Wednesday, 28 September 2011

High school ambitions

 My first year high school students were asked to write about their 'dreams' in terms of future occupations. I thought the breakdown of choices was interestingly varied. The way the actual lesson went is another thing completely...

Data management                Game programmer                
Literary editor         Fashion designer
Nurse                    Doctor           Sports doctor          Pharmacist x2       Cancer researcher      
Botanist          Chemist             Vet              Police/Guide dog trainer
Mental health counselor              Clinical psycho-therapist
Policeman              Firefighter
University student
Undecided x5 

Compare with the second years (who were given exactly the same dreary lesson, no tweaking or reflection involved)...who seem to be a bit more conservative - 50% looking at some sort of medical career. This not a major surprise, as the local hospital is a big training hospital.

Doctor x2          Nurse x4          Speech/physical therapist
Civil servant          Public prosecutor
Tour guide        Wedding coordinator
University  student
Illegible x1

 I think this lesson plan lacked quite a few things, but most importantly the chance to ask students if their perceptions on life goals have changed since the Tohoku earthquake. Instead, another blank sheet of paper and the 'Start now, you have 25 minutes, Jim will correct your work' directive. Each and every student set about copying their electronic dictionaries onto paper. Sound at back of the room as Jim bangs head on the floor!

At least I read their work afterwards and tried to make positive comments for each. My oppo tossed them on a pile and got back to chatting baseball with the maths teacher. "See you next week". Can't wait .