Every shop in Young AmeriTowne has its own responsibilities, ranging from the Medical Center taking care of patients to the radio station playing preferred fifth grade music; each shop is integral to the running of AmeriTowne. Although each shop is different they all have one job in common: the Manager. Each Manager is responsible for a variety of tasks: running a staff meeting at school prior to the AmeriTowne fieldtrip, making sure their workers are accomplishing their assigned jobs in AmeriTowne, and filling in for whoever is out on break. Occasionally this includes taking responsibility when a shop doesn’t perform required duties. Every day we see elementary students taking this role seriously and meeting our expectations in such a challenging position.
With power comes responsibility
Certain shops are heavily reliant on their managers, particularly the Newspaper, Container store, Parcel Service, and Warehouse. In the Newspaper, the Manager is the editor of the paper and is responsible for writing an editorial for the AmeriTowne newspaper. In addition they have to make sure their employees complete their assignments. The Container, Parcel, and Warehouse Managers are responsible for a brand new piece of technology: the kiosks in Towne center that allow kids to purchase products through Young AmeriTowne’s own internet. The Container and Warehouse produce these products and receive notice to fulfill the order. Once the products are completed, employees use the tablets to send a message to the Parcel Service that indicates a package pickup and delivery. An astute Manager is necessary to make sure orders are completed and delivered. Managers often take the rap when kids don’t receive the products they ordered.
One of the most challenging parts of being a Manager in Young AmeriTowne is being able to understand specific job roles within the shops. If one of the shop employees is out on break, the shop Manager is responsible for taking over their job. Many Managers do feel the stress of employees not performing their duties. The best Managers are not afraid to be leaders and instruct their employees.
Although this experience is only one day, kids get a chance to manage their peers and experience what it means to be good leaders. We would like to hope that we are training the future leaders of tomorrow and with a little practice now, they will be prepared to lead in their middle school, high school, college, and future careers. We hope the experience leading their peers effectively through Young AmeriTowne will help ignite a passion for leadership.
Have a kid in your class who enjoys instructing others? A natural born leader? Clearly the manager position would be ideal for them, allowing them to constructively oversee a kid-sized store front for the day. But also consider the slightly quieter student who particularly enjoys rules and regulations, you may see them come out of their shell!