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Blog Directory Del's Perspective: Apr 23, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take Your Child to Work Day: What a Joke

Is it really necessary to take your child to work? The individual(s) who thought up this grand scheme may have given birth to a novel idea. Maybe it is important for children to see how the daily bread is earned. Maybe children can truly develop a sense of respect for dear old mom or dad for their awesome contribution to society and the GDP. I certainly don't want to take away from that particular aspect of the concept. My problem deals with some ancillary things that go along with taking children to work.
First, why isn't it an activity for the summer? Children need to be in school. The absence from school puts an additional work load on the teacher(s) in that homework assignments need to be explained yet one more time, and what was covered that day in class will need to be taught yet one more time. It can not be emphasized strongly enough that a child cannot receive the same benefit as his/her peers when absent from school, even given the makeup work. The interactions that occurs in the classroom is extraordinary to the learning process.
Second, it is not unusual for a child to miss school on this day so that he/she can be with his mom/dad who is (are ready for this?) a teacher.
Stay at home moms will have their children stay at home on this day so that her child can ( I'm not making this up) see what she does all day.
Third, for many schools this is the week for the ubiquitous "end of instruction" or achievement tests. So here it is one of the most important of all school days and we find parents pulling their children out so they can go to work with them. Shouldn't someone have had the decency to coordinate their respective calendars to end such a conflict of interest?
Fourth, and this is the most disturbing side effect of the such a day, is that now most schools want proof that a child did come to a particular business. In order to skirt this requirement, some parents just flat out lie and keep their child out by just calling the school with reports of illness, bee stings, allergic reaction, ad nauseum.

The truly great part of this story is the history of it. It started out as Take Your Daughter to Work Day, with the nascent thought that girls could be empowered by seeing the real work place, that it was truly possible for women to compete and work equally with men at any level. It was and is a refreshing idea in that today women earn on average 77% to that of men for the same workload or job description. Fewer young ladies enter the engineering and mathematical abstract careers than young men. So the original take your daughter to work idea was and is a good way to inspire girls to greater heights in the job market.
Now that the day has morphed into "take you child to work " let's be honest and at least have it slated for a summer day.
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