[content_protector password=”running”]Between the ages of about 4 and 10, I wanted to be a policeman. After that I wanted to be a pilot, then an engineer (I played with a lot of Lego), an astronaut, a chef, an air traffic controller, professional cricketer, a guitarist and singer in a band, a writer and then a teacher. I am a teacher. I have been for quite a long time. I don’t quite know what I want to be next…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It’s a question that I don’t hear asked very much. Maybe it’s because, according to teachers and parents I’ve spoken to, everybody – apparently – either wants to be rich, a reality tv star or a famous sports player. Preferably all three. I occasionally ask the question to students in my own class. I’ve had a range of answers (many of which fall into the rich/tv star/sports category). I’ve also had some interesting ones: architect, nurse, book illustrator, politician, environmental scientist…

Dreams and ambition are so important to you (and to adults too!). I worry that they isn’t enough dreaming going on in schools. With so much time spent writing non-fiction, or researching, or answering word problems in maths, or experimenting in science there isn’t time to wonder ‘what if…?’ or ‘maybe I can do that?’ or ‘oh wow, I’d love to have a go at that…’

Your teachers need to allow you to dream. They have to create opportunities for you to stretch your imaginations, point out possibilities and crazy ideas to you, let your minds wander. When I was at school we used to watch films about what’s made in factories, how buildings are made, exploration in space, different jobs people do. It opened my mind to many, many different possibilities.

I said at the start of this article that I wanted to be a policeman, pilot, engineer, astronaut, chef, guitarist and so on. What I didn’t say is that, as I was growing up, I changed my mind nearly everyday – every time I watched or met someone or read about a different job that I was interested in, I wanted to do it too!

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?


[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry amongst your students:  [/colored_box]  [colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

2. Is there anything wrong with wanting to be rich, famous or a sporting superstar?

[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”green”]Practical Task:

1. Read about the job that want to do, or talk to someone who already does it. What does that person do in the job? What would a typical day look like? What qualifications, salary, training goes into it?

2. Discuss with your teachers what they wanted to do when they were younger. If they wanted to do or be something other than a teacher, ask them what changed their minds.

[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say: [socialpoll id=”[socialpoll id=”2279951″] [/colored_box]


10 Responses

  1. Um I’m not sure maybe a teacher or
    principal even a nurse or vet or
    doctor actually not sure there
    are just a few jobs that I
    mainly think about doing in life.

  2. well,I just want to be a doctor or maybe a during teacher.nr, there just to many jobs that I can do,like teacher nurse and much more things that I can do.

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