It's important to have instructors who can discuss certain issues that happen in can arise in the career. Students want to here stories that can provide entertainment and an idea of what it's like out there.
One of the more effective teaching tools that career college instructors can use are graduates as guest speakers. The current students hear from someone that has made it as well as the stories that are a part of the careers of these graduates. This all serves to help motivate the current students to want to achieve more in their current training.
I strongly agree. One of my main purposes of teaching to be able to share exactly what it's going to be like when they are actually working in thier chosen field. I actually attended a Career College identical to the one I now teach at 15 years ago. Si i can share that I have sat where they have, as a student. Also sharing working in the same field they've chosen and managed in the field, hiring etc.. THEY WANT TO KNOW...THE UNKNOWN CAN BE FEARFUL!
By sharing your personal experience in the field you are helping the students to see over the horizon. You are right about fear. It is amazing how fearful students can become the closer they get to graduation. The safety of the classroom, even though they have to study, is still better than the great big world out there. By giving them a glimpse into your background they can see that you made, and they will to.
I agree. Not only do personal stories give them insight into the working world, they also can serve as a few-minute diversion from lecture. Our classes run for an hour each with ten minutes in between and the students have five classes per day. That's a lot of listening and they sometimes seem to get bored and/or distracted. Any time that I tell a personal story, they begin to focus again and I regain their attention. It also helps to make you seem like a real person with a personality, which they respect.
Sounds like your students really enjoy your classes. As humans we have only so much endurance for listening. By breaking up your lecture with personal examples and stories you are giving their brains a break while establishing yourself as respected educator. Keep up the good work, you are on the right track.
I couldn't agree more another guest speaker to consider is people from Human Resources. By being able to speak with someone who hires personnel in a casual setting students' fears can be eased.
IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT INSTRUCTORS CONSTANTLY RELATE TO THE REAL WORLD AND BY PROVIDING REAL LIFE STORIES TO THE LEARNERS THIS SHOWS THEM THAT WE DO INDEED KNOW WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT,HAVE SOME FUN BY TALKING ABOUT THE MISTAKES I HAVE MADE IN THE PAST(MOST OF THEM FIND THIS SO FUNNY THAT THEIR INSTRUCTOR MADE SIMILAR MISTAKES TO THEM, WE ARE HUMAN AFTER ALL)
Well said. We all make mistakes and by sharing real stories about the field including those not so great moments the students develop an appreciation for what they will be facing in the not so distant future.
I think having graduates speak to students is excellent. Each year we hold a forum to share a topic with all of the student nurses in our nursing program. This past forum in Spring of 09, we invited 3 of our new (4 months new)graduates to speak to all of the nursing students. They reinforced many of the suggestions we had made to them when they were students. They also spoke to the fact that they had not completely believed us (when they were students) when we attempted to motivate them to read (study) by alerting them as to what to expect. The message that they so eloquently sent was, "Course work is not easy. But, the job is also not easy. You need the challenging courses to be successful once you graduate and go to work." The feedback from the students was affirmation that they appreciated hearing from the new graduates and that they felt a new sense of motivation to tackle challenging material.
Great strategy. I can tell by your post that the messages were powerful and well received. Your students won't be forgetting what they heard anytime soon and will give them an understanding about what they are going to face in their careers.
Thank you for the info on the guest speakers, I will utilize this often in my classes, to motivate their learning experiences
They are going to increase the motivation of your current students as a result of their sharing of their experiences.
Gary Meers, Ed.D.