Bringing people talk to elementary school children

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Salomea
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Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Salomea » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:19 am

Hello,

I have children in elementary school. And I do know a few people who are good explaining to children what they are doing - doctors, optometrists, and so on. One night an idea popped into my head. In many US movies I have seen adults, usually parents, who come to speak with the children about what they are doing. Also youtube offers a wealth of information about how things are made. As renting a bus to visit a factory so children can see how things are made and demystify common processes can be quite expensive, I ask why not. But besides this rough idea I have nothing.

Do you know people, preferably teachers that organize this kind of visits? Are there written tutorials online? All I can find with my searches are articles helping people with homeschooling. I need this information so I can make a plan that I can present to the school.

Cheers!

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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:46 am

Hi Salomea!

In my experience, when someone came to talk to our class, it was either a friend of the teacher or a parent of one of the students in the class. But I'm Canadian, and this was over 30 years ago.
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:42 am

Salomea wrote: Cheers!


Many of the forum members here are not from the USA. Which USA state are you in? That will help us think about your query.

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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:18 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Salomea wrote: Cheers!

Many of the forum members here are not from the USA. Which USA state are you in? That will help us think about your query.

"Salomea" sounds like Poland to me.
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:36 am

I googled around a bit and perhaps something like this might help - if only to get you started. Apparently this teacher can be reached by email (look at the end of the article). Maybe you can get some tips from her: http://teachersnetwork.org/ntny/nychelp ... guests.htm

Welcome to SSF, Salomea, and good luck on your quest. :-D
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Salomea » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:12 am

Thank you all for your answers. It does not matter where you come from. All I need is your first hand experience of bringing someone to talk with the children. Or a contact of someone who did that.

@scrmbldggs: so "guest speaker" is the wording I should use in my search.

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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Maybe also trying to get some information from PTA. But all I got there was about parent's general involvement with their kids' schooling.
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:36 pm

"Guest speakers" as a search string is likely to get you professionals.

As Gord noted, most guest speakers in schools are also parents. I would start by asking parents of your kids' classmates.

Many professional people (police, firemen, engineers, younameit) are willing to speak to a class. Many are not. I would suggest picking a likely profession, then use the yellow pages or internet equivalent in your community and ask around.

I owned my own business for 25 years and hosted many tours for elementary school kids. Each tour was accompanied by 1 or 2 teachers and 3 or 4 parents - enough to transport 15 - 20 kids as volunteers. No one ever hired a bus or anything else for transportation. Plus, the parents helped keep the little hooligans from becoming too unruly.
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:55 pm

OlegTheChatty wrote:I owned my own business for 25 years and hosted many tours for elementary school kids. Each tour was accompanied by 1 or 2 teachers and 3 or 4 parents - enough to transport 15 - 20 kids as volunteers. No one ever hired a bus or anything else for transportation. Plus, the parents helped keep the little hooligans from becoming too unruly.
(my emphasis)

Depending on where one is, there might be liability issues with that and waivers would have to be signed.


(I think it's cool you did that, tho!) :-D
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:54 am

scrmbldggs wrote: Depending on where one is, there might be liability issues with that and waivers would have to be signed.


Good point.

I had a look on the internet for a "Step by Step Guide" on how to run a school event. Although I found many downloadable templates for legal waivers, transport scheduling and assessing the "educational value". I didn't find any simple step by step guide.

I guess the best thing to do is to set out a working plan here and then let the members check it for holes and then Salomea can determine if she can use it.

What is the final goal? What are we aiming at?
I assume you want to have three 20 minute day time class sessions TIMES three interesting adults, per session, standing up, for 5 -10 minutes and give a chat about what they do and what they studied to get where they are. ( 9 talkers in total, over three sessions)

I assume you want an even spread of occupations, so thus a doctor and a tradesman and a farmer can all say what they do and how they go there. All occupations should be portrayed as equal.

I think you should set out a four paragraph "outline" of what should be in the chat, so you can show potential talkers what you expect from them. This will give them comfort and an understanding of your aims.

Who are the local potential "talkers" / How do we lure them to the school?
Media providers like local newspapers and TV stations like to get their public celebrities going to schools. Determine if a local TV show or newspaper has a weatherman (science degree) , a financial advisor ( accounting degree) or a newsreader.

