EMS students’ eyes are opened as they shadow workers for several hours

Lane Cox, an eighth grader at Moroni Middle School, is shadowing his father, Andy, who is an electrician.

EPHRAIM—Eighth graders at Ephraim Middle School spent last Friday, March 26 getting a look at the world beyond school.

According to Principal John Gillette, every eighth grade student participated in a “job shadow,” often with a parent, sometimes with another worker in the community.

As students returned from the experience, they participated in Zoom interviews where Gillette asked them about their experiences.

Lane Cox shadowed his dad, Andy Cox, an electrician who also runs a concrete-cutting company. Lane said he likes hand-on work and might follow in his dad’s footsteps.

Jack Ristine shadowed his mother, Nichole, who is an employment counselor at the Utah Department of Workforce Services in Manti.

Jack said he enjoyed learning how his mom helps people get over big hurdles to find work. But he doesn’t see himself following the same career path.

Hunter Greening shadowed his mother, Crystal Riley, who works in circulation and support services at the Sanpete Messenger.

Jack Ristine, right, a student at Ephraim Middle School, is sitting at the desk of his mother, Nicole, at the Utah Department of Workforce Services in Manti. Shadowing his mother made him aware of the big hurdles some people go through to find jobs.

After watching what goes on at the newspaper, Hunter said he did not want to be a reporter. But he said it was “exciting” to watch his mom take phone calls, organize documents and send out letters.

Job shadowing is one of the “work-based learning opportunities” recommended for eighth graders by the Utah State Office of Education, said Janika Broomhead, Ephraim Middle School counselor.

The objectives of the experience include observing a range of activities performed on a job, receiving information about careers, gaining insight into the skills needed for jobs, and starting to understand the connections between education and careers.

“Our hope is that this program will assist students in deciding what they want to do after high school,” Gillette said.