Last week I delivered a training session for the charity Young Enterprise at the Spires Academy in Canterbury. Although I started my career as a teacher and have delivered numerous training courses for adults it’s been a long time since I stood in front of a class of teenagers, and I was quite nervous about how it would go.
I needn’t have worried. It was a brilliant experience, the kids were great and I felt very privileged to meet them. The school felt really creative and energetic and all the teachers I spoke to were extremely enthusiastic about working there. The course I ran was called Learn to Earn and aimed to get the students to think about the kind of life they would like and then how they might go about funding it! Having trained and worked as a coach I really liked the course as it encouraged the students to have dreams and goals and then work out how to achieve them. The students seemed to get a lot out of it too.
As part of the course, I asked the students to think about who they thought was successful, and why. You might think that their answers might have centred on TV personalities or ‘celebrities’ or footballers wives, but no – Obama, Thatcher, Blair and Mother Teresa were their first answers. When I asked about their career aspirations, one bright spark said that he would like to be a male stripper and when I asked him what he thought he might have to do to be a success at this he answered that he would have to make sure that he kept fit and toned. He seemed quite prepared to do this- I think he’ll go far! Other students had aspirations to be musicians, army officers, lawyers and teaching assistants as well as get married, have children and be happy.
They were only 13 and 14 years old and I think it’s very difficult to know what you want to do when you are so young. At their age I knew that I really wanted to travel in my work and considered joining the forces, becoming an air hostess and a fashion buyer for Harrods so that I could achieve this. If you read the ‘About me’ page on this blog you can find out what I really did but, suffice to say, I didn’t do any one of the aforementioned jobs!
Young Enterprise relies on volunteers to deliver a range of courses and they are particularly keen to recruit people who have run their own business, but anyone with business experience is welcomed. So, if you have experience in the business world and would like to meet some great kids and learn more about some of the amazing things going on in education today why not volunteer today?