Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mixed Messages

I volunteer for Junior Achievement at the local elementary school.  This is my 4th year teaching 1st graders about family, community, volunteerism and jobs.

Today we went over jobs.  Now I remember not enjoying this lesson last year, and I couldn't exactly remember why.  Well, today my brain got a refresher.  The course outline was to have kids draw a picture of a person doing a job.  It could be a parent, them as grown ups or someone they know.  No problem, right?

WRONG. Big, fat, mind numbing wrong.   The unemployment rate in Michigan is stellar.  Like up in the freaking stars.  Yes, it's bad for everyone, but randomly reminding little kids that their parents don't have jobs, made me feel like such an ass.

I was then asked what my job was.  I said I used to catch bad guys.  They guessed that I was a cop, FBI, CIA. Wow, I was starting to feel better, I apparently look like such a bad ass in the eyes of 1st graders!
That's butter beer in that cup.

I had to tell them that no, no one wants me toting a gun.  But rather that I worked behind the scenes, catching bad guys with science!  Yes, just like CSI, eyeball juice and everything.  Along with eyeball juice and everything, I ended up needing to explain why drugs were bad.  Nancy Regan, check this out!

Me:  "Bad guys do drugs."
Kid:  "What are drugs?"
Me:  "Drugs are medicines, but bad people use them when the don't have a prescription."
Kid:  "So, if you don't have a cough, and you take cough medicine?"
Me:   "YES!!  That exactly!!!"

So, we tweaked the assignment and changed it to "What job do you want when you grow up?"

Because of my amazing science/drug filled pep talk, and my desire for a puppy, I turned the tides of Michigan employment.  In roughly 15-20 years, a small batch of crime fighting, pop tart poisoning scientists will train cheetahs and make the world a better place. 

I may not be asked to volunteer again next year. Which is totally fine with me.  Because how can I top what I taught those kids today?

On a side note, thank you to all the parents teaching their kids that raising children is a worthless endeavor. It felt super awesome having a group of 1st graders, who are in fact children, crap on me for not having a "real job", and staying home with the pigs.  Where did that attitude come from?  Home?

Not this home.

"That's sexist.  Pee in the toilet."


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, I'm so proud of your teaching!

Beth Kailukaitis said...

So I guess the 1st graders would consider me, no job/no kids, a real anamoly.

Holly Bee said...

You, would blow their minds :)

Jenny said...

Loved it. I would've loved having my first grader sit in on that day with you. He would've said all I do is knit!