YOUNG VOICES: Explore careers early, stay on course later

2012-10-15T00:00:00Z 2012-12-14T15:43:04Z YOUNG VOICES: Explore careers early, stay on course laterBy Caelainn Crnjak nwitimes.com
October 15, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Teenagers do not always see the bigger picture in life, especially when deciding what major to pursue in college.

Their views might be completely skewed. For example, someone wants to become a doctor, but is squeamish, or someone wants to become a teacher but cannot stand being around children.

Students might want these careers because they generally are able to see only “the fun stuff” like earning a lot of money or having summers off when they should be asking themselves what they could be successful at. Who could blame them? Most people cannot experience their actual career until they begin college internships.

I am fortunate enough to be able to get a taste of what I would like to do for a chosen profession while still enrolled in high school by participating in the exploratory teaching program. This program allows students to go into a middle or elementary school in the Lake Central School Corp. and experience the everyday life of a teacher.

Through our mentors, we are able to immerse ourselves in what it is like to be run a classroom. I did not realize prior to this program the amount of documenting and number of meetings teachers had to attend, combined with their grading, the time they spend teaching, and all of the other things teachers need to do to ensure their students are prepared for the next level of education.

Though this is an extraordinary amount of work, I am also able to see the rewards of being a teacher, such as forming a relationship with my students and watching their knowledge grow as the year progresses. The further I get into this school year, the more I feel that majoring in elementary education is the right choice for me.

Everyone should go through a program like this during their high school years, before declaring a major, because it will save them time and money later down the road. Many students go into college and declare a major, only to change it 10 times before getting a diploma. 

If everyone had access to a program like this, we might see an increase in the number of students graduating on time.

Caelainn Crnjak of Dyer is a senior at Lake Central High School. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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