For the first time since my oldest started elementary school five years ago, I got suckered into participating in Career Day. I usually explain to my girls that accounting is not a particularly exciting field to talk about with little kids, and Career Day always falls at this time of year, which happens to be the busiest time of year for me because my company’s fiscal year-end falls at the end of September. But even with all those usual excuses, I was convinced to do it this year because the second grade focus was supposed to be on careers in the food industry, and I work for a grocery store. So I signed up to participate, hoping they wouldn’t need me. But of course they did.
So what did I learn from my Career Day experience today?
- I probably should have actually prepared what I wanted to say and practiced some time before this morning so that I would know whether or not it would actually take the 20 minutes I was supposed to be speaking. It didn’t.
- I should not rely on second graders asking a lot of questions about my career to fill my time. While they did actually participate when I asked specific questions about what they know, they didn’t respond to the open-ended “Any other questions?”
- Second graders are cute. Which keeps me from being annoyed by some of their weird questions. But I don’t think I could handle it all day long (I mean, except from my own kid). I’m so impressed that elementary school teachers can stay sane and maintain control of all those kids.
- If you ask second graders what they think an accountant does, you will repeatedly get the same answer. They count money. Obviously. What skills does that require? Counting and being able to stack money. Good thing I went to college to learn how to do all of that.
- I love my company and my job, but I was bored with what I had to say by the time I finished with the fifth class of second graders. And I know the teacher who was in the room with me the whole time had to be sick of it.
- I should have brought food for the kids. I brought them what I thought were fun bags with crayons and coloring sheets, pencils, chip clips, paper hats…all kinds of fun stuff. But when my kid returned to her classroom and told me what happened in the other four classrooms she visited for Career Day? The first thing she had to tell me was that there was an accountant from a competing grocery store in one of the other rooms, and she brought lots of good snacks. I told her I was sorry I failed to bring food and just brought them LOTS OF FUN STUFF in their bags, and she immediately reacted the way she always does if she thinks that we believe she might be criticizing her parents. “Oh no, Mommy. You were much better than her. I was just telling you what she brought.” I wasn’t convinced that I was better than her.
- While I definitely don’t EVER like to stand up in front of people and talk (or sit down in a teeny chair in this case), even second graders, it was worth it to miss work at a busy time and suffer through speaking to five classes of second graders to see how happy Reagan was that I was there speaking to her class and participating.
- This fulfilled my parental duty for at least the next five years as far as speaking to a class is concerned. In my opinion.
I’m linking up with Rach for Life’s Lessons again this week. Rach writes so many great posts on her blog. I pretty much just throw out everything that’s going on here in our lives, without much focus on my writing, but Rach’s posts are always well-written. You should go vote for her (Life with Baby Donut) in this week’s lovelinks!