The way we are teaching careers to elementary school kids today is not working.
2/3 of American adults claim to be disengaged in their job and regret their college major.
A driver of this is that schools do not require any type of career curriculum for kids and rely on teachers to deliver this topic in their free time - often at the end of the year when kids are disengaged.
Then, when teachers do teach this topic, they are often forced to rely on very surface level teachings that: 1) Uses clip art that is not memorable or diverse 2) lean on the same 20 careers that kids likely already know about and 3) do not reflect modern day career options.
Need more proof?
I did a survey of the Top 100 books on Amazon and wrote down all of the different career options that were being introduced to kids. What did I learn? It's not good. Only 20 careers are being taught to kids. It's the ones you would expect based on the answers we get from kids on what they want to be. It's chefs, vets, policeMEN, firefighters and teachers. These are all wonderful things to be - but are just a small sample of what is possible. Almost none of these books reflect modern day career options, STEM or diversity.
What about guidance counselors, isn't this their job?
See my post HERE about why I believe it is in elementary school is the right age to start teaching this topic.
First of all, when is the last time you saw an elementary school with the resources for a guidance counselor? If they did, most of the time they have 400 kids to coach and often it is to deal with social and at-risk issues and not to help kids think about a decision that isn't final for another 10 years (despite the consideration that is starting NOW).
This, is why, I hope you - the teachers of our children - will remember why you went into elementary school teaching in the first place. To help sculpt the next generation of minds. There is no greater way to do that then to help a child find the path they are meant to be on.
I know what you are thinking - I am motivated to teach the topic - but I don't really have the resources to do so beyond the "clip art" style ones you described above. Well, my friend, don't you fear. I have spent almost two years writing and building a curriculum for teachers that makes your job as easy as reading a story or assigning reading as homework!
I would love to tell you more.....