HERKIMER — Some Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students in grades 4 to 7 recently got an early start on thinking about their future careers.
School counselor Christina Warner organized a “career week” for students in teacher Trista Toomey’s 12:1:1 class and teacher Tara Buffa’s 8:1:1 class.
Sixth-grader Andrew Fralick, 11, said the experience helped him think about his career goals, but he has already been considering his options.
“I already know what I want to do — I want to be a fireman,” Andrew said. “And a farmer, a mechanic, a football player and be in the Army. And a NASCAR driver.”
Some students might have some more narrowing down to do with their possible career paths, but it’s helpful to get them to discuss careers at an early age, Warner said.
Students participated in career-related activities on four of the five days of the school week beginning Oct. 28.
On Oct. 28, students toured most of the career and technical education classes at Herkimer BOCES. On Oct. 29, they learned about potential career pathways and how the CTE classes line up with the pathways.
Then on Oct. 30, Warner took students in small groups to the Herkimer BOCES College Day, where junior and senior BOCES high school students were visiting with representatives from local colleges.
The program resumed with a lesson on Nov. 1, which served as a review of the week and a discussion about which jobs require college, special training or no prior training.
“So it’s bringing it all together,” Warner said.
During the Nov. 1 lesson, Warner and students identified definitions for “career” and “career paths.”
Jobs the students discussed were broken into several categories: jobs in the “health path” such as veterinarian and nurse; the “helping path” such as teacher and hairdresser; the “fixing, building and technology path” such as engineer and welder; the “nature path” such as farmer and forest ranger; the “business path” such as accountant and secretary and the “creative path” such as journalist and disc jockey.
Students chimed in to determine jobs that require college such as being a doctor, jobs that require special training such as being a firefighter and jobs that don’t require prior training such as being a waiter or waitress.
Andrew said the tour of the various BOCES CTE classes was his favorite part of the week.
“I liked seeing what they were building — and the tractor — and how they painted the cars,” Andrew said. “And I liked cosmetology because they waxed our hands, and it was cool.”
Fifth-grader Xavier Jones, 10, enjoyed learning about how cars are fixed as part of the CTE tour.
“They showed us different cars, and how they did it,” Xavier said.
Xavier said the week helped him think about career options. He said he wants to either be a pro athlete or a mechanic, and the career week is what made him add mechanic to that list.
Page 2 of 2 - “I knew I wanted to be in sports, but what interested me in being a mechanic is how they worked on the cars,” he said.