It was a rainy spring day when I pulled into the parking lot of my former elementary school.  This time I was returning to talk about my radio position for career day, but there was still a lot for me to learn.

Amidst the highway patrol officers, ambulance drivers and business owners to talk about their professions, there I was in Mrs. Peterson's class, ready to meet the kids for three break out sessions to talk about radio.

To start off our time together, I interviewed each student, asking their name and what they were looking forward to doing over summer break, immediately playing the recordings on the sound system.  Smiles and giggles filled the room as the kids heard their own voice and those of their classmates.

The kids and I listened to newscasts, played with my old microphones, headphones and digital recorder.  Time flew by and before I knew it two hours of break out sessions had ended and I was loading my car with my gear again.

Here are some of the lessons I learned from the kids at Valley Springs Elementary that day:

  • Be curious:  When it comes to kids, there are hardly any questions off limits.  My favorite questions was asking how much I made.  Even as adults, it's important to remember to still ask questions about life.
  • Find creative ways to learn: The kids talked about how we all learn differently. Some connected by touch as they ran their fingers across the bumpy texture of the microphone screen.  Others engaged with listening as they heard audio.  Others used their visual connections as we drew pictures.
  • Never quit learning: As I packed up my items and the kids sang along with a music video of all the oceans of the world, I remembered how important is to learn in ways that work best for our brains.
  • Connect with people and things that speak to you:  While giving away a few radio station items to the kids, one student eagerly grabbed a computer mouse pad.  I asked if he had a computer at home that he was looking forward to using the mouse pad with.  He replied,  "No, I don't have a computer, I just like how this thing feels."

Thanks to Principal Palmer, the staff and the students at Valley Springs Elementary in Valley Springs, South Dakota.  What an honor to be a part of career day!