I love this time of year. Autumn is just around the corner – you can enjoy walking in the late summer sunshine, soaking up the last drops of vitamin D! The turning of the seasons from summer to autumn feels more like a new beginning and maybe that’s because it coincides with the start of a new school year. I am sure most of us can remember how it felt on the first day of a new school year; new pencil case – the smell of new rubbers and brand-new pencils yet to be sharpened, new uniforms that were more than likely to be too big for us to allow the grow spurt into factor. All very new.
This weekend whilst enjoying a gentle stroll with my four-legged best friend, I felt excited as to what this next academic year would bring. Walking is my upmost thinking and reflecting time, and this forthcoming week sees the start of supporting schools with mock interviews – a part of my job which I love. I look forward to hearing the aspirations of our next generation and wonder what their futures hold.
The new school year also presents new challenges in the ever-changing world of work and as I re-evaluate our school workshops, I am trying to imagine what job opportunities will be available for these students in 5 years’ time – how we can ignite their inspiration and open their horizons for future careers. I start to consider where technology will be in 2024, what jobs may have been automated, what new jobs could have been created. I wonder where retail and ecommerce will be, how will electrification look for the rail and automotive sectors, will vlogging and blogging still be thing? So many questions! And the answer is; I can’t give them an answer! But what we can do is prepare them for the world of work.
We can develop their core skills to enable them to be flexible and adaptable in an ever-changing world. We can showcase how Maths and English are needed in any job you do, we can bring real-life into the classroom and eradicate thoughts of “when will I ever use this stuff after I leave school?”.
New beginnings tend to bring more questions than answers, and that in my view is a positive. Questions will encourage debate, questions lead into exploring, questions lead to learning and developing, questions lead to answers you don’t expect to hear.
A lasting memory from a mock interview last term was meeting a student studying Law and Drama. “Why drama?” I asked. The reply, “Well I love drama and I thought if I want to be a lawyer, I need to be able to present a strong argument to a jury. Therefore, using skills from drama will help me articulate these important closing statements and present evidence in a strong way”. Wow!! I had never thought of this before and I was blown away by how a 16-year-old was thinking – amazing!
I step into autumn looking forward to new beginnings and even more questions because I know that working with students means it won’t just be them asking questions and learning. I will be questioning and learning too, and that for me is what my job is all about; Life Long Learning.
If you would like to learn more about the school workshops Wagstaff provide, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01543 411039.