describe your job to a 1st grader

Moderator: Zeph

User avatar
spacefem
member
member
Posts: 8068
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 1:37 2002
Location: Kansas
Contact:

describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby spacefem » Sun Feb 21, 20:11 2016

Something we talk about in STEM outreach, but it applies to other fields too - some careers are just harder to find role models in, harder to understand, harder to get talented people into because they're underpublicized. Kids watch TV shows that show firefighters putting out fires and doctors listening to hearts and teachers writing on blackboards but those cartoons don't represent all jobs, and they don't tell the whole story about the jobs they do show. So we all need to get better about spreading the word about what jobs are... career days kinds of talking points, amiright?

So I just figured I'd post it here and ask you guys... what do you do at work? Is it portrayed accurately in the media, or at all? How do you spend your day? What would show up in the "what I actually do" box of those memes that joke about how people don't understand the whole story?
bork can eat steak with a spoon.

User avatar
Enigma
member
member
Posts: 3819
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 10:22 2004
Location: Canada

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Enigma » Mon Feb 22, 7:56 2016

Hmm. I work in insurance so describing that (and especially making that interesting) to a 1st grader would be tricky. Something about solving problems to make sure people get their money and can buy their drugs/go to the dentist?

Basically if insurance is portrayed in the media its usually a massively boring character who is either slightly evil or standing between the main couple you want to get together. How could she ever have thought she wanted this boring insurance dude when she just met this cook/carpenter/photographer?? lol Or alternately office work is thought of as Chandler from friends, office space, the office. And I mean there's some truth there. But my life is much less about tps reports and much more about putting out fires and organizing systems to avoid those fires. I think especially as a creative person with a lot of friends in passion fields it's thought of as kind of selling out? But I really enjoy it most of the time (although not all the people for sure).
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

User avatar
Charli!
member
member
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Aug 6, 9:17 2003
Location: Here
Contact:

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Charli! » Mon Feb 22, 11:54 2016

I'm a computer programmer- wouldn't say the media description of my job was very accurate at all! Not a hacker, don't sit in the dark, don't play video games. I spend my day making websites function so that they save people in the company time, I mostly turn paperwork into electronic processes.

There are some programmer role models out there though, in gaming and historical figures, or heads of big tech companies who are women and things.
[url]uglyteapot.comI am an ugly teapot. That doesn't like tea.[/url]
Pirate Captain Charli Spr0wNotKid

User avatar
Storage and Disposal
member
member
Posts: 6218
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 5:31 2004
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Storage and Disposal » Mon Feb 22, 13:24 2016

"I sell video games."

It's not portrayed accurately, at least not at the place I work. Holy Hell, is there a lot of processes and forms. Orientation took 6 hours just to explain everything once. Then I got promoted and went through an entirely different mess of things to remember.
"He weeps for he has but one small tongue with which to taste an entire world." - Dr. Mungmung

User avatar
rowan
member
member
Posts: 9524
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004
Location: US

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby rowan » Mon Feb 22, 17:52 2016

I'm an astronomer. It's totally not portrayed correctly but I'll take the glamorous view over the daily reality anytime. ;)

What they think I do: ALL THE COOL STUFF

What I really do: write problems, grade problems, write exams, grade exams, have stress insomnia over my students, have stress insomnia over writing problems and exams, do a lot of paperwork...

User avatar
Sonic#
member
member
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009
Location: Georgia, US

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Sonic# » Mon Feb 22, 20:22 2016

I teach people how to read and write really well.

User avatar
Nerd1987
member
member
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 0:01 2015

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Nerd1987 » Tue Feb 23, 12:17 2016

I see how much money our stores are making. I figure out what days and times we make the most money and why. Then I figure out how to make the most money all the time. I also look at how well we help customers and teach workers how to make the customers happier. I talk to the workers about their ideas and suggestions and find out who is ready to try new things at work.

antfancier
member
member
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Sep 3, 14:06 2015
Location: New England

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby antfancier » Tue Feb 23, 14:53 2016

I teach people how to speak, read and write English. Sometimes those people can't even do this very well in their own language, and sometimes they are amazingly intelligent and well-educated. Sometimes I have to teach them social skills and how to get on with people who are different from them. A lot of the time they teach me about their background and culture. Occasionally I end up being an informal counselor, therapist or peace-keeper.

There are a lot of eccentrics drawn to this line of work, especially those you find living abroad as expats. I've definitely met real living stereotypes of the lazy, alcoholic, oddball guy living abroad because he couldn't find a girlfriend or hold down a job 'back home'. But I've also met inspiring, hard-working, adventurous people who give so much to their students. Those are the same ones who try to work in the same industry in their home country and don't get the appreciation they deserve because for some reason teachers are just not considered important.

User avatar
monk
member
member
Posts: 8152
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 23:46 2003
Contact:

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby monk » Wed Feb 24, 17:21 2016

I help people with mental disabilities do the tasks of day to day living. Mostly I just observe to make sure everyone is safe and healthy, occasionally I have to help fix, clean, organize things so that they are easier to handle. Other times I counsel and advise on making better decisions and life choices.

User avatar
Nachos
member
member
Posts: 4703
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 6:42 2004
Location: Next Tuesday
Contact:

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Nachos » Sun Mar 6, 10:28 2016

I help out in an office. This office sorts out people's papers and things so they don't have to. Once the papers are sorted, we have a number for how much tax they have to pay to the government. Taxes are good because blah blah blah.
Ugh, I'm tired of my signature.

Ucallthesebagels

Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 5:43 2016

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Ucallthesebagels » Sun Mar 13, 12:34 2016

I would not actually describe a specific job (engineer, insurance agent, television personality) but rather give them the chance to describe their understanding first either by calling on one student or having them pick job titles from a magic hat. Have students share what they know and from each other then do an interactive game similar to 'headbands' the guessing game.

If you went into detail what you do, I suspect you will bore them as less taking is ideal for this age group. Get creative and know they don't need to fully comprehend your job as even adults don't fully get what someone does.

User avatar
rowan
member
member
Posts: 9524
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004
Location: US

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby rowan » Sun Mar 13, 12:40 2016

I went to my kid's 2nd grade class and we did an activity where we made the solar system (in hindsight, I should have done the "pocket solar system" instead so they could take it home with them, but it was fun anyway). Then I just let them ask questions, which went mostly pretty well except one of the kids was like HOW MANY WAYS CAN U DIE IN SPACE and that kind of freaked out some of the other kids. Which I was like Um let's not talk about that HOW ABOUT PLUTO U GUYS ISN'T PLUTO AWESOME?

I managed to escape after twice the time I was supposed to be there.

User avatar
Nachos
member
member
Posts: 4703
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 6:42 2004
Location: Next Tuesday
Contact:

Re: describe your job to a 1st grader

Postby Nachos » Thu Mar 17, 15:53 2016

Kids loooove space!
Ugh, I'm tired of my signature.


Return to “Careers & Education”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests