Every fall, over 52,000 Atlanta Public School (APS) students start a new school year eager to see their friends and teachers. They can count on a rigorous work load and two much needed breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They can also count on having “Career Day” every year.
Professionals come to the school to empower students by sharing their careers every year. While I was a student at Grove Park Elementary in the early 80’s, I remember a career day speaker telling the class about his career as an entrepreneur. It intrigued me so much that it became my back up plan to becoming a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. Now I realize that entrepreneurs work hard every day so that we don’t have to get a job.
I have participated in several Career Day events and I always leave wondering if I made an impact or if the students were bored like I was sometimes as a student. Unless we meet the students “where they are”, we run the risk of having them feel that “I can’t do that.” If we don’t connect with them, we can’t empower them.
What if the students could request the career day speakers that they wanted to hear from? What if they could read the bio of the speaker before they arrived? What if the speaker received a comment card or blog from the students afterwards that would allow him/her to know what the students learned. And what if the speakers presentation was captured in a binder so that the students and parents could have access to it when he/she leaves?
A good career day speaker is going to capture the attention of students but in order for it to truly be impactful, that presentation must remain accessible to the students.
I’m excited about this years Career Day at Grove Park because the students were surveyed and here are the careers that they want to be exposed to.
When you leave, the students will discuss their notes and follow up with a comment card or blog for you. And most of all, your presentation will remain in the school for the students and parents to view for the remainder of the school year. The careers of our speakers will be on display in the Parent Center to empower the parents. There are millions of jobs that will exist in 2023 that haven’t been created yet. I know for sure that my job as a professional baseball swing coach didn’t exist when I was in elementary school.
I hope that you choose to join me on Friday, March 8th for Career Day at Grove Park Elementary School. For more information, contact Mrs. Ramia Cook, School Counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 802-7750 office.
Grove Park Elementary School
20 Evelyn Way Northwest
Atlanta GA 30318