Pesky Kids

Last week I had a whole new experience and took myself totally out of my comfort zone. I spent the day with 120 teenagers who all wanted to learn about running their own business and, or getting the best jobs. So in walks 5ft 1” of me, obviously sporting my Red 3” patent shoes to be faced with 120 motor mechanic students ready to share my knowledge – boy did I get a fast reminder of the mind of a 16-year-old lad!! They were noisy, disruptive, immature, smutty, scruffy, rude, disrespectful, sullen exasperating, and giddy. With the majority of them hugely lacking in confidence, motivation, eloquence and concentration. When we saw their written work the spelling was horrific, grammar nonexistent (please no one mention apostrophe use or a certain someone in Bristol is likely to blow his top!!) and the standard of the written word was appalling.

They were given a brief, with a little guidance and a lot of encouragement they understood what they had to do, and by the end of the day they had, in small groups managed (in most cases) to put together a 4 minute presentation which they gave in front of real grownups and their peers – they then had to answer questions to sell their idea to us and do you know what I saw yesterday? TEENAGERS: they do listen, they do step up, they are able to follow instruction, they are creative and dynamic, they do have sparkle and a couple even had the X Factor. There’s more! They are funny, liberating, inspirational, motivating, and full of confidence.

I had a hugely rewarding day and I hope the students I worked with had the benefit of my experience; however I think that it has thrown up more questions than it has answered. We need to educate our children about life and not just train them to retain information and pass exams. It was blindingly obvious that the teenagers I worked with last week excelled when part of a small team or working independently but everything fell apart in a large group; everyone was too worried about getting it wrong in front of their mates or looking silly. Most of the teenagers had little or no commercial awareness at all – basics like if you are self-employed and you do not generate money you can’t eat and you can’t claim benefits!! Exposing younger children to more guest speakers from all areas of the community in school will mean that we can normalise the big, wide world for them so they will be one step ahead of the competition. Make the school part of the area and you start to build a community. Start to build a community and we allow our young people to have something to strive for and something to build on. The elements are all there in these young people to become a generation to be proud of they just need a little guidance. Pesky Kids?? You know what they were brilliant, I just wish I could have had more time with them; maybe next time!!!!!!

I am an active recruiter who also works with businesses and individuals on bespoke consultancy projects. To find out more about how we can best work together call me on 01594 529413.

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5 thoughts on “Pesky Kids

  1. I’m looking throguh CVs now for a new apprentice here, there is just a basic lack of English in any written work and a slap dash approach. But as you rightly say who is teaching them otherwise? It’s such a shame

  2. Hello Lady!!
    Great to speak to someone I know on here! what a great site yours is, love it! There will be a shiny star in there you just need to have patience and also to know what you are looking for. If you would like me to assist you in anyway in this I would be delighted to be involved.
    We need to meet for that coffee; let me know what works for you and I will see what I can do with my diary.
    Amanda

  3. It was an amazing day, wasn’t it. I absolutely agree that they were funny, inspirational, liberation and motivational. They had great ideas and were prepared to risk talking about them to business experts in their small groups. Sadly they were so worried about appearing cool in front of their peers that some of them became virtually unable to function.
    I’m not surprised that many of them had no idea about being self-employed, their teachers have mostly gone to university straight from school and then straight back into school. This often applies to the business studies teachers!
    The curriculum encourages a box ticking approach and there are few opportunities for the kids to be innovative and take risks. In fact there are fewer and fewer chances for kids to take risks in our society. They get bored and frustrated and play up and there are few sanctions that their teachers can use. Now even the out of school activities are at risk through budget cuts.
    You’re quite right we have to build a community and include these kids. Speakers would be a good start, but taking them out of school for activities in the real world like this and other events and, of course, work experience give real inspiration.
    It was great to do something positive and watch those pesky kids blossom!

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