Thursday, April 16, 2015
Our school district is working on a few initiatives related to graduation and careers. The new programming starts with 6th graders and encourages them to think really long term about their life goals after graduation. We had our first career fair last Friday, and it was a great look at a lot of different job opportunities for our kids. I can't take any of the credit - my new partner Poonam took the lead and brought a format that worked at her old school.
The event was held in our school gym, dressed up nicely with special tables covered in tablecloths. Groups of seven or eight students rotated around various tables to learn more about careers. They moved without their teachers which I thought added a level of seriousness to the whole deal. Also, many of the kids dressed up and looked their best for the event. Sixth graders are super loud when they pass by my office in the hall, but for the most part are still darling little eleven-year-olds, super curious and respectful.
We had people in medicine, higher education, engineers, and some guests from some big companies around town - P&G and John Deere. Someone came from Sporting KC and let the kids hold the championship ring. (Overheard: "I'm never going to wash my hand again!") Most of the people came because they are friends with or family to someone who works in our school, which added to their positive attitude and the energy in the room. They were genuinely excited to be there!
Kip and Tara came to represent Ryan Lawn & Tree. Tara had some ideas for how to organize their ten minute sessions and brought all of her husband's gear to add to Kip's gear too. He set up his climbing rope through a basketball goal and let kids try on safety gear and his saddle. Truth to be told, his saddle fit a lot of the sixth graders!
I observed the sessions for a while in the morning, and I thought he did a fabulous job. He asked the students questions and answered theirs too! I thought he should have made a bigger deal out of being married to me, but only few kids made the connection. They might have thought he was a celebrity! (not likely) Poonam was teasing him that with all his gear he was super distracting in an awesome way.
When Kip and I were talking about it later at dinner, he told me that he thought it went better than he expected. I think he wasn't sure what to expect out of sixth graders. The kids asked great questions, and he figured out some ways to engage with them. I'm super thankful that Kip and Tara took time to be there, and now I keep asking 6th graders if they went to the tree guy's presentation last week. If they say yes, I say proudly, "That's my husband!"
P.S. Let me know if you want to be on the list for 2016!