I keep talking about how education should be about preparing children for the real world. Well, I don’t think it gets any more real than a stint of work experience…
G1 had his first exposure to work experience this holidays where he “interned” as a “teaching assistant” at a preschool for one week. After his “temporary” placement as a shelf-stacker at Hamley’s for an evening, I have been toying with the work experience idea for a while. The only difficulty with this idea is that there aren’t too many places you can send an 8 year old for “work experience”. Thankfully, a friend graciously offered to let him intern at her school.
I think we need to recognise the establishments that offer work experience for students because they provide a very valuable experience that, while being terrific for the students, can be rather trying for the business since our students are young, still learning and prone to making mistakes. We are extremely thankful that G1 was given this terrific opportunity at such a tender age.
The Benefits of Work Experience
Even though G1 is only 8, this brief exposure into the workforce has been a real eye-opener for him. While he was initially excited about the prospect of having a job and earning money, I think the novelty of the idea died after the first day when the enormity of the responsibility of what “working life” was like had kicked in.
All in all, it was a great experience that offered him an insight into what working life is like. Even though he was ready to quit working after the first day, he knew he had to stick it out until the end of the week because he had made a commitment to his boss to work the week. He had to be responsible, helping to guide and be a good role model for the younger children in the school. He gained an appreciation for the hard work his father does in order to earn money to provide for the family – which will hopefully help him become a little more discerning about wants and needs in future. He also learned a little about some of the daily operations of a preschool and daycare, and perhaps he also realised how exhausting it can be for his mother when she has to look after him and his brother?
Wonder if we can find him a placement again, next holidays…?