Wearing scrubs and white lab coats, stethoscopes dangling from their necks, Murdock Elementary School third-graders welcomed their kindergarten patients into their classroom-turned medical clinic. The student doctors and nurses listened to their patients’ heartbeats, checked their vital signs, and evaluated the patients’ symptoms.
The Murdock clinic is part of the Mustang Market, which is Murdock Elementary School’s way of transforming the traditional career day model into a complete career immersion experience.
Down the hall from the clinic, third-graders helped their kindergarten peers hammer nails in the Home Depot shop. In another area of the Market, first graders demonstrated their marketing skills as they pitched their donut creations to the kindergarten townspeople.
The smell of waffles wafting down the hall marketed the next place on the youngsters’ tour of the mock Murdock community. Wearing the easily-recognizable Waffle House hats, first graders took down the orders of their student patrons. Then the waiters bustled around the tables serving waffles and water to their hungry customers.
Whether they visited the medical clinic, Home Depot or Waffle House, the kindergarteners had to pay for the services and goods they received from their older peer “career professionals”. Just as they will do one day in the future, these young leaders had to submit resumes for the jobs they held in the Mustang Market.
Murdock teachers and parents are excited about the way the Mustang Market gets kids excited about future careers and their roles in the community, but they are not the only ones. Members of the Georgia Department of Education has also taken notice.
“Murdock Elementary School’s Mustang Market is a comprehensive career development event that actively teaches students job expectations, how to complete a job application, how to interview for a job, and how to execute job tasks. Once students are taught valuable work ethic skills they apply their knowledge by working various career stations at Mustang Market. Mustang Market elevates career development and aligns perfectly with the goals of whole child development and student readiness,” said Dawn Mann, the Project Director of Career Counseling and Guidance for the Georgia State of Education Department.
According to Mann, Murdock’s program supports GaDOE’s goal of providing quality career education for all students enrolled in Georgia public schools.
Murdock’s Market may be a glimpse of the future.