It is a well-known fact that the knowledge received in school is essential for an adult life. Thus, educators have to remember that it includes not only academic information but also practical skills that are needed for a job.
The majority of students will get a job after graduation and even if it is a part-time employment, they still have to be ready. There are some general characteristics, such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, that need to be obtained in advance and are the key factors of successful job adjustment. Here are some effective and quite entertaining ideas that will help to develop these skills in students.
Positive and Negative Model
It is recommended to start with an introductive exercise. For example, make a list of the most important skills (time management, motivation, flexibility etc). Be sure to mention about twenty skills. Then divide the students into three or four groups. Each group should take one or two skills from the list to discuss them for 10-15 minutes.
After that, they should be able to explain the chosen skill for the classmates and how it might be applied in a positive and negative way. The students may use personal stories or make up some examples. This exercise will help to develop creativity, critical thinking, and communication. The negative examples of skill model will definitely make it fun.
Be My Eyes
This activity requires enough space (might be held in the gym), blindfolds and some objects to make the obstacles. The students will work in pairs. One participant with his eyes covered should go to the other side of the room with the help of his partner’s instructions.
When he reaches the other side of the room, the students swap roles. It is forbidden to touch the partner to lead him, only verbal guidance is allowed. It is better to have two or three pairs acting at the same time to let the others watch the process.
This game teaches students to give the clear instructions, develops listening skills and responsibility. If there is enough time left, the students can discuss what went wrong, what difficulties occurred and what could be improved.
Nothing seems easier than building a cup pyramid. A task gets challenging when hands cannot be involved. You will need cups, rubber bands, and strings. A few strings should be tied to one rubber band.
Each participant holds on a string and together they pull the rubber band and loose it to place the cups. The task is finished when students manage to build a pyramid. No hand or other body parts should be used. The activity is great for teaching students to work as a team. It also develops patience and attention.
Master the Time
As soon as students learn how to manage their time, their lives will get easier. This exercise will teach students complete numerous tasks in a short period of time. You will need to create a list of actions and points for performing each of them. For instance, do 20 squats (10 points), find out all of your classmates’ middle names (15 points), sing a few lines from a famous song (10 points + 5 points for every person who joins) etc.
The students should be divided into three or four groups and will be given only 10 minutes to earn as many points as possible. They have to make decisions about what tasks to choose by themselves. This activity is good for developing communication skills, negotiating, and time managing.
Another active practice that will show the importance of cooperation is called spider web. The students stand in a circle holding hands. A teacher needs to tangle them randomly to create a knot or a web. Then the participants try to release themselves without letting the hands go.
This task teaches to negotiate, develops communicative skills and teamwork. The good thing is that students will feel physically united and will realize how they depend on each other. As a result, a messy knot will become a circle again.
This training may be used to give students some rest from active exercises. Listening skills are valuable as there are a lot of distractions in a modern world and being a good listener demands some effort.
The students work in pairs. One player chooses a card with a topic and expresses his opinions. Another one has to listen and then repeat the partners’ words. It is more challenging than it seems because gadgets are always ready to grab some attention and there is a desire to answer and share your own point of view. However, the only thing that should be done is listening carefully.