Day for shadows

Published 8:33 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil was not the only one to see a shadow Tuesday.

Working professionals throughout Troy were shadowed as well. but it may have been a different silhouette than they were used to.

“Every year on Groundhog Day our eighth-grade students participate in job-shadowing,” said Gina Hastings, business and technical applications teacher at Charles Henderson Middle School.

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While groundhog guru’s got a look ahead to when spring will start, some Troy middle-school students were getting a sneak peek on a possible career path.

“This offers a chance to mold them for that career if that’s what they’re interested in,” Hastings said.

The educator of 26 years said that to begin the program her eighth graders took part in a career interest survey.

Although they were not required to choose a job based on the results of the survey, it provided the students with a career and person match.

“[The students] can choose from one out of 16 careers,” Hastings said. “And they will find out one of two things, either they like it or they don’t.”

The next step of the program was to pair up the students with their “shadow-ees,” local workforce members whose job duties match the interests of the students.

Among the people who participated were teachers at Troy Elementary School and Charles Henderson High School, Dr. Doug Hawkins at the Troy Animal Clinic, Cynthia McNabb at Sikorsky and Firefighters at the Troy Fire Department.

Hastings who has been teaching a business related curriculum for 12 years said that the exposure to real-life business operations is important.

“It’s an opportunity to get out in the community and the business world and see how a business is run,” she said.

The project still has one final phase.

“At the end of the year we’ll have a career fair and the students will give a power point presentation,” Hastings said.

Additionally Hastings said she instructs students on spreadsheets, keyboarding and desktop publishing.