Groundhog Day brings a different type of ‘shadow’ for students

Published 9:06 am Thursday, February 2, 2012

It’s Groundhog Day, and that means many people around the country will anxiously await the Punxsutawney Phil weather forecast for the coming weeks.

But, the eighth-grade students at Charles Henderson Middle School probably won’t give much thought to Punxsutawney Phil. They will be more interested in their own “shadows.”
The students will participate in Job Shadowing Day that has become a CHMS tradition on Groundhog Day.

Gina Hastings, CHMS business technology applications teacher, said the eighth-grade students have the opportunity on Job Shadowing Day to choose a career that they are interested in or think they might be and go out and shadow someone in that occupation.

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“This is an opportunity for students to go into the workplace and ‘shadow’ someone who is doing the job they think they would like to pursue as a career,” Hastings said. “This experience gives the students an idea as to what a job requires and to whether it’s what they thought it was. They might decide that the job isn’t for them and strike it off their list or job shadowing might confirm that they are on the right career path.”

Hastings said she discourages students from going to work with their parents just to go somewhere.

“I want them to go to a workplace that has some interest for them,” she said.

Job shadowing is more than watching someone at work.

“Each student has a form where they sign off on things they have observed and document the educational background necessary for that job,” Hastings said. “Back in the classroom, the students fill out a questionnaire about their job shadowing experience. We follow up on Job Shadowing Day with each student doing a PowerPoint presentation on their career choice to present to the class.”

The CHMS eighth-grade students will be “shadowing’ employees at Troy University, city schools, day care centers, banks, animal clinics, auto shops and pet shops. Some students will job shadow at locations outside of Troy.