Mrs. Oakes


Hinsdale Middle School

Instructor: Mrs. Nika Oakes




 Grade 8 Syllabus:

Course purpose & goals: In this class, you will embark on an exploration of self. Together, we will explore your interests and dreams for life during and after middle/high school. We will then make a plan for how you can accomplish your goals.

Course Content: In this course, students will:

  • Research and identify various career paths

  • Define career goals and learn how to achieve them

  • Learn to budget and plan financially for life after high school

  • Learn the skills necessary to be successful in the workplace

  • Build confidence in themselves

  • Determine what happiness means to them

  • Research alcohol and other drugs

  • Learn to prevent conflicts and violence

  • Learn how to prevent teenage pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • Respect others

  • Talk about friendships

  • Learn skills for getting along with parents

  • Enhance their self-esteem

  • Talk about pressures and emotions

  • Reflect on relationships both past and present

Class Expectations:

Attendance: Please see the Hinsdale policy in the student handbook.


Behavior and Class participation: Students must treat each other and their instructor with respect. All students must participate in class discussions and complete assignments on time.


Student Questions: Any questions pertaining to assignments should be kindly directed to your instructor in person or via email before the assignment due date.


Class and Homework Assignments: Assignments will be provided by the instructor and may be posted online. Assignments will consist of homework, journals, presentations, and project-based learning.


Timeliness: Students are expected to be on time for class. Please let me know if there is something going on in your life that will affect your attendance or participation in class.


*I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the course expectations.

Student Signature: Date:



_____________________________ __________



*I give my consent for my student to participate in all aspects/units of this course.

Parent Signature: Date:



_____________________________ __________



If you would like to discuss any part of the curriculum for this course, please feel free to call me at (603) 336-5984 ext.7809 . Your student can be part of all or some of the instruction.

About Me Essay 

Tell me your life story!

Due: Tuesday @ end of class

1 page, 12pt font, double spaced,

Times New Roman

Share with Mrs. Oakes via Microsoft 365


My Next Move Career Search Assignment:

Go to  and follow the “purple” option. Complete all steps and read descriptions carefully. Print final list of careers and show me when you have it in hand. Copy and paste your list of careers into a Microsoft 365 document before closing the My Next Move website.


Assignment: Career Powerpoint

Create a powerpoint with 15 slides

(5 for each of your 3 careers)

Include the following info for each career:

1. Description of the job with pictures

2. Salary

3. Where do you want to do this job? (location, company?)

4. Why are you interested in this job?

5. What education do you need to obtain this job?


Interview Questions

Mrs. Oakes


In your journal, answer the following questions as though you are in an interview.

The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think of professional responses to these questions. Answer them as though you are being interviewed by someone you have just met.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself…

 2. How would you describe yourself as a student?

 3. How would you describe yourself as an employee?

 4. Who are your role models?

 5. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned thus far in your life?

  1. How would your friends describe you?

  1. How would former employers describe you?

  1. Have you ever had to deal with conflict in the workplace? Please elaborate.

  1. If no, what might be some challenges of dealing with conflict in the workplace?

  1. What are your educational plans after high school?

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  1. Are you self-motivated? If so, what motivates you?

  1. Do you work better alone or with others?

  1. Have you ever worked on a large project in the workplace?

  1. What would you do if you disagreed with one of the policies in your work environment?

  1. What unique characteristics do you bring to your work environment?

  1. What else should I know about you?______________________________________________________________________________________



Budget Project for Living on Your Own

Part 1- The 7-Day Meal Plan

Project Goal:

Create a healthy 7-day meal plan that includes food and beverage (3 meals plus 2 snacks/day plus drinks) and find the total cost by pricing out each item.

Step 1:

Make a list of the meals you will eat in a Word Online file in Microsoft 365. Label each day (Monday-Sunday) and each meal in the following order: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner.

Step 2:

Break down and list the individual grocery items you will need to prepare each meal. Don’t forget drinks!

Step 3:

Go to Select “shop by department” in the upper left corner. Select the department of your first grocery item. Enter your zip code. Record the price for the item you would like to purchase in the Word online document next to the ingredient name.

Step 4:

Total your grocery bill and include the sum at the bottom of your list.

Budget Project for Living on Your Own

Part 2- The Baby

Project Goal:

Determine the cost of raising a newborn baby for 3 months.

Step 1: Make a list of the things babies need in the first 3 months of their lives.

Step 2: Use or to determine prices for the items on your list.

Step 3: Total the items on your list. Don’t forget to include 3 months of formula and daycare.

