Susan HayesCulleton reflects on the three key takeaways for the teenagers from the first half of the #SavvyTeenAcademy. They have learned about career building, the importance of minding your mindset, and building both resilience and confidence.
The first key takeaway from #SavvyTeenAcademy is that the teenagers get to experience real scenarios related to the careers they are interested in. They completed mock interviews which prepares them for what the working world will actually be like rather than just letting them listen to someone else's story of what their career path entailed. It is important to show the teenagers aspects of career building that are applicable to them at this stage of their life. There is a lot more applicable to the teenagers in the world of careers than they think. Susan ensures to show the students a mix of what is going on now and what is coming down the tracks.
Another important aspect of this programme is the critical feedback. Susan ensures that for every three pieces of positive feedback there is at least one area for the students to improve upon. This is the 3:1 ratio and we use it because although we need to show the students how to build a sense of resilience, we also want to build their confidence by celebrating their successes along the way. One way that this confidence-building is facilitated at #SavvyTeenAcademy is through peer-to-peer feedback where the students give each other feedback on work completed, which leads to a positive feedback loop. The students also learn to distinguish between what is something that is a weakness and something that needs to be improved upon. When giving critical feedback at #SavvyTeenAcademy we ensure that we do not talk about what is wrong, we highlight what can be improved. It is beneficial to note that some things, such as being a perfectionist can be perceived as either a positive or a negative, depending on the situation.
The third takeaway the students get from this course is a toolkit for confidence that they can focus on and use well after the course is over. Guest speakers came in to talk about mindset, failure, and resilience. They gave examples of times when people have tried and failed but illustrated how failure and learning are so closely intertwined. One example given was a baby trying to walk and falling over repeatedly. The students were asked if they thought the baby had failed, and they were also questioned on what would happen if the baby decided to give up. Failure is something that these students at #SavvyTeenAcademy really fear so changing their perspective on what failure looks like is really important. Another guest speaker came in and spoke about limiting beliefs. They stressed the importance of ensuring your mindset is right because technical skills such as CV and cover letter writing will come after you fix your mindset. Here at #SavvyTeenAcademy we facilitate so much personal growth, learning and development, but we also focus on giving you the technical skills you will need for your career, such as showing you how to write a good CV and fixing your online persona.