So Hip it Hurts

The grade 8s at my school have an awesome field trip lined up for Friday.  We are going to be visiting Camosun College’s Interurban Campus and we will be touring through their trades program.  Each of my students was able to choose a trade they want to try out (carpentry, cosmetology, plumbing, etc.) and then, once the hands-on experience is over, we will all get a tour through the entire campus.  This upcoming  field trip makes me pretty happy because I am the CAPP (career and personal planning) teacher for all the English track grade 8s at my school.  We’ve been preparing for this field trip for several weeks now and I think most of my students will really enjoy it!

To supplement our epic Friday field trip we are going to finish the day off with a Skype call to my good (non-teacher) friend, Allison.  Allie and I have been friends since we were nine years old and in rhythmic gymnastics together.  Allie and I also graduated from high school together.  Allie also stood by me when I got married.  Meet Allie:


I don’t think I have any photos of us that aren’t jumping pictures…we are kind of awesome at those.

 Anyhow, Allie is pretty cool, but what makes her extra cool in the eyes of my students is the fact that she works for Herschel Supply Co.

Herschel is a company that designs and manufactures backpacks, so naturally, being a teacher, I am into this kind of thing.  Now, these backpacks aren’t just your regular ol’ backpack.  These backpacks are hip.  They’re so hip it hurts.  I will admit though that I didn’t even know of Herschel before Allie started working for them. 

Photo cred: Herschel Supply Co.'s Instagram feed.

Photo cred: Herschel Supply Co.’s Instagram feed.

Several of my students own Herschel bags and I also have a Herschel bag that I use as my main school tote.  Because Herschel is a well-known brand in my class, it only makes sense that my students and I talk about my “cool friend Allie who works at Herschel” at least once a week.  This is usually how the conversation goes:

Student: “Hey Mrs. Alleyn…cool Herschel bag”.

Me: “Thanks! I like your Herschel bag too…especially because it’s camo”.

Student: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool. So, have you talked to Allie lately?”

Me: “Yep – we text every day, actually”.

Student: “Sweet”.

That’s pretty much it. (Grade 8s are cool, so it’s important they don’t take too much interest in the teacher’s cool accessories).

I see right through my students’ charade.  My students think it’s cool that I know cool people like Allie.  The fact that I know someone who works at Herschel gives me a tiny bit extra hall-cred among the 13/14 year olds I’m surrounded by every day.  And yes, I am definitely using my friendship with Allie as leverage to score whatever cool points I can get because it can sometimes be a tough gig being cool in grade 8, no matter if you’re the student OR the teacher!

Today Allie and I dreamed up a lesson in which Allie will Skype in with my class on Friday after our fun CAPP field trip.  Allie is going to talk to my students about her job and what exactly she does there (she’s in charge of all Herschel’s online stuff and their social media).  Allie will also answer any questions my class might have about working in the world of design, fashion, social media, marketing and the like.  It’s important to me that my students know more about what kinds of creative careers and professions exist beyond high school and university.  Everyone knows that there will always be teachers, doctors and lawyers but, in my opinion, it’s a bit trickier to find real, applicable information about jobs like Allie’s.  I think our conversation with Allie will be the perfect culmination to our day of CAPP!  I’ll report back next week.  Until then, feel welcome to check out the blog Allie writes for Herschel Supply Co. right HERE.

What other kinds of engaging and useful CAPP lessons/field trips have you all experienced/taught?


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