Career exploration continues for students at Tyler and Henderson Elementary Schools despite school closure
Posted on 06/09/2020
Professionals share their careers with Henderson and Tyler Elementary students

Career days are common offerings at our schools and typically include parents and community members invited in to share their occupations and trades with students. The pandemic made in-person career days impossible this year, but many of our elementary schools still found ways to make career exploration possible.

At Tyler Elementary School, School Counselor Molly Moomau coordinated with some parents of students to provide prerecorded presentations about their lines of work. Featured professions included job coach, market research, pediatrician, phlebotomy, registered dietitian, subject matter expert, and veterinarian.

Moomau and Tyler Elementary teachers found that the online delivery of career day had some perks.
“The bonus of doing this virtually was that we

got to visit some of these workplaces,” offered Tammy Moye, fifth grade teacher.

“We went into the pediatrician's office where Dr. Cheryl showed us around. We learned about the importance of ‘eating the rainbow’ of healthy foods from our dietitian's kitchen, Mrs. Benda. We met the beautiful Great Dane, Waylon, from our veterinarian, MsDr. Emily. She gave the 110-pound Waylon a great check- up. We even got to see his big, shiny teeth,” Moye added.

"I think it was a really cool idea to put together a virtual career day, and a nice thing that the parents did explaining their jobs,” shared Tyler fifth grader Maya Abebe. “Some things that stood out to me was that it can take up to eight years to be a pediatrician, what market researching is, and how to use the tubes for drawing blood.”

At Henderson Elementary School, school counselors Kristen Gowing and Suzanna Erlichman scheduled a virtual career day meeting for each day of the week so that sessions could be tailored for kindergarten through fifth grade students. 
Volunteers shared careers ranging from secret service special agent and robotics software engineer to university athletic director and park ranger.

Troy, a fifth-grade student, reacted to a presentation from a pediatric art therapist saying, “I have never heard of that job.”

Troy’s inquisitive reaction aligns well to the goals of the career day activity, according to Gowing. “This is a wonderful learning opportunity for students to gain career awareness,” she said.

Henderson Elementary teacher, Toshira Britt, was quick to follow up Troy’s comment with additional information about related careers in music therapy, a job that one of her friends currently holds.

“Those of you who are really into art and music, that is another avenue for you to use those gifts and talents as well,” she shared.

“So, you have to have a master’s degree to do this?” Troy asked afterward, continuing to dig deeper into learning about the field.

In addition to career awareness, students learned about pathways to particular careers including classes, degrees, and skills necessary to be successful.

Presenters also shared what they loved most about their jobs.

“I love being outside and I love seeing the birds and animals and I get to see a lot of cool things being out in the woods every day,” said Nick, a land surveyor.

“Neat,” said one fifth grader after the presentation, adding, “Just a little risky for poison ivy and stuff.”