Achieving through English: English and the worlds of education, careers and community.
Normally, this would be the first module rolled out. I made the call to delay it as I really wanted to know the kids before we got to it. Let’s face it, it’s probably the driest unit we have to cover. I thought it would be better placed once we had built a rapport, and once they had a better idea of what they wanted to be doing with their post school lives.
So term three we dived into resumes, with what has to be the most low key entry event ever staged. Wanna see?
Entry Event: We sat in the sun and I asked them to give me all the life jobs they knew they had to do. You know, the stuff we put off or shuffle to the ‘too hard’ pile to be revisited never. It was a slow start, but soon they were flowing. I need to get my L’s. I need a budget. How do I get a passport? There we go. We have our unit.
It actually had a much wider focus, I wanted them to cover three aspects under the one question A) tick off those life jobs B) write a kick arse resume C) build their interview skills.
Driving Question: How can I package myself for an employer?
We did this by setting their speaking assessment as an interview. I set them up with a panel and we prepped in the weeks leading up to it with the 20 most often asked interview questions. Their resume was the core benchmark in terms of drafting and re drafting. I had our careers adviser work closely with them after quickly discovering that my info was a tad outdated… who’d have thought? Their life jobs came in the form of optional workshops. We had a student whose mum works in the bank and he is a self-professed savings guru, so he ran the budgeting workshop. There were three kids who wanted to get their L’s, so they prepped together. Basically, every few lessons I’d announce a seminar, those who wanted to … could join, those who didn’t were working on their resume/interview skills. This is possibly where our self-regulation really started developing. If you needed help, you found it. If you had a skill, you shared it.
Revised Entry Event: The original entry event did get kids excited for the unit, they were surprised and interested in being able to shape their own agenda and call it classwork. However, this could easily be run as the second lesson as ‘know and need to know‘. Bunnings has an awesome group interview process, I’ve connected with our local store and they seem willing to work with kids in developing their interview skills. If I were to run this again, the entry would be a Bunnings team interview. Just think of the conversation on the walk home, it could easily be formalised into a fantastic ‘know and need to know‘ for the unit.
As a group we reflected on the whole year just after this project. Yes, they agreed, it wasn’t as much fun as our other projects. But it was super useful. Two kids got jobs during the project (they were happy for the interview prep!), and from memory I’m pretty sure all three got their L’s. In my mind, the only way this unit works is if it is authentic. It has to link to their world. The first time I ran this (pre PBL) it was all simulated. Let’s write an expression of interest for this job that no one’s actually applying for! What? You’re not engaged? And no one’s written the letter? Oh, I wonder why not… a tad cynical but that’s how I felt my last Studies experience went. This time had so much more energy and focus. They all took the interviews seriously, they prepped together, filmed each other and studied the footage. And they improved.