Sunday, April 27, 2014

Career Day!

As I told you last week, this past Friday was our Career Day! I have had my classes write speeches about what they want to be when they grow up for a few years now, but this was the first time I found professionals from the community to come in to speak about the jobs my kids chose. 

We started the process three weeks ago by researching the jobs the STARS were interested in. I had them write down their top two choices for what they wanted to be and then I compiled the list. This worked much better than having them tell me out loud. When I did that last year, magically I had at least six kids wanting to do the same thing! :) 

Then we checked out career books from our school library and set out on a fact-finding mission. I wish I had thought to take pictures while they were researching! They really dug into their books. They used their facts to write rough drafts about the job they chose. Then we revised, edited, and published our writing in a Student Treasures book. If you've never made one with your class, the finished product is awesome. The process is stressful, especially when both of your own children get sick the week you need to send it back. But we finished it, I sent it off, and I'll post a pic of it when it comes back! I had planned for the kids to blog about their jobs, too, but the computer lab is being used for state testing. Hopefully I can get my hands on some laptops next week! 

Two weeks ago, I emailed all of my families with the list of jobs the class had chosen and asked if they knew anyone in those professions who would be willing to come in to speak to our class. Boy, did they come through! Between their connections and mine, I had thirteen speakers lined up, which covered 15 kids (a few chose the same job). 

For homework last week, the kids had to re-write or type their speeches on large index cards (to avoid the paper-blocking-face-while-giving-speech tendency), rehearse their speech, and bring in a few props. 

Friday was the big day, and I was a nervous wreck. I thought this would surely be the first and last Career Day in my room. I was stressed about whether I allowed enough time for each speaker, if everyone would show up, if the kids would be a respectful audience, and the list goes on. But by the time the first presenter was finished, I knew I had to make Career Day an annual event. 

I had each child give his or her speech before the adult counterpart, and they did a GREAT job! Some of my STARS had even practiced looking at the audience at different points during their speech. Let me tell you, I was one impressed teacher. I think all of the adults in attendance enjoyed the kids' speeches, too. One even offered one of the kids a job when she turns 18!

We had a grocer, a pet sitter, a vet tech, two dancers, a firefighter, and more! 

 I wish I had caught this child's reaction when the USI basketball player walked in. He was SO EXCITED, knew exactly who he was, and said, "You're the POINT GUARD!" Yup, I definitely have to do this again. :) If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the picture of the autographed posters he brought for every student in my class. So awesome!

I had some kids who chose jobs their parents do, which was really sweet (and also made my job of finding speakers easier). The boy below wants to be a wrestling coach just like his dad. :) 

We had experiments and demonstrations...

And I even joined the fun! 
By the way, fire gear is heavy.

It was such an amazing morning, but the fun didn't stop there! After all of the speakers had gone, we still had eight jobs remaining. For those, I found some very cool videos that included interviews and/or demonstrations of jobs. 

The first was from Nasa's website, and the rest were from YouTube
How did we survive before YouTube??

These boys wanted to be an astronaut, a baseball player, an archaeologist, a hunter, and a farmer, respectively. If anyone is interested in the specific links to the videos, just let me know! 

Career Day was a HUGE success and was a great experience for all of the STARS. 

I'm so grateful for my wonderful students and their parents, and I'm especially grateful for the professionals who took time out of their day to come speak to us. 

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