A day in the life of a journalist is seldom routine or boring. I find myself switching gears from covering the construction industry in Texas to commercial real estate nationwide. And, then there is the occasional challenge of engaging children and telling them what it is like to be a B2B magazine writer and editor.
I spoke to the fourth-grade classes at my children’s elementary school as part of career week in May. They always seem amazed at what goes into being a writer and editor and I’m always thrilled to share about what I do.
I have done career-day talks at elementary and junior high school campuses for almost as long as I’ve been a journalist. For teachers, they can be a wonderful asset to support many of the things they want to teach children, from the importance of deadlines to good grammar. These are skills students need for the classroom — but really, in almost any profession that they choose.
A valuable asset I have found that helped prepare for career day talks is a short presentation ASBPE board members put together several years ago. I keep a copy printed out in my files for easy reference. The What in the World is a Magazine Editor? presentation is simple and can be used with an overhead projector or distributed to the teacher to use for a classroom aid later in teaching about writing and editing. There is also a PowerPoint version. The final page of the presentation has an outline for what to take and tips for engaging students. This has been a great resource in helping to prepare for these talks. I’ve always managed to keep children interested easily for 30-60 minutes following this career day outline.