Minimester Musings: Profesional Curiosity

I’m a science teacher and it should come as no surprise that most of the ideas I have for minimester classes are science-based.  This class I will describe here is not science-based and would be quite a departure for me.  However, I think it would fill a gap that is present in almost everyone’s education: learning about a wide variety of careers.

Most students know what their parents and a few family friends do for a living.  Everyone knows at least a little bit about some highly visible professions (teacher, doctor, lawyer).  But beyond that, many students are really in the dark about what adults do during their work days.  Having such a limited view of possible professions makes it more difficult for students to envision their futures and plan their educations.

I think it would be fascinating and valuable for students to spend a minimester researching and writing a publication about careers.  I envision this class having 4 parts:

  • Researching careers by conducting in-depth interviews with adults who are in them and getting bigger-picture data from sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Writing articles synthesizing the information that they have gathered.
  • Helping peers to edit their articles and improving their own articles based on feedback.
  • Creating an attractive, easy to use website to collect and display the information gathered by everyone in the class.

As an adult, I know people who work as speech therapists, architects, personal chefs, horticulturists, marketers, naval officers, computer programmers, and sound engineers.  I didn’t know anything about most of those jobs until well after I had finished my education.  One of my jobs as a teacher is to help my students imagine different futures for themselves.  This project would be a practical way to meet that goal.


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