At my school we have these character learning, or cohort, groups that we have to meet in every once in a while. Last year we met with our cohort groups every other week to learn about different traits of good character such as respect, compassion, integrity, honesty, empathy, and cooperation. Things that we should have been taught when we were little by our parents and elementary school teachers. Many students, myself included, and even teachers didn't see much point in these groups. Most of us know what good character is, whether or not we choose to use it is up to us. Sure it is nice to have these ideas reinforced, but I don't it should have been in a forced cohort group. It didn't help that nobody, not even the teachers, took it that seriously, and we didn't do many hands on activities.
This year, we only meet in cohort groups once every few months, and it's a little more activity based. Freshman went on some kind of team building field trip, and did other things outside of the school. I'm not sure exactly what sophomores did, but they had some kind of an assembly. I just know that juniors and seniors were forced to do job shadowing. We had to think of a career were were interested in, and on our own, with no help from the school, find someone from that job that we could go to work with for 4 hours to see what their day is like and experience that workplace. After that we're expected to write a 2 page essay on how our day went. And as you can probably guess, our initial reaction was "WHAT?! Why are we being forced to do this? This is so stupid!" Even though we got a day off school to do it. Personally, I would have actually been thrilled about the opportunity, had it not been forced on us, and we would have had help setting it up (and if we didn't have to write an essay, LOL).
They didn't want us to pick something that was convenient for us such as job shadowing a family member unless that's the job we really wanted, nor did they even want us to be in town, but many of us did just that, LOL. I decided to job shadow at the elementary school with the teacher I helped out for my quest class. Teaching isn't really my dream job, but I have always had an interest in it. If becoming a writer, or interior designer doesn't work out, I would definitely turn to teaching.
So here is how my day went...
Of course, I woke up grumpy at the fact that I was being forced to do this. Admittedly though, there was a bit of excitement. I mean I did get to sleep in, and I didn't have to go to class. And the fact that I was going somewhere I was familiar with made me feel a bit better about it, and calmed my nerves a bit. I pretty much knew exactly what to expect when I got there. I knew everyone in the office, I knew where most things were in the building, I was confident with it. Although I did feel like a bit of a fail when I couldn't find the teacher I was job shadowing right away, LOL. But after I found her the day went really well, and it was actually really enjoyable.
I started off the job watching the kids eat lunch. Making sure they are following the rules, and helping them open the things they needed opened. Made me remember how I always needed things opened for me when I was little, and I sure did get a workout running around the cafeteria to help the kids out. Although I did think they were really strict on these kids during lunch, and I didn't agree with the rules (no talking, no buying seconds, ect...), I had to go by them. After lunch, I really got into the teaching part of it and helped out with the classroom.
The teacher I was with teaches kindergarten specials, and it was art day when I was there. The kids were decorating valentine bags. Oh how I miss the elementary days when everyone got a valentine and got to eat candy, LOL. My job was to walk around the room and make sure they were following directions, and to decorate bags for the kids that were absent. The hardest part was keeping the kids calm, because let me tell you, kindergartners are rowdy and energetic! Not all of them want to follow the rules, and some seem to not know exactly what the rules are. They're little though, and they'll learn, and their energy is still really fun. The little kids are really sweet, and they say the cutest things!
At the end of the day I was tired, and ready to go home but I did enjoy my day at the elementary. Everyone was friendly, and I had a good time job shadowing there. If I actually were to become a teacher, I'd prefer to work with kids that are a little bit older, and that have more independence and a better understanding of the rules, but the kindergartners were fun in their own way. :)