This week I had to give some taster lessons to students who don’t currently take business, but might be interested in studying it. I had a few sessions of 35 minutes each and large groups of students.
I asked around the staff room to find out what other subjects were doing, to avoid a clash and to see if it might give me some ideas. Physics were knocking monkeys out of trees (I didn’t really understand what that was about), psychology were playing guards and convicts and maths were drawing circles. No clashes which was good, but also no ideas.
2. Back to basics
I went back to Dragons’ Den clips – now on YouTube which is lot less fiddly than it used to be showing them from the BBC site. I was looking for exciting pitches of products from funky entrepreneurs. I have used the wand from the wand company before, but Harry Potter, without a current movie to remind and excite, is starting to fall out of favour with students. I found this company Illuminated Apparel who make t-shirts that can be drawn on with a light!
3. Wow starter
So I shut the blinds in the classroom and while the students are watching the Youtube clip I move to a dark corner of the classroom , where I am out of the eyeline of the students and quickly slip an xxl t-shirt (I ordered in advance) over my head, then I walk round the room drawing on my t-shirt. I wasn’t sure if I was just going to look like some mad old lady with an odd -shirt, but my students really enjoyed the surprise and I got the satisfaction of lots of oooos and ahhhs and the wow starter I was looking for.
I then put the lights up and challenged the students to pitch to the class, and I had bags of Poundland bits and bobs wrapped up in poundland paper. They each got one and had to stand (or sit I’m all about the choice) and pitch the product to the rest of the group – would we invest? They had to describe and demonstrate its function and also tell the group how much it would sell for.
5. The take-away
We are all about the take-away from the lesson, what could students say they had learnt from my session? We had a quick discussion about the course and skills they would pick up but mainly that they would possibly find a new subject that they would love. If they had enjoyed the taster then business had so much more to offer and possibly a career they hadn’t thought of at the end of it. Maybe they would be inspired and set up their own business. This gave them a big thought to chew over for the rest of the day.
6. Zero wastage.
As a final woo woo I let the students keep the item they had pitched or they had the option to leave it on the table where others could hoover them up. What was I left with? A pack of fake beards which I gave to the drama department, who were very surprised to be presented with this odd gift, but very pleased.