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May 8, 2014

Horace Mann focuses on interview process for career day

DUNCAN — Career day at Horace Mann was intended to teach fifth-grade students about more than just different jobs. The goal was to teach them life skills.

Those life skills, including knowing what to do during a job interview and how to build a résumé, were among the skills the  fifth-graders learned going into Career Day. While the school’s younger students were hearing about careers in different fields, it was up to the fifth-graders to take it a step further.

In the two days leading to Wednesday’s career day, Horace Mann fifth-graders studied career fields they were interested in learning more about. Fifth-grade teacher Erica Stuck began contacting employees in various fields to interact with the students by taking a “job interview” focus to the day.

“It’s all about the kids,” Stuck said. “It helps them with their goals.”

Through the mock job interviews, the students learned what skills they needed to hone for their desired careers and learned about what level of education they have to reach to achieve their goals.

In recent years, Duncan Public Schools piloted the Career Pathways program, which makes the connection between what’s learned in the classroom and various career fields. Horace Mann’s career day is a result of the introduction of that program.

Jason Willeford was among the 10 people involved in the job interview portion of career day. Willeford, who works in insurance, said he was impressed by the level of knowledge the students demonstrated during the interviews.

“It’s really cool,” Willeford said. “My first one, he was prepared. He knew about what I do.”

The two days students spent researching their chosen careers provided them with a look to what skills are required and what types of personalities are best suited for various careers.

Stuck said she feels the fifth-graders will benefit from the change in career day format.

“It’s been such a good thing,” Stuck said. “They’re learning life skills. We’re giving them all the skills we can. It takes a lot of people to pull it all together.”

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