Career Awareness in the Primary Grades

Some of this information is from the teacher's guide for Careers for Me (Junior).

I can remember many years ago when I showed my oldest daughter's kindergarten teacher the catalog I had just developed promoting elementary career awareness products. I was very pleased. To my surprise, the teacher laughed.

In California, career awareness at the elementary level is practically non-existent unless a teacher takes a particular interest in it. And to think that we had products for children as young as kindergarten – well, it was just a little much for this teacher. I couldn't blame her. She was a wonderful teacher who somehow managed to provide an excellent education and a wonderful experience for 34 five year olds. How I still wished there was some time to teach something about careers.

There has been much development in elementary career education over the years since I had that conversation. Teaching career awareness in primary grades is not so uncommon nowadays, at least outside of California.

If you are teaching career awareness to primary grades for the first time, here are some tips for introducing the subject of careers:

Parent Signature

Having something the student can put into a portfolio, or take home, is a good way to not only communicate with the family, but gives the student a reference point. Getting a parent signature is optional, but there are good reasons to do so. It encourages student-parent discussion. Encourage parents to discuss goal setting, school, dreams, hobbies and their own line of work with their children. Parents can be introducing their young children to careers on a regular basis -- everytime they run errands, go to the doctor and travel, for instance.