The end of Cycle 1

The second year of high school already! Your child has a better understanding of his school’s inner workings, and you now join him in this second half of Cycle 1, where he must make choices at the end of the year about his school career.

It is appropriate for youth to learn more about themselves and to know their strengths and weaknesses to better choose their options next year.

At this age, youth are generally more interested in occupations that society values. Indeed, it is easier for them to identify with known professions and those that their friends and parents suggest (“I can see you doing well as…”). Also, your child may already demonstrate more interest for certain fields or school activities such as arts, sports, sciences, languages, etc.

It is important to pay particular attention to their strengths and reflect that back to them…

For some adolescents it is more difficult to discover their interests and it is normal for the process to take more time. That makes it even more important to pay special attention and acknowledge their strengths. Even if they don’t always listen, they will retain what’s important and this will help them a lot in their thinking.

Refer to the Guidance for my child section for tips to help your child get to know himself better.

During their second year of high school, your child will advance further into their Cycle 1 studies and are generally able to:

  • think about their abilities and interests, qualities and weaknesses.
  • imagine themselves working in different occupations.
  • associate their favorite school subjects with occupations in different sectors.
  • recognize habits and positive attitudes in their schoolwork that correspond to demands of the workplace.
  • identify environmental influences (family, friends, educators, television, internet, etc.) on their attitudes and feelings towards work.

You can help him by encouraging him to:

  • interact with people who practice occupations that interest him.
  • read or listen to reports on various topics.
  • participate in an exchange program abroad.
  • get involved in extracurricular activities or take specific courses.
  • volunteer.
  • get involved in his school environment, e.g., student radio or school newspaper.

Now that your adolescent is a little more familiar with their high school, it’s time to help him better understand the school world around him without overwhelming him. This exploration will show him the multitude of possibilities open to him.

At this age, it is useful for young people to know:

  • how to list and understand the services, operations and rules of his school, which is currently his “workplace” (school agenda, teaching and non-teaching staff, etc.).
  • how to recognize the types and levels of education required for different occupational categories (vocational, technical and university training).
  • how to start exploring certain trades or professions through videos or websites specifically designed for this purpose.

For youth in the second year of secondary school the world of work remains vague, but sometimes young people start to volunteer or have small part-time jobs (babysitting, mowing lawns, etc.) and this is very helpful in their process of self-discovery.

At this age, it is useful for young people to know:

  • how to justify and describe an occupation that interests them in more than one sector of professional activity (health, arts, computer science, sciences, etc.).
  • how to consider multiple factors to better understand a profession (salary, schedule, tasks, skills, interests).

Based on publication by Marcelle Gingras, guidance counsellor and professor at the University of Sherbrooke.