Baby List:


Crib Sheets (2-4)


Bibs (20)

Swaddles (2-4)

Pacifiers (4-6)

Bottles (5-8)

Diapers (4 packs of 144)

Wipes (800)

Formula (2 cans/week x 3 months)


Bouncy seat

Pack and Play

1 stuffed animal

5 board books

3 toys

Onesies (20-30)

Changing table

Baby bathtub

Baby shampoo


Baby Carrier

Diaper Genie

Diaper Genie Bags

Day Care $230/week

Diaper cream

Budget Project for Living on Your Own

Part 3- The Apartment

Project Goal:

Determine the amount of money you will need to rent an apartment (including first, last, and security) in the city in which you plan to work.

Step 1: Choose one of the 3 careers you presented on at the beginning of this course.

Step 2: Determine what city you would like to live and work in.

Step 3: Go to and select “rent.” Fill in the city and state in which you plan to live.

Step 4: Select an affordable apartment and print the listing. Determine how much money you will need to move in.

Final Poster Presentation:

Print the following and include on your presentation poster:

1.Complete meal plan with prices and total for 3 months.

2.Complete baby list with prices and total with 3 months of daycare.

3.Apartment/house listing with 3 month rent/mortgage total.

4.Add the 3 numbers together and subtract them from 3 month’s salary of your chosen job.

Then, on your poster, answer the following question:

Given the cost of your food, baby, and your apartment/house for 3 months, do you make enough money to live on your own? Write your total on your poster.


Extra Credit for Budget Project

Research and answer the following questions:

 What is the purpose of renter’s insurance? Research and find what an estimated monthly payment might be if you are renting an apartment.

 Find an estimate for a cell phone plan for yourself.

 Find a car for you and your child as well as the estimated monthly payment.

 Find an estimate for health care for you and your baby.


Common Interview Questions to Practice: 

 1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

 2. How did you hear about the position?

 3. What do you know about the company?

 4. Why do you want this job?

 5. Why should we hire you?

 6. What are your greatest professional strengths?

 7. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

 8. What is your greatest professional achievement?

 9. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

 10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

 11. What’s your dream job?

 12. What other companies are you interviewing with?

 13. Why are you leaving your current job?

 14. Why were you fired?

 15. What are you looking for in a new position?

 16. What type of work environment do you prefer?

 17. What’s your management style?

 18. What’s a time you exercised leadership?

 19. What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?

 20. How would your boss and co-workers describe you?

 21. Why was there a gap in your employment?

 22. Can you explain why you changed career paths?

 23. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

 24. What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in this role?

 25. What are your salary requirements?

 26. What do you like to do outside of work?

 27. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?

 28. What do you think we could do better or differently?

 29. Do you have any questions for us?



Practice Online Job Application:


Career & College Research

Project & Presentation

Please take this time to do some research that will culminate in a PowerPoint presentation to your class in the coming weeks.

You will Search and present on 2 things:

  1. Companies that hire workers in your intended field of interest
  2. Colleges that provide programs that will help you achieve your career goals

Even if you do not plan on attending college, I still want you to do this research because the more knowledge you have, the better decision you can make for yourself!

For each topic, tell me the location, philosophy of the company or college, positive (and negative?) aspects of each, demographics, programs, the surrounding area, pay scale and costs of the institution, etc. Include any additional, relevant information.

Please make the presentation attractive with colors, photos, and of course, proper grammar.

This presentation should contain 15-20 slides that talk about your chosen career and possible employers (at least 3), plus at least 3 colleges that offer a program that is relevant to your career choice.

Use the rubric as your guide for what is needed on each slide. When your project is complete, use the rubric to grade yourself (this will let you know if you need to improve any aspect of your project).

See me with questions and have fun with this!

Due date: TBD

College and Career Presentation Rubric:


College and Career Research Project and Presentation Rubric

Guidance & Career

Mrs. Oakes



Meeting the Standard

10 pts

Approaching the Standard

5 pts



0 pts

Presentation consists of 15-20 slides

At least 3 businesses are represented

At least 3 colleges are represented

Presentation is attractive and well organized

Work cited is included

Spelling and grammar are correct

Company and college locations are stated

Philosophy or mission statement of company and college is stated

Photos are included of each company and college

Positive and negative aspects of the company and college are included

Colleges’ programs of interest are listed

Cost of college tuition is listed

Companies’ pay scale is listed when available

The surrounding area of each college and company is described (location, population)

The student is prepared to present and does so when called upon

Total Possible Pts: 150

Your Points:

Your Score:


     1. What is a transcript? 

  1. How can your transcript affect your future in a positive and negative way?

  1. Who looks at your transcript?

  1. Can your transcript be changed after you graduate from high school?

  1. If two people apply for a job and their education, background, and work experience is the same, how can their transcript give one person an advantage over another?

