Today was career day at school. This is when parents with (hopefully) interesting careers come into the classrooms to talk about what their job entails, the skills needed for their job, and to encourage students to stay in school. A great idea, yes? Unfortunately, not everybody knows how to talk to children. You'd assume that since they have children, they would know how to talk to them, but this is not the case.
The first parent that came in was actually the parent of one of my students. She works for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Specifically she works for the "Federal Supply Schedule Service of the National Acquisition Center." She kept using terms like "schedule programs," "blanket purchase agreements," and "contractors." By the end of it, I barely understood what she did, let alone the kids. She meant well, but you really have to learn to speak in kid-friendly language if you want kids to understand what you're saying.
The next speaker was a little better. She was in marketing. Her first question, though, was "Who can name a type of marketing?" She got answers like, "banking," "accounting," and "law." Uhhhh, no. I had to tell her that the kids don't know what marketing is, so she would need to explain it first, then ask the question again. That worked a little better. She was smart and gave stuff away to the kids, like pens and bags with her company's name on them. They were thrilled! However, she went on to say that she didn't really like marketing so she was in school to get her master's in elementary education. I'd say she's got a long way to go.
The last woman was really good. She owned a computer company. She was fun and had a job the kids could relate to. Thank goodness she came in because I was beginning to think every job (but mine) is totally boring.
When I saw the master list of career day volunteers, most of them were pretty standard jobs. One, however, struck me. She had a single name, no last name: Mystery (or something like that). Her job title was "entertainer/diva." I really hope that doesn't mean stripper, but with these parents, you NEVER know. I'll try to find out who she was and report back.