Over the years of teaching I have been lucky enough to host a wide variety of business speakers, and after they go I am always left with the feeling that they added an extra dimension to teaching of the subject. If we taught MFL – German for example we could visit Germany to immerse students in the subject. If it was music then a visit from a concert pianist or cellist may inspire the students to take the subject further than school study. So in business we should, as teachers, try and bring the business world inside the classroom.
To get speakers to come in – I ask everyone I come into contact with – in craft fayres, food fayres, in shops even when I took my kids to have their photos done in a studio. I listen to the stories of these entrepreneurs and I ask them to talk to students. I have about an 80-90% success rate in getting speakers to turn up. Obviously they are all in business of some kind so taking up their time may mean changes of plans and cancellations. This does not put me off.
My latest speaker was the fantastic Megan from Doughnotts who told the students how she went from a tiny Facebook doughnut delivery business to owning 4 shops, with an eye to franchising the idea in the future. All before she was 25. She was such an amazing speaker, she spoke from the heart with passion about her business and best of all she had three enormous boxes of her wonderful doughnotts to share with students.
- Other highlights – I had Alex from Nuffield Health come in and talk about the gym business and he gave a quiz with fantastic prizes such as headphones and water bottles.
- Deano Jackson from Huub came in to talk and gave all the students who attended a key ring with a tiny wetsuit on it.
- James from Firefly came in and gave a humerus account of his life and how he started the Firefly chain of portrait studios.
Over 20 years there have been so many amazing speakers who give their time freely – and I have enjoyed their talks every bit as much as the kids. It puts a bit of a buzz about the subject round the school and it gives an extra dimension when discussing entrepreneurial roles, motivations, skills and characteristics.
Take the plunge and let me know how you get on!