TED Talk Journal Response Questions:

Have you ever experienced anxiety? If not, do you know someone who has?
What do you think anxiety looks like in middle school?
Have you ever experienced depression?
If not, do you know someone who has?
What do you think depression looks like in middle school?
How is the experience of an African man different from a white man when it relates to depression?
How does limited access to mental health professionals in Africa affect African people?
What can be done to change the stigma that affects African men and women in regards to mental health?
What can you do to support your peers who may be experiencing depression and/or anxiety?

Create-a-Company Project
*All information will be presented on a poster
Effort, presentation, the beauty of the poster, and information will all be considered.
Please do your best work!
Part 1:
Pretend that you are an employer who is looking for the ideal employee.
Create a company that does something in the field in which you plan to work when you are finished with school.
Describe your company by answering the following questions:
Company name?

When was it founded?
Who is the founder?
What is the mission statement of your company? (Think carefully!)
How many people does it employ?
Where is it located?
What does your company do?
How does your company serve the community?
Does the job include benefits?
Is it full or part-time?
Is there vacation and holiday pay?
Are you an equal opportunity employer? (I hope so!)Please create a serious, ethical company that you can be proud of.
Part 2:
Imagine that you are going to place an ad in the newspaper, and on your website, to recruit a new employee to work at your company. Write a job description that states the qualifications and experience an applicant would need, the personality traits you are looking for, education level, number of references, and the best way to contact you. Be creative! The more thought you put into this, the more points you will earn. Ask me questions when you need to! Check for spelling! Use internet searches on websites such as for ideas on how to write a job description. will have lots of teacher job descriptions. Remember that you are writing this ad for a “real” person to respond to, so make it appealing. You will present this project to the class. Want to earn 5 bonus points? Create a unique logo for your company and paste it above the job ad. Only creative, serious logos will earn bonus points. Good Luck and have fun!

The Business Plan Project

Your task:
Write a Business Plan that includes each of the topics listed in the following article:
Your report will include the following:
Available real estate for your business
Potential backers (investors) for your company
The bank that you will use to get the loan for your business
The permits you will need to open your business
A list of competitors in the area
The demographic that you will serve through your business
Risk factors (list)
Insurance costs (call an actual insurance company and get a quote)
Advertising (how will you get the word out about your business?) Include advertising examples
Personnel flow chart (see me for an example if you need help)

This is NOT a paper; it is a report. You can show your information in the form of charts and graphs, writing, or any other way you can imagine

Final Essay-

5 paragraphs
12pt font
Times New Roman
Double Spaced

Paragraph 1:
What did you think you would do in counseling class? Did you learn what you expected to learn?
Paragraph 2:
What was your 1st favorite topic? What did you learn? Why did you like it?
Paragraph 3:
What was your 2nd favorite topic? What did you learn? Why did you like it?
Paragraph 4:
What was your 3rd favorite topic? What did you learn? Why did you like it?
Paragraph 5:
What recommendations do you have for future students in this class?
What suggestions do you have for me?
How will this class affect how you make decisions in the future?



Grade 7 Guidance/Career Class


Assessment- Being Responsible Online


What apps do you most commonly use on your phone or computer?

What is a digital footprint?

What do you think your digital footprint looks like right now?

What are some risks of using social media?

What questions should you ask yourself BEFORE you post/send something online?

How can social media affect your mental health?

How can what you post on social media affect the mental health of others?

Assessment- Understanding Erin’s Law


     1. Who is Erin Merryn?

    2. What does Erin’s Law say?

   3. Why is it important for students to understand the different types of Child Sexual Abuse?

  4. Why do abusers tell children not to tell anyone about their experience?

  5. What might an abuser tell a child to keep them “quiet?”

 6. Who can you talk to if someone abuses you in any way?

Job Exploration Poster Project:

  1. What job do you have?
  1. What job training will you           need?
  1. What education will you need?
  1. What is the average salary?
  1. What equipment will you need?
  1. What do you wear to this job?
  1. What is a day in the life of a _______ like?
  1. How do you contribute to society?


Role Model Project:

In a Powerpoint presentation, address the following questions:
Who is your role model?
What do you admire about them?
What is their occupation?
What was their childhood like?
How do they inspire others?
What would a world without them be like?
How do your personal values align with theirs?
What is their education level?
Include pictures and at least two quotes.

Business Letter Project

 Step 1: Think about a product you really like or one that you like but you feel could be improved.

 Step 2: Find the address of the company’s corporate headquarters and a contact name (CEO).

 Step 3: Address an envelope to the company.

 Step 4: Write a business letter to the company that states what you like about the product, why you purchased the product, whether you would recommend it to a friend and/or purchase it again, and lastly, what, if anything, you would like to see improved about the product.

 Step 4: Share your letter with Mrs. Oakes for editing/proofreading.

 Step 5: Mail your letter by giving it to Mrs. Oakes.