Before settling on a career as a comedian, a Greenwood second-grader also considered being a ballet dancer or a music teacher.
And if you were near Westwood Elementary School on Friday, you might have seen Novalee Simms dressing the part — complete with a rubber chicken, microphone, fake mustache and glasses.
Simms was joined by a welder, a few paleontologists, an engineer and dozens of other careers at this year’s Labor Day parade, an annual tradition at the school.
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Second-grade students dressed up as what they want to be as adults to commemorate the holiday weekend and to teach students why they won’t be in school on Monday. Second-grade teachers spent all of this week discussing careers, what skills are needed to pursue those jobs and what their life will look like 20 years in the future, second-grade teacher Natalie Kauble said.
“We discuss the importance of it because we don’t really teach science and social studies too much in second grade, but we want them to get a good foundation and understanding of certain things,” Kauble said.
Students had to think of their own career, why they would be good for the job and how they would dress up for the parade.
Novalee talked it over with her mother.
“I was thinking, ‘Maybe something silly.’ I told that to Mommy, and she said ‘Well, then, how about a comedian?’ and I said, ‘It’s a deal,’” Novalee said. “Mrs. Kauble said I would be the perfect comedian.”
Then on Friday, students got to live out their careers for the day in a parade through the school, playground and nearby Crystal Lakes subdivision. The parade has been a tradition at the school for about 20 years, second-grade teacher Jan Scott said.
“I think it’s great to teach them that that’s why we’re here at school. They’ve got a job to do, to be here at school, just like their parents have a job,” Scott said. “You’re here to learn to go on further in your life.”
Zoe Lowe is confident she will continue her love of paleontology in the future, since she has been interested in dinosaurs since she was in preschool and learned about the tyrannosaurus rex, she said. Her first-grade class last year encouraged her love of dinosaurs, she said.
Classmate Trenton Hernandez initially wanted to be a businessman. “I wanted to get a lot of money,” he said.
He also thought he could be a good swim teacher, archaeologist, firefighter or a scientist. But eventually, he settled on being an engineer — either one that conducts a train or that builds buildings, he said.
Caleb Wells said he also wanted to be an engineer since that’s what his dad does. He wore a hard hat and carried blueprints around on Friday.
Students had to write down their career choice and describe why they would be good at that job, Kauble said.
Trenton said, “I wrote that I wanted to see things be built, and I like to build with blocks.”
Each student had a photo taken under a sign that says “Someday I want to be …” Each class will have a photo book made, and Kauble hopes students will hang onto the books until they graduate.