It started as a way to introduce girls to the work place, Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Well meaning people took their daughters to the office in the hopes it would inspire girls to enter the workplace with confidence and think outside the stereotypical jobs for women. Then, because it's not fair for girls to get a day off school and not boys, it became take your kids to work. Can't be sexist and leave the boys out. I think it's a waste and here's why:
- why do our children have to miss a day of school, when we all know how they are falling behind on the world scale, to go sit in a office all day? If you want to take your child to work, do it on a day the schools are out anyway. Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, summer. "But the teachers have them share what they learned..." okay then do it on an in-service day. Make it a Spring Break assignment. Taking the kids out of class for every little thing is undermining their education, not enhancing it.
-what do they *really* learn? Kids as young as kindergarten are going into offices. Do you really think they are gaining valuable skills? Having been in the workforce for plenty of years during Take Your Kids to Work Day, I'd say they learn: how to work the copier, how to file, how to play games on the computer, how to go to lunch. I've rarely seen an instance where a child learned something that will benefit them in their career search. Mostly, they tag along after parents who have jobs the kids either are already familiar with or aren't interested in.
-visitng an office for one day doesn't change a child's confidence. Especially if you are taking your child to your own office, puttering around an office during the day, generally bored, isn't going to transform your kid into a CEO.
If you want your older child to experience different career options, find their passion and set up brief visits or internships for them over the summer. Have a kid who loves science? How about a summer job at the museum, or seeing if they can spend a few days trailing a researcher in a lab? Artistic bent? Check out community colleges for approrpriate age art classes, or find local artists looking for help. There are plenty of opportunities if you look and they don't require missing a day of school to participate, followed by a day wasted talking about it.
What do you think?