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The City Journals

Elementary students in Midvale finding inspiration for future careers

May 02, 2019 02:02PM ● By Julie Slama

Local professionals share about their jobs and education at Midvalley’s career day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Imagine solving how submarines don’t collide underwater, operating heavy equipment while paving highways, solving crises as a social worker; or serving the city as a council member, a firefighter or police officer. 

Students at the four Midvale elementary schools had the chance to explore these and several other careers, thanks to local professionals who volunteered to share their careers.

“I love career day,” Midvalley Principal Tamra Baker said. “People are so generous to share this day with our students so they can see a meaningful purpose to their learning and how it can help them become successful.”

In one classroom, builder John Williams emphasized not only math and science he needs to know in his career, but also reading.

“A building is generally designed to last 70 to 80 years if it’s built correctly, otherwise there will be structural problems that will jeopardize its safety and those inside,” he said. “It’s important to read all the details first.”

In the multi-purpose room, Utah Tennis representative Garrett Snyder was teaching students basic skills in the sport.

“Tennis helps them get outside, gain self-esteem,” he said. “We are showing kids how to become life-long players and to learn to work with people, but also the importance of being physically fit and confidence. It’s a fun career where they can teach important skills.”

Fourth-grader Conner Josephson said it was his first tennis experience.

“I like hitting the ball; I’ve never played,” he said. “I’m running around, being active. I think it would be a cool career.”

Before the day began, third-grade teacher Anna Taylor went over careers in her morning meeting.

“We asked what careers they’re familiar with and this is opening their eyes to careers they may not have in their homes: a mechanical engineer, an electrician, a phlebologist,” she said. “It’s giving them insight into what they may want to pursue.”

Baker agreed: “Our students are learning about job options that they may never have thought of or knew existed. Some students already know what they want to do, and this is a chance for them to share that message with parents about their future.”

At Midvale Elementary, students learned about the stock market, being a meteorologist and about being a professional choreographer. Many, like transportation manager Randy Smith, shared with students what they learned in school was key to being successful.

“In engineering, we use math and science in our jobs in building,” he said. “It may be difficult, but when it’s your dream, you can work hard and find a way.”

Genetic cancer scientist Britney Sadler explained her job by first showing her dog Luna, who is half husky and half poodle, explaining that she got her genes from her parents, which explained her cross breed.

“When we look into cancer genetics, we can test DNA to see if someone is more likely to get cancer,” she told students. “It’s better to know earlier so we can know how to treat it better.” 

Fourth-grade teacher Michelle Wallace said the messages career speakers gave were invaluable.

“These students are seeing a lot of skills they learn in school, especially in math and science, translate into a variety of jobs that may never have seen before, but also, that they are needing college to achieve their goals,” she said. “These speakers are sharing a lot of strategies how to solve their problems at work or even being successful and that it may take time, but it’s not OK to just do something half-way. They need to commit and work hard to be successful and that’s a very important message for these students to take away as well on career day.”