Is second grade too early to begin thinking about a future career?
Not at Morenci Elementary School. That’s when children start thinking about a job they might enjoy after graduation.
Actually, career education starts a little earlier than that. It’s a K-12 program in Morenci.
“In kindergarten, we talk about parents’ jobs and we emphasize the need to go to school,” said Mary Fisher, elementary school dean of students. “Career exploration is a big thing at the elementary school level.”
Ms. Fisher introduces second grade students to Career Pathways—the state education department’s grouping of careers into six broad categories.
Arts and Communications, for example, draws creative thinkers into careers ranging from performers to journalists. Natural Resources and Agriscience typically attracts people who enjoy the outdoors and the physical world to careers including farming, landscaping or chemistry.
Children are exposed to terminology, Ms. Fisher said, and they’re encouraged to think about a career they might enjoy—and the educational requirements needed to get that job.
“What’s a pathway?” she asks. “It’s a road that you follow.”
Career Pathways are formally visited again in the fourth grade, but there are many career references throughout the lower grades—some planned and others that just appear on the scene.
“Whoever comes into the building, teachers will tie that into career information,” Ms. Fisher said.
There’s also career exploration built into the curriculum, along with role-playing opportunities and career videos to watch.
In answer to the opening question: No, Ms. Fisher would say, it’s not too early to begin thinking about a career while still in the younger grades.