A group of Grade 9 students from Tuugaalik High School spent a day in the workforce as part of Take-A-Student-To-Work day in Naujaat on May 11.
A total of 20 students took part in the program.
Grade 9 teacher Lloyd Francis said he had been wanting to run the program for a while and that it went better than he expected.
“The students were paired-up with a worker at one of the businesses or organization that agreed to take part in the program, and, basically, they were shown the ropes of what they would do in the type of job they were assigned to,” said Francis. “The students asked the person they were paired with questions about how long they were in the job, their favourite things about the job, and what kind of education you would need to get this job. That was one of the key aspects of it, for students to see what kind of things they would need to do after they graduate high school if they are interested in one of these jobs.”
Francis conducted a job lottery to pair students with their workers.
The student’s names were randomized into a computer program and as each student’s name popped-up on the program, they got to choose where they wanted to go.
Francis said he tried to set-up the program as fairly as possible so the students would have a good chance to pick where they wanted to go.
Even though that didn’t guarantee every student got their preferred placement, it made the process fair to everyone and gave the students a say in the job they wanted to shadow for the day, he said.
“Once the process was completed, overall, everyone pretty much ended-up where they wanted to be, and the students all found that they had learned at least one thing from the experience,” said Francis. Students who got to work with Community and Government Service employees learned about going around to check water, while ones who were with the housing department learned about a housing manager’s duties.
“The student who was out pumping gas really enjoyed it, found it interesting, and really liked the practical hands-on activity the job offered,” he said.
Francis said this is the type of program that would benefit every Kivalliq community.
It’s also part of the school curriculum.
Every student would benefit from it, especially Grade 9 students who might be starting to think long term about what they’re going to do after high school, which is only three years away for them, he said. “It, kind of, gives them a little taste of a job and, that way, they can gear their education towards that career,” he said. “I know some people say it might be a little young to start thinking about what they want to do, but it’s good to have an idea and give them a little experience at different things. If they do the program in multiple years, maybe they get to try something else and, after spending a day or half a day in that field, decide this is for me.”