The opportunity to be seen as a role model as part of my Health and Social Care course

Children are the future, and one day they will be old; and then their children will be the future, and the cycle goes on. I don’t believe that they deserve the bad rap that our society often gives to them. We pass many of the problems we have caused to them to solve in the future, almost as an inheritance. If you think about it one day they will be in charge of caring for us when we get old so we might want to care for them better now so a good example has been set. As adults we are told to be role models but instead what do we do?

On this note it was great to be able to be a role model for some boys in year 5 at St Mary’s School in Mildenhall as part of ‘HEED day’. HEED stands for Healthcare, early education and domestic. Careers that are vital now and I’m sure will be in the future. As a society we may still look at these job roles and think that they are a female’s job. But this is simply not the case and thanks to feminism we can give both men and women a chance to strive in great careers, without being predestined into a set Men’s job or Women’s job. This was a huge part of what we tried to show these boys.

We started off with an activity with a list of job roles and the boys had to decide which ones were men’s jobs and which ones were women’s jobs. The aim was that at the end of the activity they would have jobs in each side and we could then explain that actually each of the job roles can be done by either a man or a woman. I was surprised though when the boys asked me if they could add a column to their table so it was men’s, women’s and both. It was probably wrong of me to be surprised to see that some year 5 boys said that women could be Builders or Plumbers. Or that men can be Nurses or Hairdressers. Of course as adults we know that men and women can do most jobs. However, we always seem to think children are more naïve to it; but this day showed me that they are probably more accepting and knowledgeable on equality than many adults are.

I also had the opportunity to tell them about what I do, the other guests at the event were all qualified in their area. Whereas I was the only student. I was able to tell them about the fantastic course I study, health and social care, and I also showed them some props I brought with me like a first aid kit, crutches and a CPR mannequin. They all enjoyed trying out CPR on the manikin whilst I tried to get them to sing Staying alive by the Bee Gees whenever they did the chest compressions.   

The session ended with a Q&A where we had questions from the boys. It was a great day and I believe it wasn’t just the students who learnt something but also the speakers who were there too.

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