If there is a local P&C then ask other parents what they do and if they are willing to give a ten minute chat

I would also contact the public liaison officer for your local or district fire brigade, police department and emergency services, You may also want to contact the local church for a priest ( if you enjoy religion). They will all probably already have a school education policy.

You may want to try local political members. That may be dangerous depending on the nature of your area. They will probably want to give a chat, but this may annoy other potential talkers of other political persuasions.

You will need to offer any potential talkers transport to & from the school ( or a car parking spot) and a person to meet them and walk then through the event on the day.

If possible, you will offer to thank that talker's business through a public sign at the front of the school. "Mosman Elementary School thanks John's Accounting for its extra effort helping our young leaders" (or something like that)

Contact the School's Deputy Principal or parent liaison officer for a meeting
Once you have a short list of potential talkers and a rough plan, you can present your plan to the school. If you have a plan, they will be impressed.

The school liaison officer will inform you about state educational policies that may prevent or financially support your plan. You can also discuss how to publicly thank "talkers".

As mentioned previously, there may need to be a simple release or "agree to speak" document, that talkers have to sign, to protect the school. The liaison officer should be able to help you with this.

Who is "the organisational team"?
I strongly suggest you find some other parents to work with in investigating the initial plan. Really bright people make really silly mistakes if they don't run everything past a couple of other people. Also, obviously, more people means more contacts for potential "talkers".

That's it for now. See how far you get and then let us all have another "look and think session".

( I explored establishing a national free school newspaper, paying students for articles and making money selling advertising, with an existing publisher. However the Australian state educational authorities have a blanket ban on advertising and location distribution of advertising material)

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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby octopus1 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:48 pm

Salomea wrote:Hello,

I have children in elementary school. And I do know a few people who are good explaining to children what they are doing - doctors, optometrists, and so on. One night an idea popped into my head. In many US movies I have seen adults, usually parents, who come to speak with the children about what they are doing. Also youtube offers a wealth of information about how things are made. As renting a bus to visit a factory so children can see how things are made and demystify common processes can be quite expensive, I ask why not. But besides this rough idea I have nothing.

Do you know people, preferably teachers that organize this kind of visits? Are there written tutorials online? All I can find with my searches are articles helping people with homeschooling. I need this information so I can make a plan that I can present to the school.

Cheers!


Hiya!

You know what? I'd just "wing it"! Kids are pretty good these days at seeing through bull, so just tell 'em like it is, and they'll more than likely thank you for it.

As long as they don't put themselves at risk, or mess with the given work going on (with the "blessing" of the company) then let them explore for themselves. Maybe speak with the proprietors beforehand for some quick answers to any quick questions they may ask.

They'll eat you alive if you panic, or even so much as flinch!
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Salomea » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:01 pm

> <http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=25433>

@scrmbldggs : yes, PTA would be a good starting point. In my particular case it will be the last point on the list. Some time ago one of my children got the courage to bring up at the dinner table that the teacher beats some of them. The teacher is also the director. And luckily that is the last year with that school. When I talked with the other parents, they were quite unconcerned, expressing that precise thought: a few months and it will all be over. I have contacted the PTA and the representative strongly denied the beatings. Why? After all that was something that happens when there is no parent around, including the PTA. Why refuse to listen. I have confronted the teacher by my side and the teacher conceded that was an isolated case "one time" (!). Interestingly it happens with a racially different child. Which is always punished. And always for the safety of the other children. I called the PTA representative to say that was confirmed, and the PTA member answer coldly "WE knew that all along" and concluded "it is an isolated case". Now the school has changed (one step up), but the children are about the same. Meaning the parents are about the same.

@OlegTheBatty : you are right. Guest speakers brought some people who do it for a living. Too expensive for me. But given the above story, I am not very keen on getting close to this kind of parents. What I have in mind is people who are professionals in their field, while at the same time they do not have a speaker business. When the mess inside my head is going to be straightened out I am going to contact them precisely to ask them to give less than an hour of their lives talking to children. Who knows? It might be fun for all parties. I know that is possible because myself I have the habit of asking people how they do things. Some are more than happy to explain. The last time that happened an optometrist showed all my family the inside of his workshop. This way this person dispelled the myth of buying glasses and glass lenses online.

