Preparing Students for Their Future

Written By: 
Judy Carrier

The goal of the transition program at Kindle Farm School is to engage students in thinking ahead, planning for their futures, anticipating opportunities and challenges, and determining the steps necessary to achieve those dreams.  The program centers on success, helping students to understand their learning style, to deepen their awareness of compensatory strategies, to identify and utilize support systems, and to become effective self-advocates.

The Transition program focuses on three broad categories:

  * Career awareness and development of employment skills.

  * Building and maintenance of support systems.

  * Planning for post secondary education and goal setting.

The Transition Program also prepares the students to have successful community internships and develop the skills needed to obtain a job.  Students participate in two formal interviews, learn how to fill out employment applications, identify tools to search for jobs, and write their own resume with a reference list for employers to check. They learn the importance of cover letters, and even thank you notes.  We also role-play in class for the social situations that can occur in day-to-day work.

In this process, students learn a variety of interviewing skills, such as how to introduce themselves at an interview and to use the phone for interviews. I work with them to be aware of their body posture, to maintain eye contact, to dress appropriately, to have five questions to ask, and to have an exit plan to end an interview conversation. 

These are all essential skills for our students, so we reflect carefully on our program.  After year one, I am proud to reflect on our successes:

* Several students have been hired as part-time, paid employees

* Students included their TP experiences on their resumes and job applications

* Students were able to self-advocate for themselves in the work site

* Students have been overwhelmingly positive and appreciative!

We have a program that has moved forward and will serve our students when they leave Kindle Farm School and venture forth into the world around them.