The World of Work – A Different Kind of Classroom

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There’s a different kind of classroom and it’s called the workplace.

On November 5, 2014, Grade 9 students from across Canada will join the Take Our Kids to Work™ generation, spending a ‘day in the life’ of someone in the world of work, as millions of Grade 9 students before them have done for 20 years now.

But while students may think they’re trading in a day of learning for a day of “work,” they’ll soon realize that this event offers just as many lessons as their classroom.

Here are four life lessons that Take Our Kids to Work™ offers to our students and future workforce:

Actions speak louder than words.

A recent It’s My Future study, which surveyed students from every province and territory about Canada’s education, revealed that students want more experiential learning opportunities as a way of gaining essential skills. Take Our Kids to Work™ offers that opportunity by going beyond a title and actually doing some of the tasks that make up a particular job.

In some shape or form, it’s all connected.

Take Our Kids to Work™ can also reveal intersection points between different subjects and interests. This is not always possible in school, where subjects and interests are often separated. For example, students may discover the cool careers that require STEM skillssuch as movie stunts and special effects coordinator, video game designer, sports announcer – and even a professional photographer!

Don’t knock it ‘till you try it.

Connecting students to the world of work equip young people with a variety of information they need to adequately make decisions and explore options when it comes to career planning. Take Our Kids to Work™ gives them a chance to ‘try on’ a job for a day and see if they like it. Finding out what type of job you don’t like can be just as important as discovering what jobs you gravitate towards.

Keep it real.

On Take Our Kids to Work™ day, students are going to hear the same messages from employers that their teachers have been delivering, including the importance of good communication, literacy and numeracy skills and the ability to work effectively in teams. The reinforcement of these messages from people other than teachers and parents helps students realize that these skills actually are important in the real world.

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Founded by The Learning Partnership in 1994, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Take Our Kids to Work™ program, which started as a local GTA initiative. Today, more than 250,000 students, 18,000 teachers and 75,000 organizations participate each year, spanning every province and territory in Canada. Take Our Kids to Work™ day experiences are being shared using the hashtag #KidsToWork.

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