Ask a student what he or she wants to be when they grow up. What answers do you generally get? Fireman, police officer, etc, sure. Often, though, we hear things like: singer, rapper, President, actor, athlete… While there is nothing wrong with any of these professions, we need to encourage students to look beyond those which are the “limelight” careers.
Perhaps you have students who love sports, but who are just not destined for the field, rink, court, etc. Teachers can help them see that there are all kinds of related jobs to sports that don’t necessarily thrust them into the spotlight nor threaten their physical being. For example, sports medicine is related and covers a variety of jobs: sports doctors and nurses, medical techs, assistants, and more. What about artists in sports? Absolutely! Graphic design for logos, stadium signs, banners of heroes from days gone by and the stars of the current team. What about writers? There are sports writers that work for news and sports outlets, sure. But, did you know sports teams (professional, college, amateur, etc) need writers? Think about media programs that are handed out at games or the biographies that are handed out to sportscasters, etc. How about the person who writes the words and puts up the graphics on the big screens over the field? What about music in sports? Theme songs, walk-off tunes, etc. How about finances: team, player, concession, stadium, etc – all need money and they need people to manage that money… And to manage the people who make it all run – HR personnel, etc.
And, that was JUST sports and we still didn’t cover a sliver of what’s out there!
MUSIC and FILM:
What about the music industry? People have to write the songs. People have to manage the singers. It takes people to book gigs, create album covers, produce the music, make the videos, and everything else that goes with each of THOSE types of jobs. The film industry needs writers, graphic artists, make-up artists, assistants, caterers, and a host of other positions vital to the production of what we all see on the big screen.
What about education? Teachers, administrators, writers, artists… People from all walks of life with varying backgrounds are needed in education (at all levels, too!). Your students might not want to be teachers, but what about participating in other capacities? Administrators help shape and guide the direction of a district, campus, or building. Counselors help students in need. Technology Directors help teachers and students use and implement various technologies to help with education. Don’t forget some of the vital roles played in the school environment: Food services, custodial services, transportation, maintenance, and more.
There are all kinds of ancillary opportunities waiting for people to fill them. We just have to help our students see the potential and the availability. We have to expose students to thinking differently about using their talents in ways they may not have realized were waiting.