Dick Jones, Center Specialist

March 6, 2018

Are you looking for fresh ideas for improving student behaviors and work habits? images 1CTE teachers recognize how vital it is for your students to develop those behaviors that employers expect. You probably “preach” often to students how that the work habits they exhibit in school are reflective of the habits they will carry into their jobs. If you are looking for some fresh teaching ideas to help students understand the importance of and develop positive work habits, you only need to look as far as free open resources on the internet.

The CTE Technical Assistance Center labels this domain of learning Life/Career Competencies; it includes employability skills, work habits, social skills and other behaviors essential for a career. The Center has developed several resources for strengthening critical student development of Life/Career Competencies. Browse the web page devoted to Life/Career competencies on our website. Listed on the website are several excellent instructional resources, many of which are available for purchase. However, if your budget is limited and time is short, here a few ideas for lessons, videos and classroom tools you can browse, download and add to your teaching repertoire. Or, better yet, give the links to students and challenge them to locate resources which they would select to teach peers these important behaviors and employability skills.

  • Career Solutions Publishing has several work readiness teaching materials, but they also have a free weekly email called Career Headlines with tips on teaching work-related behaviors. This email is a great weekly reminded and specific suggestions to incorporate work habits.
  • Junior Achievement has developed lesson plans on ethics, finance, customer service and leadership. The Excellent through Ethics program supplements are some excellent workplace readiness materials. 
  • The US Dept. of Labor has developed free materials call Skills Pay the Bills  for youth 14-21.
  • GoodWork Toolkit,  a curriculum developed to familiarize high schoolers with the meaning of “good work” — as defined by excellence, engagement, and ethics. The toolkit was developed in Harvard Project Zero.
  • The blog, Tips for Teaching the Importance of Soft Skills  has links to several online resources.
  • A publication from National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) is loaded with ideas developed for teaching students with disabilities. 
  • From the Contra Costa County Office of Education is an excellent resource for focusing on social skills is targeted for middle-level students, but great ideas for everyone  
    Teachers are the best at sharing resources and ideas. Here is one of the most extensive teacher list Career Resources from William Breitsprecher 
  • Do you own exploring with internet searches using the term “soft skills.” Pinterest is a popular tool for aggregating online resources. There is a Pinterest site Soft Skills for Education  with dozens of links.
  • Also, don’t forget there are excellent materials from your CTE Student Leadership Organizations.

If you have other open and free resources you have found and want to share with teachers, add them in the comments section of the blog.

There are many excellent sources of materials both free and commercial to support CTE teachers in developing life/career competencies - the to behaviors key to career success.


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