Help Your Elementary School Youngster Learn About Work
Talk to your youngster about occupational interests and the specific jobs and job titles which are associated with those interests. Explore together what it means to work.
It’s never too early to begin talking to your youngster about occupational interests and the specific jobs and job titles which are associated with those interests. At the elementary level, career information for kids usually focuses on:
- The awareness of individual differences and preferences.
- The enjoyment of learning and doing.
- The skills to make a decision.
- The broad characteristics and expectations of work.
I first learned about occupations and job titles when I began attending orthopedic school in second grade. I remember the big black locomotive spewing black smoke and the black dust from the adjacent coal yard.
I had also learned that the guy in bib overalls peering out the window of that locomotive was a “locomotive engineer.”
As a farm kid, I had not seen a locomotive before and couldn’t identify a picture of it when I first entered orthopedic school during an IQ test (to the chagrin of my new teacher), but my mom countered, “What do you expect? He’s a kid from a rural area.”
I knew what a carpenter was, though. My great grandfather always had a hammer in his overalls and was the fix-it person around the farm. One day my grandmother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I replied, “Carpenter.”
Keeping in mind my cerebral palsy, she scoffed, much to my disappointment and confusion. “You better think of something else,” she replied sharply.
What I didn’t articulate at the time and she didn’t understand is that I wanted to be a “builder.”
But, by the time I was 10, I had a pretty good feel for what people did for a living and what job titles were all about.
And, I knew I wanted to build things through writing.
Jim Hasse, founder of http://www.cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com/ (the career-coaching guide for parents of CP youngsters) is an Accredited Business Communicator and Global Career Development Facilitator. He has CP. See http://www.cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com/career-information-for-kids.html
Images Courtesy ©max blain/photo xpress
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2014 Magazine