Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The theme for this year is 1 Youth, 1 Dream, 2Morrow's Leader. But what if 2Morrow's Leader is urged to stay in class and not go to work with their parent?
I recently read an article in the Huffington Post that stated many school districts across the country are urging parents to keep their kids in class rather than take them to work on this day. They say it disrupts learning at an increasingly critical time of the year. Some have even contacted the Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation asking that it be held on a school holiday or during the summer, but the organization won't budge.
This day is more than just taking your child to work. It's about learning real world experiences. Some things can't be taught in the classroom. In our firm, we had the children think of a business they would like to start, and make up a simple business plan - describe their business, name of business, how people will know about their business, what they are selling etc. They even had to come up with and draw a logo for their company. Once they were done, they presented their ideas, boardroom style, to our Managing Director. They shook hands, introduced themselves and presented ideas for their individual companies.
We coached them on how they need to act and present themselves when they are in a business situation with a possible investor. They took this exercise very seriously. The laughing during brainstorming was replaced by serious "business people" pitching their business ideas, and hoping for a buy-in.
As parents and educators we will always go back and forth with what the right thing is. As long as our children are taking something back from their "at work" experiences, they are still learning. Neither going to work or going to school on this day is right or wrong. And who knows, a child's interest could spark towards a career he/she may have never thought of.