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Career Educators’ vital role in delivering stability to a bubble of disrupted middle school students

In January 2020 I was on holiday with my family at a BnB in Dunsborough. We were sitting on the deck overlooking the bush when we first heard about a virus in China that would go on to cause chaos in our lives. 

Dunsborough Holiday

My oldest grandkids were only 9 at the time and they were off in the bush building cubby houses. Their lives were about to be thrown into turmoil.

Middle School

There is now a bubble of middle school students who may not remember life before COVID. They will not know how middle school students used to engage with life beyond childhood.

We are still creating that “new normal”.

At the Career Teacher Master Class at Murdoch this year, Dr. Chad Morrison explained that:

  • we don’t yet know the impact of COVID on students
  • we do know that kids are going to school less and engaging differently
  • Low SES students were less ready to learn online (Sonnemann & Goss, 2020, p7)
  • There would be a greater impact of social shocks on households, particularly low SES households with insecure incomes.

My 11-year-old grandkids have now started high school in the most disrupted academic year ever experienced in WA. Teachers have been off work with COVID. Relief teachers have tried to cover the gaps. My grandkids have been off school, then got into trouble from relief teachers for not having completed work. 

I suspect that any middle school students who had minor social and mental health issues two years ago, will not have had opportunities to engage in activities that would have helped them to work through their issues at their own pace.

Life is tougher for middle school students in 2022. 

Solutions for Exhausted Teachers

Teachers are burnt out. They don’t have the energy to build a village that will support middle school students.

Promoting existing services is an easy step that can be taken. 

School Chaplains

If you have a wonderful school chaplain, help them to engage with your students.

Community Services

I got in touch with the Department of Communities. They said that:

  • District Offices refer troubled students to the Department’s mentoring program. 
  • EdConnect has around 2000 volunteers who work across schools. EdConnect was mentioned by a few people when I put out a request for information on Facebook and LinkedIn.

It takes a village to raise a child

As I am becoming more aware of the bubble of COVID affected middle school students I have written:

In this final post  I have a Mentor and Support Services map. I will continue to build that as people let me know of additional services which students can tap into to create their own village. 

These opportunities will help students to create their own village as they move into adulthood. Getting started is the toughest step. 

I will continue to look for ideas that will help them to make the transition. 

Please join the In Focus Careers community to engage with others who are working to support career development in schools in WA.

Subscribe to In Focus Careers monthly magazine for West Australian schools. 

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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In Focus Careers June Issue: Connecting you to trends, people and ideas for the future

The latest edition of In Focus Careers News is out. 

  • The Science Grants have been announced. The sponsored events will be happening across Western Australia in August 
  • JEDI and NERO are new.  The names are absurd strangulations of English. But you will remember them, and they deliver cool, easy to use career data.
  • There is lots of information this month about getting into medicine this month. 
  • The public sector traineeships are open.

To find out more about career opportunities in WA, subscribe to In Focus Careers News for West Australian high school students

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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5 Career Resources for West Australian High Schools in 2022

You simply don’t have time to do your job AND keep up with all the emerging career opportunities and developments for West Australian students.

In Focus Careers is written for West Australian teachers so that you can be the career expert that parents and students want you to be.

1. Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

2. Get on track for uni in 2023

This is designed to smooth the path of Year 12 students in Western Australia who want to go to uni in 2023

3. Study Coach

Save time. Get better results.

4. Year 10 Magic Happens Career Handbook 

All the career guidance you need to smooth your path to your senior years and beyond.

5. Magic Happens Teachers’ Guide 2022 

All the notes to support the Magic Happens Handbook supported by the latest policies, guidelines and websites. 

Let me know if you need anything else to support you to being an insanely great career educator in 2022.

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History Careers Mind Map

Mind Map with links to history careers

The History Careers Mind Map identifies careers supported by the knowledge and skills history students develop.

Download the Mind Map to access the links to the different careers.

The Good Universities Guide

In most cases the links are through to the information provided by the Good Universities Guide Career Ladders. Where information wasn’t available on the Careers Ladders I have added a link to the most useful information I could find.

The Good Universities Guide has uni and VET courses


MyFuture has videos and great information about careers. It may be worth subscribing as all States and Territories contribute to that central store of information. It costs about $15 a year to subscribe.

MyFuture was created by all Australian States and Territories. It is THE most comprehensive career site we have.

In Focus Careers

I wrote a post recently with updated links to all of the key careers sites.

There is a lot of duplication in these sites, particularly in the government ones, so find which ones work best for you.

Please send me a complimentary copy of your insanely great newsletter for West Australian students.

Chief Evangelist for Insanely Great Careers Education in Western Australia.

M: 0434056412