area resources.
These resources provide teachers with content, ideas, and teaching strategies that make future-readiness relevant and engaging within any content area. Each subject area video is a resource for helping students understand the relevance of the content to their own lives and futures, whether or not they see themselves pursuing a career in the field. Not only that, but the videos and accompanying lesson resources encourage students to think outside of what they previously knew about the subject, as there are so many career options related to different school subjects that they may not have experienced.
Science and your future success
Tip: This video and the related discussion lesson plan encourage students to think about connections to science outside of the classroom. Before you show the video to students, have them name a few science-related careers.
Math and your future success
Tip: This video and related content plan help students focus on future-readiness through a math lens, as well as meet content-area objectives! Show the video to students, then use the Comparing saved and suggested career data lesson plan to facilitate a discussion about their own saved careers and the ones suggested to them by Matchmaker (make sure students have completed Matchmaker first!) What’s the same? And where are the differences? What skills overlap? After this discussion, students will graph the data on their own.
Social studies and your future success
Tip: After students watch the video, engage them in career exploration using the Building my social studies career portfolio lesson plan. Students will use the Portfolios tool to document their career exploration and save careers, college majors, pathways, and more.
Physical education & health and your future success
Tip: Once students have watched the video, utilize the Setting goals in physical education lesson plan to work with them to set goals for themselves in Xello related to their personal health ambitions.
Not sure if your teachers are ready to start use these videos yet? Have them take the Xello Academy course so they can familiarize themselves with the Xello basics, too.
Spread the Word: Get Families and Other Staff on Board
Widening a student’s career development support system helps reinforce that career exploration and planning isn’t just a one-time activity – it’s a lifelong strategy for success. Not only that, but the more people in a student’s life who are on board with their goals and aspirations, the more likely they are to succeed.
These subject area videos not only help teachers make connections between their subject and a student’s future, but they can help reengage a student to look at said subject area more seriously than before. We invite you to share these videos with teachers and other staff to spark a conversation with students and hopefully their families outside of the classroom.
For those Xello clients who are already using the Xello Family Portal, it’s even easier to keep families up to date with their child’s learning, interests, and goals. Messaging tools can help you share at-home conversation starters that will keep students engaged and parents in the loop on planning their pathway.
For more information on Xello Family, go to Xello Support. And if you’d like to enable Xello Family for the upcoming academic year, contact your Success Manager.
Bringing Xello to life in the classroom begins with teachers! That’s why we’re committed to enabling them with subject-area resources; so that they feel more confident to engage students with Xello in their classrooms and hopefully extend this development at home.
As we near the end of the school year, feel free to browse through our entire series. Part 1 has ideas on how to engage students when class schedules start getting unpredictable, or to support students who are preparing for a transition to high school, and Part 2 and Part 3 offer tips and tricks for student success no matter what their grade level!
I wish you luck finding creative ways to bring Xello to life in the classroom and hope you’ll find ways to insert these new resources into your program in the next academic year!