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Students Test Out Potential Careers

Jul 13, 2016 09:27AM ● Published by Tori La Rue

Chloe Burt spent a day at Delta Airlines with her father as part of a job shadow assignment given to her by Fort Herriman Middle School careers teachers. – Chloe Burt

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


Grace Barkdull, 13, said she never wants to be a librarian.

 “It’s just boring, I guess, because you sit there all day, and it’s very quiet,” she said. “Now I know I’d rather be a pet rescue person or something else.”

 Tami Flygare, Grace’s college and career awareness teacher at Fort Herriman Middle School, required each of her students go on a full-day job shadow during one of the last days of the 2015–16 school year. Grace chose to shadow her mother, who works as a librarian at a Herriman elementary school.

 “They have a hard time relating what they learn about in class to the real word, and so when they go out and can see how they are using science and technology and mathematics in a real-world setting, it makes them more serious about their studies,” Flygare said. “Some of them found out things that they didn’t want to do instead of jobs they did want to do, and that’s OK. It is all about exploration.”

 Grace said she learned that there can be positive qualities about jobs, even if they aren’t the right fit for an individual. She loved getting to befriend a Kindergartener named Lewis while she was job shadowing, even though she decided that overall, it is not the job for her, she said.

 Most of the students came away realizing that careers are harder than they might first appear, Flygare said. Allison Bryan, 13, shadowed a landscaper because she thought it would be fun to plant flowers.

 “I learned how to do a lot more than that,” Allison said. “I learned how to use a lawn mower, and it was hard because you have to push it and make sure it has straight lines. I thought it would be easier, but we were working on the yard of this million-dollar house, so I wanted it to look perfect.”

 Allison also learned how to tidy up a driveway and porch. She said that landscaping is a potential career path for her in the future if her dream of being a culinary artist doesn’t come to fruition.

 Ben Freeman’s goal is to be a computer programmer, but he said that if that doesn’t work out, he could always work in home construction. For his job shadow, he spent a day with employees from Legend Homes. Ben, 13, observed home foundations and learned how to ensure their stability.

 “It’s kind of a family-owned business, so if it came to it, I think I could do this job because I am good with my hands,” he said.

 After the job shadows, Flygare’s class shared their experiences aloud. Many of them said they sat in more meetings than they would have liked to. Others shared that they thought they were going to a sedentary job, yet they were actually walking around quite a bit.

 “I think it was a really cool and eye-opening for them,” Flygare said. 

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