When I Grow Up

Fahim Rahman, Jordan Butler, and Autumn Hayes

Ever wonder what happens after college? Well wonder no more! Choosing a career is no longer the arduous burden it used to be with this short list to help you begin thinking about a future job:

Teacher

One of the most influential and vital professions available is teaching. Teachers are responsible for the education of young people and this makes the responsibilities of the job very complex. In order to become a teacher, one must have a Bachelor’s degree as well as be certified by the state. Certifications must be updated every five years for teachers.

There is a relatively simple process for applying to become a teacher. Applicants must go to the central office and fill out an application and from there interviews would be set up. The interview itself goes through a range of depth in question. It begins with the rudimentary and basic background questions and eventually works itself into about personal teaching philosophy. From there, central office will notify applicants of their status.

What is the average day like in the life of a teacher? Lorie Southall, a Spanish teacher at Cosby High School, says, “You come in and you just set your plan out and be sure to get enough activities to really make sure they kids get a variety.”

She believes that much of the job is interacting with other teachers and administration members to make the entire educational experience better for students. Southall says, “It is expected [teachers will] do extracurricular things. I sponsor the senior class, work with the Spanish Club and the Spanish Honor Society.” Making sure students have an enjoyable learning experience through a variety of sources of knowledge is an important aspect of teaching. Teachers are responsible for providing lessons both in the class curriculum and beyond.

A positive relationship between students and teacher is vital to a successful experience. “I think, honestly, I spend an hour and a half with a group of kids, but see my own son for twenty minutes at home. Teachers spend more time with the students than parents. So that demonstrates that we teachers are very important in the development of kids,” Southall says. She went on to explain that teachers and students have a very personal relationship. While providing students with a full education, an important portion of being a teacher is the relationship with the students. Teaching itself is a vital part of the educational system, but the profession goes beyond the classroom. Teachers are responsible for developing kids into knowledgeable and better people.

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Firefighter

Firefighting is a dangerous and noble profession, and the path to becoming one, a 14 week basic training course, is grueling. Aspiring firefighters must be an EMT and have an operational knowledge of HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials). An associate’s degree is required for the rank of Lieutenant, and a Bachelor’s degree is necessary to be promoted to any rank higher than that. Future firefighters would also be advised to collect a multitude of volunteer hours and to keep in prime physical condition.

Firefighters must maintain a high degree of personal integrity and character, as they must enter people’s homes and are charged with the protection of people’s property, “A firefighter is honest,” said Fmr. Lt. Jeff Butler. They must also be willing and able to put other people before them. To become a Chesterfield County Fire Fighter, one must complete the 14 week training course, a 6 week EMT (Emergency Medical Team) course and a practical and written exam for each course. Cadets must also pass a physical entrance examination, which includes pulling a dummy for a certain number of yards and climbing a 75 foot ladder. In order to keep their jobs, firefighters must pass an annual WPE (work performance exam) which includes the same physical components tested in the physical entrance exam.

Music Director

School of Rock is a worldwide franchise where kids and adults alike can learn instruments, learn songs, and play together in a band environment. One of the more privileged occupations at School Of Rock, assistant music director, covers teaching students all this, as well as coordinating programs, directing shows, and setting up and running sound equipment. Someone who likes music as well as teaching it may find this job the most appropriate for them.

One who is interested in this job can get it by first contacting the staff through either website or emailing the owner. Then, a resume and cover letter must be submitted. An interview and background check will then be done. Then, if everything checks out, there will be training through online and real life situations. This prestigious job requires patience, flexibility, the willingness to work with others and a thirst for knowledge among other skills.

School of Rock, founded by Paul Green in 1996, is based on the idea that musicians advance better in a social environment. According to assistant music director at School of Rock’s Short Pump and Midlothian locations in Virginia, Andrew Rohlk, the best part about this after-school music program is “the community and the overall atmosphere.” Unlike most schools, at this school, “Everybody wants to be present to play and support the music,” Rohlk says. Everyone wants to be there.

A musician wanting to attend this school can take multiple programs based on age and playing ability. There’s Little Wing, Rookies, Rock 101, Rock 201, Royalty of Rock, and Grad School that spans ages 3- adulthood respectively. Professional musicians can even use the free recording space provided by the building.