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Future Career Aspirations

Found in: classroom helpers; money skills; service project

At the beginning of the school year, I ask each of my students about their future career aspirations and parallel their career interest with a classroom helper position. Students who are interested in becoming artists are assigned the class artist position and are given the task of making signs, posters and bulletin board displays. Students who wish to become teachers are student tutors and hopeful police officers become peer conflict mediators. Future scientists help me set up classroom science experiments and those interested in business fields become the class secretary or treasurers. Future firefighters assist during fire drills. Whenever possible I try to connect my students' future career aspirations with roles within the classroom.

The last day of each school week is designated as Pay Day and students are given a penny for each day they worked. They place their earnings in a classroom piggy bank and the treasurer counts and deposits the money in our school savings bank. The students plan how they will spend their savings on an end-of-the-year project. In the past, savings have been spent on a pizza party, coupons from a local fast food restaurant, an electric pencil sharpener and a charitable donation to an earthquake relief fund.