Project:IDWIL took another big step this week.
It is one thing for me to go talk with students about what I do, but that only tells kids about graphic design. If I am lucky, they will pick up on the message that "no matter what career field you decide to be in, apply who you are as an individual. Incorporate your likes, inspirations, and passions into the job, and it will make "work" feel like "fun!"
This time around, I was able to test out the next step of Project:IDWIL by bringing in other professionals to talk about what they do.
I spoke about graphic design by relating to the art that they make - drawing, painting, and communicating with images.
Here is how it all played out: IDWIL is focused exposing students to the multitudes of 'things they can do' as they grow up. Usually, people immediately think of high school students preparing for life after primary education. I don't see why we can't start even earlier, so I worked with my daughters' daycare to volunteer some time to talk to the older kids at the daycare. They welcomed the idea. Talking with the teacher, we decided that it would work best if I did my presentation during the class' unit on "community." I wanted to use this time as wisely as I could, so I sent out letters to all of the daycare parents to see who would want to join me in talking with the kids about the different things that people do when they go to work. Only three parents volunteered, but, hey, I was ready to just do it myself, so those three were pretty awesome in my eyes.
Kara explains marketing to the preschoolers by relating her work to the things that they did to promote their Candy Store project.
If you want an exercise in some creative thinking, try figuring out how to explain what you do for a living to a group of 3-5 years olds!
Just stating your job title could possibly bring the whole thing to a grinding halt - seriously, we had a graphic designer, marketing director, corporate facilities manager, and a personal wealth manager. I was impressed at how we all did - it was a great balance of simplifying terms that we took for granted and speaking to the students with a respectful, non-condescending nature. The kids responded pretty amazingly as well. Of course we got sidetracked a couple of times as some of the kids loved to talk how much they love soccer, but for every one of those surprises, we would be surprised by a comment or a question that indicated that they were picking up on stuff we thought might have been tough to comprehend. Beyond all of the surprises, these children listened to some grown ups try to cast a little light on the mystery of "what some grown ups do after they drop them off at school." My hope is that some of those kids went home and said "Mommy? Daddy? what do you do at work?"
Justin, a wealth manager, explains his work related to what the students are currently learning about money and savings.
Julie talks about being a corporate property manager by comparing it the students' parents that take care of their house or apartment.
Project:IDWIL continues on!
Imagine if we had this kind of simple, voluntary participation of community professionals with the schools happening all of the time in all kinds of areas. Some amazing bonds and connection will be made. Again, the affects may not be as direct as "this (name of profession) came and talked to my class, and it was cool, so I will study and become a great (name of profession)!"
Inspiration happens differently for everyone. Project:IDWIL is about putting as many opportunities for inspiration as possible right in front of its audience.
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