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Addressing a year 6 class about my job, how do I not send them off to sleep?

(11 Posts)
esor Sun 28-Jun-09 22:19:30

My DD's school has asked for parents to volunteer to come in and speak about their careers to the year 6 class. I thought it was a worthwhile thing to do and put my name forward. Now the teacher has written and said that I have 30 minutes to talk about my job (mild panic as I had thought it would be about 15 minutes or so).

So, I am looking for any advice on speaking to a class, keeping the children engaged and interacted with what I am saying. My job is really quite interesting so I know that my enthusiasm will carry it along a bit, but what I do not want is me droning on and the children bored stiff. Should I ask questions at certain points? Plan to bring in some equipment for them to have a look at, do I give this during the talk? At the end? Am feeling a bit apprehensive have never done anything like this before and want to give it a good go. TIA

BCNS Sun 28-Jun-09 22:23:21

oh our school asked as well. .. I thought about it.. and then I thought.. actually I don't do that much
( I would last about 2 mins )

what do you do?

SueW Sun 28-Jun-09 22:26:46

Bring in some equipment and start by asking them to guess what you do, rather than your telling them?

jennifersofia Sun 28-Jun-09 22:29:41

Interactive is good (bring in stuff), and get them to talk too. Also ask if they have any questions they would like to ask

bethylou Sun 28-Jun-09 22:31:04

As a teacher, I'd say if you've got an interesting job you're probably onto a winner as they'll be interested to have someone different in front of them. Equipment, if relevant and interesting, sounds good. I should get it out as you go along. Might be worth saving questions from them about it till the end tho cos you won't get to say anymore after they start!! Be prepared for them to ask some really random questions or tell you random things that you fail to see have any link to your talk. Hopefully the class will have been briefed to be on best behaviour and teacher will control them so you can just talk. Don't forget to look up at them as much as you can and look all round the room at your listeners. (You'd be amazed how many teachers only look right in class if they are right handed). Remember, you will know more than they will. Try and mention how you got into the job as is presumably about future careers for them. Don't say you were a slacker at school (even if you were) as the teacher might not thank you for it!! Good luck!

PortAndLemon Sun 28-Jun-09 22:32:06

Except that the school might well have already told them what you do...

I'd talk briefly about how you got into the field (both what drew you to it and what training or experience you have)

If it's something people will have heard of, I'd ask them to suggest what they think you spend most of your time doing, then you can segue into how that matches up with the reality -- maybe look at a hypothetical typical day.

Best and worst things about the job?

Definitely equipment for them to look at (unless you're an Ann Summers rep or something... grin)

esor Sun 28-Jun-09 22:33:07

Ok equipment and questions at the start would grab their interest. Currently working shifts in two different roles so planning to cover that. Perhaps not going into too much detail and try to talk slowly to drag it out a bit wink

trickerg Sun 28-Jun-09 22:35:49

What do you do?

esor Sun 28-Jun-09 22:43:01

Thanks so much for the tips. Yes Bethylou it is for future careers, good to get advice from a teacher! Will check with year 6 teacher if she has told them already what I do. I think my equipment will be allowed Portandlemon grin

Dysgu Sun 28-Jun-09 23:07:06

As a Y6 teacher I just want to add that, if you are tempted to pass any equipment around, don't! They will get so distracted waiting for it to reach them and talking about it when they do have it.

What do you do?

Perhaps a link is possible to show how what they are studying in school leads towards job in real life?

Oh and be prepared for some --brave fool-- pupil to ask how much you earn.

Smithagain Mon 29-Jun-09 22:09:13

DH has just been into school and spent an hour with Yr 6 telling them about civil engineering. He was asked for a 20 minute presentation, followed by a 40 minute activity. Which was slightly more than he'd bargained for!

He picked a project he was involved in, that was genuinely unusual and interesting (the world's longest ever tightrope, as it happens). Spent a few minutes asking them if they knew what an engineer did. Told them the "real" answer. Showed some pictures of projects his firm has done. Then spoke about the tightrope project, including getting volunteers up to handle a bit of wire rope. Talked about how they had to work out how long it needed to be, how strong, how to get it built etc. Showed pictures of the construction - and video of someone walking on it. Gave them the chance to ask questions (some of which were truly strange!)

The rest of the time, he was asked to run an activity and he got them to build towers out of rolled up paper, with a prize for the highest.

This was all in aid of "Maths Week" - raising awareness of how maths is used in real life. So not quite the same as a general careers thing - and hence spending time talking about working things out and hence the prizes/activities etc at the end.

I also do assemblies quite a lot as part of my job (working for a church). Even in the dizzy heights of Year 6, they do seem to like having things to look at and opportunities to come up to the front and make a fool of themselves grin.

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