What Will You Be When You Grow Up?

Mrs. Howard, my daughter’s delightful first grade teacher, does a fantastic job of inspiring the children in her classroom. My daughter is always full of excitement when she gets home from school about a project they’ve worked on, a great book she’s been encouraged to read, or with an interesting fact she’s learned during the course of the day (like how hurricanes get their names.)

Recently the children interviewed one another, asking pressing questions like “what’s your favorite color” and “how many people in your family?” Then they wrote a report about the friend they had interviewed. Along with practicing their punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure, they learned skills they might use one day as a journalist (or FBI interrogators, but that’s a different blog entry.)

To that end, I’ll be chatting with Mrs. Howard’s students tomorrow about writing. Which got me to thinking – is there anything more exciting than being young and feeling you can be anything you want to be when you grow up? Well, almost anything. My niece wanted to be an elephant when she grew up (I think she was three when she decided on this career path), but we are only slightly disappointed that instead of morphing into a giant land mammal with enormous, flapping ears she’s studying to be an advertising executive.

I do think as early as first grade preferences, passions and possible career paths begin to make themselves evident. While I don’t particularly remember enjoying writing in school, I do have memories of being fairly confident in my spelling skills and reading abilities. I also remember Miss Billie chiding me in first grade for utilizing the ruler sticker affixed to my desk as a helpful tool with my addition, and I knew then on some level I would not be a candidate for a Ph.D. in Mathematics with a concentration on algorithms from Harvard.

In my wildest dreams, I hope I might inspire some of these kids to see writing as a fun way to express themselves, and maybe, just maybe, one day that will lead to a career in one of the many fields in communications, whether as a journalist, a broadcaster or an executive with a communications corporation.

In my more realistic expectations, I hope to be able to keep their attention for approximately three minutes, and for that I am relying heavily on a brightly colored internet display (hence the photographs of the class here), and possibly some sort of sweet snack to keep their mouths full while I talk.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you?

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