"Plus, the parents helped keep the little hooligans from becoming too unruly."

I disagree with the assumption that children can be hooligans. But that would be solved easily: nobody is going to leave the school premises. This way there is no need to get any papers signed, making life easier for the teachers too.

@scrmbldggs : you have noticed well that papers have to be signed before going out of the school premises. Add the cost of transport and the need of volunteers to assist the teacher and you get enough reasons people would resist to this idea.

@Matthew Ellard : wonderful synthesis! It helped me a lot with clearing my thoughts.

As there is going to be a talk on school site, the paperwork is cut from the list.

The final goal would be seeing something practical. Listening about something practical. It makes the classes more interesting. And it kills some of the religiosity or mysticism surrounding certain simple jobs.

You assume wrong with the talk schedule. I doubt high school students would be able to get anything out such a tight schedule. And I am talking about elementary school children. A quarter hour talk followed by questions and answers should be more than enough. The contents is up to the speaker. The moderation is up to the teachers.

I also think that portraying the occupations as equal is wrong. I haven't seen one person so far that is going to treat a farmer the same way one treats an MD. I would not emphasize one over the other. And I would let the children set their own preferences. But this talk is only on principle. At best the guests would be one week apart. So there is no need to play the hypocritical game of equality.

I do not see the need to involve the media. Also, contacting the public liaison bureau means a white collared public speaker bringing some dumb power points and giving a safety preach. I can see the need for such a step in a totalitarian regime where the young citizens have to love their local police department. But it says nothing about the police work. Myself I am puzzled and disturbed by policemen carrying guns, yet when there is any kind of opposition you get at least 20 policemen.

I veto the idea of having politicians to speak. IMO a politician is a failure in any other business. I have yet to see a politician that knows something about the subject he or she is speaking about.

I think having any form of public admiration for a mere speaker talking about his or her business is a bad sign all the way. It is a bad sign for the students that see you have to be a brown nose to get someone important. It is a bad sign for speakers as it is going to attract egomaniacs and deter the more modest type. No. The children's applause at the end should be enough or that person should be somewhere else. That should take care of the monetary compensations too. I will gladly take them to dinner, but direct payment should be out of the question.

Could you please expand on the "agree to speak" document? I mean that person got inside the classroom at the designated time based on own free will.

So far the team is my family who would like the idea. I can invite you all to be part of my organizational team.

@octopus1 : I like your remarks. In some cases, the production area should be safe even for children. That would show the departure from the early days of industrialization. Safe for children means safer for the workers too. An employer who values the employees needs that safety.

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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Gord » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:32 am

Salomea wrote:"Plus, the parents helped keep the little hooligans from becoming too unruly."

I disagree with the assumption that children can be hooligans. But that would be solved easily: nobody is going to leave the school premises. This way there is no need to get any papers signed, making life easier for the teachers too.

I'm sure OlegTheBatty meant is as a term of endearment. ;)
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Re: Bringing people talk to elementary school children

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:05 am

Salomea wrote:Could you please expand on the "agree to speak" document? I mean that person got inside the classroom at the designated time based on own free will.


I can't give legal advice over a forum, for an unclear event. That would be a recipe for disaster. However a one page document that sets out the arrangement would probably include issues like....

The "guest talker" agrees & understands

* to not swear, promotes a commercial product, insult the children.
* will speak for more than ten minutes but not less that twenty minutes.
* will follow the directions of the school's appointed representative,
* the guest talker will be covered by the schools public liability insurance policy to a maximum of ten million, while on school property.
* there is no remuneration for the talk ( or there will be a public thank you and exposure of the guest talker's commercial logo outside the school at location "X" for one month.
* that a car parking spot will be provided at "Y" on the day of the talk.


I disagree with you and still suggest that all occupations need to be treated equally. A child should consider the the idea of becoming a farmer, or doctor, or a ferry captain, as equal opportunities based on lifestyle, rather than money and social status, otherwise silly social status legacies are simply reinforced to the future generation.


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