Career Day - a day that North Tama sixth graders look forward to for many reasons. Career Day was held at North Tama Schools on Thursday, April 3rd. "Career Day is a day when students have an opportunity to hear people speak about their careers and have a small sample of what the person does," says Theresa O'Meara, North Tama Elementary Guidance Counselor. "Our presenters are willing to create incredible "hands on" experiences during their presentations so the students get a sample of the career."
O'Meara has organized Career Day at North Tama for approximately 17 years. Each year, local and out-of-town people are contacted to see if they can present their career to sixth grade students. Occupations that have been presented include: chiropractor, photographer, physical therapy, law enforcement, EMT, and many others. Some presentations are held in elementary classrooms while others are held at local businesses. This lets the students see workers in action and not just hear about the professions. Luke Pennel's favorite thing about Career Day is that the students are always learning new things.
This year, Kari Rea, law enforcement officer with the Cedar Falls Police Department, co-presented with Cedar Falls detective Brian Schock. This is their second year attending Career Day at North Tama. "I like being able to give a positive image of police instead of the real situation." Rea said. Allie Rund, a sixth grader at North Tama said, "The best part of Career Day was doing fingerprints with the law enforcement officer."
Law Enforcement Officer Kari Rea, giving a hand to Luke Pennal while pouring mold into his footprint as a project during her presentation of career day.
Career day does not just consist of sixth graders, fifth graders are involved too. They work in teams of two or three and act as Room Hosts. This job involves meeting and greeting each presenter, assisting the presenter to his or her classroom, carrying the presenter's materials and supplies and then introducing the presenter at the beginning of his or her session. The fifth graders remain in the room for the entire session, thus allowing them to get a sneak preview of the career day, which they will have the following year.
Career day benefits students, teachers, and presenters. It gives the students an opportunity to learn about occupations they may want to pursue in the future. It helps teachers to know what areas their students are interested in. It also gives presenters to share their excitement and knowledge in their occupation.