What Will I Be When I Grow Up?
Preparing students for their future careers can be a challenge since we now know that many of the students today will be working in careers that aren’t even invented yet. I don’t consider myself all that old but still, any career that includes the Internet in any way wasn’t an idea even conceived of yet as I was learning about possible careers in school. If you’d like more information about how life has and will continue to change, and the rate this is happening at, view the video on YouTube: Did You Know; Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age.
Technology is also changing at a rapid pace. This makes teaching children about the future tricky, but not impossible! Spend some time talking with your students about how technology has changed just during their lifetime. Show them some pieces of technology they may not even be aware existed. In my computer lab I have some laser disks hanging around (literally hanging from the ceiling….they reflect the light so nice!) and this piece of technology was around for such a short time that most people don’t know what it is or what it was able to do! Technology can also be what instigates change within our world. Certainly the Internet created a world market that hadn’t been available before. What types of professions could this create for our children? What does it mean for accepting and understanding different cultures?
In the following lessons
In the pages that follow this you will find some different activities and reproducibles for students based on careers and finances. During the first few pages students are responsible for figuring out prices. How frustrating is it to be in the mall by some teenagers who are trying to figure out discount prices and to realize that their mathematical skills are so weak that they cannot figure it out? I stood next to three girls who were trying to figure out what 30% off a pair of shoes would mean. After listening to that I realized that I would make it a point to emphasize this with my students. I also point out to them how many stores have signs now that show you how much an item will cost, price by price, if a given discount is given. This was created for people who cannot do the math! After the “Figuring out the Price” pages you will find the “Personal Finance” pages which help students figure out net income, housing rates, and childcare rates based on some given occupations. And finally you find a book that students create based on an occupation of their choice. I am always leary of allowing students to choose occupations such as professional athletes, actors/actresses, or singers/performers as the income range is so high, and vastly different than the middle class. After choosing the income they buy a house, car and pay utilities. Every year this has been a favorite activity for students and for parents. This activity opens the door for discussion between parent and child in the area of finances.
And finally at the end you will find some activities to extend the learning in this area of study.
Another unit offered by Kathy Cothran, The Original Gadget Girl