6th Grade Job Shadowing

2016-17 Marks the 17th Consecutive Year of Career Exploration for Sixth Grade Students!

Mathews 6th Grade Shadowing Day gives our students a morning of career exploration with area businesses. Each of our sixth grade students will visit professional work places to explore career opportunities and apply some of the knowledge they are acquiring at school.


We have multiple goals for this day — to allow sixth grade students a chance to see careers which interest them in action, to let students see how skills taught in school transfer to a workplace, and to foster communication between sixth grade students and adults in the Austin community.

The transition from sixth to seventh grade is increasingly important in the lives of our students. Once these students leave Mathews, they have choices for specialized education at the middle school level. More than ever, students and their families have choices about which schools they will attend for seventh grade, including the middle school campus in the neighborhood or magnet schools with particular specializations. Shadowing Day helps our children see connections between academic work and future careers so they and their families can make wise choices about their next steps. The more students and their parents are aware of their own strengths and interests, the better they are able to choose the school which is the best match.

How Shadowing Day Works
We establish placements in area workplaces with our Partners in Education, businesses and organizations who commit time, money and other valuable resources to help ensure academic excellence and personal success for all Austin students. Our students are given their placement assignments in advance so they can contact their sponsors to confirm arrangements, and familiarize themselves with their sponsoring businesses before showing up at the job.

On Shadowing Day, students spend 9:00 am to 12:00 noon in their placements with sponsoring businesses. The students wear appropriate attire and conduct themselves professionally – and our partners really put them to work! Supervisors direct students in work duties such as answering phones, making calls, writing formal letters or memos, taking meeting notes, welcoming visitors to the workplace, and checking balances using a spreadsheet, adding machine, calculator or (gasp!) pencil and paper. After the morning’s exploration, students return to school for a period of reflection on the day and sharing experiences with fellow students.

“Over the course of the morning, the students delivered paychecks to employees,
sent a contract to Uzbekistan, spoke on Skype to one of our overseas agencies in Argentina,
sent an e-mail to our partner in Taiwan, learned how to make photo copies, participated in
an inter-office search for all of our own international employees … and even met our
President, John McNamara!  Special thanks to Ms. Cho for attending with the boys to enhance
their experience. It was a pleasure to have them here with us and we hope they enjoyed the experience
as much as we did!  AAG is very happy to continue working with Mathews on this special program.”
Laurie, AAG, Associate Vice President of Programs, Alliance Abroad Group, L.P. (2010)

Our Partners in Education make it all possible!
We offer sincere thanks to our Partners in Education for hosting our sixth grade students in their career explorations. The continued interest and involvement of these community partners in Mathews is part of the reason we consider Mathews and the wider Austin community a special place for children.

  • ACC – Rio Grande Campus (Ceramics Art Lab)
  • Alliance Abroad Group (foreign country employment)
  • Austin Children’s Museum
  • Austin Nature & Science Center
  • Book People
  • Capital Excavation Company (construction)
  • City of Austin – Austin Energy (engineer)
  • City of Austin – Council Member Randi Shade
  • City of Austin – Fire Department
  • City of Austin – PARD Austin Recreation Center
  • City of Austin – Public Library
  • City of Austin – Town Lake Animal Center
  • Dr. Roland Davies, DDS
  • Enspire Learning, inc. (computer software services)
  • GSD&M Idea City Advertising
  • Jeffrey’s Restaurant (chef)
  • KUT FM Radio
  • Kiss n’ Make Up
  • Dale Langley, Jr. (attorney)
  • Moonkiss Music
  • PageSoutherlandPage Architects
  • Pizza Hut #7101
  • Pro Cuts Hair Salon
  • RVI (landscape architecture & land planning)
  • St. Luke Infant Care Center
  • South Austin Medical Clinic
  • Southpaws Playschool (animal day care)
  • State of Texas – Office of Senator Kirk Watson
  • Travis County Commissioners Court
  • UT Intercollegiate Athletics for Women
  • Villager Newspaper
  • Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital (veterinarian)
  • Whole Earth Provision Company