BY TIFFANY MacCALLUM, TEACHER, JAMESTOWN
I could hardly contain my excitement. I’m pretty sure there was jumping, giggling and maybe even some high pitched screaming. I was six-years-old and mom was telling me that I could go visit the accountant with my dad. No little sister tagging along, no cousins, no mom…just my dad and me. Dad made no attempts to hide that he did not share my enthusiasm for this adventure but then again, I had no idea what an accountant was. Mom made it sound like fun, so it had to be! Right?
This was the day I decided I had found my calling, my life’s plan. I was going to be an accountant. You might think this choice was because I loved numbers and math, but you’d be wrong. My decision was based solely on Mr. Craig Langel having an amazingly clean, organized desk and he was wearing a red clown nose when I met him. Yes, I was making my career choice for life based upon his paperclips being in a shiny silver jar with a red lid. And Mom was so right; a clown nose is definitely fun!
Obviously I figured out somewhere along the way that teaching elementary school was more my style, but thus was the logic of the six year-old Tiffany. Having spent a few years with students who are constantly being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I have heard a variety of answers.
• A teacher just like you (Obviously my favorite answer!)
• A cooker at McDonalds
• A smart, sneaky bank robber
• A race car driver, but not one that crashes
• A gym teacher, with a lot of whistles
• A movie star, minus the kissing
• Nothing, I think I’ll live off my SSI check (seven year-old boy my first year teaching)
• A drawer (I think she meant artist!)
• The President because I like his big house
• I don’t know, why does everyone keep asking me that!
As I hear my own children go through the process of thinking about what they’d like to be when they grow up, I want them to know that there are so many other choices, even ones that they haven’t considered. Thankfully I am not feeling the need to pressure my children into deciding tomorrow, most likely because all three of my children are still in the single digits of years on earth. I do, however, want to encourage my future world changers in their exploration of life and all the excitement it holds.
We are fortunate to live in Chautauqua County, where there are a wide variety of summer opportunities that your children can participate in that, at the same time, just might open their eyes to a new way to answer that inevitable career choice question.
For the adventurers:
• Dr Kaboom at Chautauqua Institution, July 13 at 5pm and 7pm
• Evangola Pirate Fest (outside Chautauqua County), July 24-25
• Chautauqua County Fair, July 26-August 1
• Gerry Rodeo, August 4-8
• Little Explorers and Nature Detectives at The Audubon, August 14 from 10am-2pm (ages 3-8)
• Locavore Kids at Barlow’s Mill, August 18 from 11am-3pm
• Full Moon Outlet Paddle with Evergreen Outfitters, several dates as well s August 21
• 9th Annual International Lighthouse and Craft Festival, August 21-22 in Dunkirk
• Lucille M. Wright Air Museum at the Chautauqua County Airport
• Martz Observatory in Frewsburg, viewing most Wednesday nights
• The Town of Dry Gulch, a mining adventure, by appointment in Findley Lake
• Erie Speedway
• Long Point State Park (or any other state parks!)
For the artists:
• Chautauqua Idol in Bemus Point on select Mondays, 6:30pm
• Babies Documentary at the Fredonia Opera House, July 10 at 8pm and July 13 at 7:30pm
• Bee Movie in Bemus Point, July 13 at dark
• Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala, July 18 at 2:30pm
• Midway Character Day, July 17 and August 24 from 1pm-4pm
• Fireworks Ensemble Cartoon Themes at Chautauqua, July 21 at 7:30pm
• Lucille Ball Birthday Celebration, August 7-9
• Irish Festival in Bemus Point, August 8
• Park 60 Drive-In
Try this out! While in the car on the way to the Fireworks Ensemble at Chautauqua you could brainstorm all the professions that will be represented. Think about the ice cream flavor inventors when you stop for a cone, the architectural engineer that made sure the design and manufacturing of the amphitheater coincided, the fireworks designer and the pyrotechnician who carefully handled the fireworks, the publisher that printed the tickets, the events planner that booked the program, the conductor and musicians, the sound technician that coordinated the music and fireworks … and the list goes on!
According David M. Ewalt at Forbes.com, 7 out of 33 five year-olds say they want to be super heroes when they grow up, making it the single most popular career choice for kindergarteners (For the record, Spider-Man was No. 1). Three kids want to be princesses, and one hopes to grow up to be SpongeBob SquarePants.
Whether you end up with the next brilliant President of the United States or a stellar 4th grade elementary teacher, know that you have moldable minds in your hands. n
Second Acts. When I Grow Up: Kids' Dream Jobs
David M. Ewalt, 02.26.09, 06:00 PM EST from Forbes.com
Tiffany MacCallum is an educator for Jamestown Public Schools. She has been a teacher in the district since 1999, teaching 3rd and 4th grade as well as Academic Intervention classes for grades 1-4. While home on maternity leave this year, she has pursued the final requirements for her reading certification. She is presently subbing for an elementary Kindergarten-2nd grade reading teacher at C.V. Bush School to finish up her final practicum hours. She thinks keeping a group of kindergarteners on task for 20 minutes is a major accomplishment.