For teachers

Introduction to JOBS for teachers

for teachersWhat is JOBS and how does it work?
JOBS - Job Orientation for Businesses and Schools is a programme that prepares the students in the last year of General Gymnasium and in the first year of Technical College for the upcoming choice for a profession or for their later university focus. A new cross-curricular subject will be introduced, that will use up half a day of the week's school time. The entire school year will be divided into themes lasting for about 4 weeks each. In a school year of 36 weeks there will be 9 different topics. This happens by introducing task based learning approaches and useful education contents to guide the students toward the right choice, including the support provided to teachers. Students will learn a lot more about their own capacities (life skills) and get in contact with businesses, companies or public institutions offering jobs in their region, research about employment opportunities, analyse economic conditions and prepare their collected data for presentations.

What material is used in JOBS?
Work in JOBS happens in 7 different booklets that deal with the various topics and one toolbox for students. Students work directly with and write into the booklets and use the toolbox for consulting learning or presentation tools and methods. Other needed materials are listed underneath each task separately if necessary.

Practical hints for teachers
In most tasks the teachers' booklet includes a separate page "Practical hints" for teachers. In these hints you can find useful information for organising, teaching or reflecting this teaching sequence.

Didactical 10-point-checklist
As a teacher you will soon feel at home when teaching JOBS and working with the booklets. Nevertheless, teaching JOBS will be different from your usual teaching due to its didactical perspective on the students' learning as the centre. The following 10-point-checklist will help you as a rough guideline next to the practical hints given in the booklets.

1. "5 minutes is the limit"
JOBS is based on focussing on the students and their activity during the lessons. In order to leave enough space for this task-based learning it is necessary that you watch your speaking time. Make sure you do not exceed the limit of 5 minutes when giving instructions to the students!

2. Quality may differ: good or bad?
Students solve tasks in different ways and therefore will receive different types of products on different quality levels. At first sight, this might be a bad thing as it makes grading and evaluating more complex and comparing results more difficult. At second sight, this shows you were your students are at in their life skills competence levels. So, you should view these visible products as a good thing and evaluate them using an individual/criterium-oriented benchmark.

3. Real time learning
JOBS is only taught once in week for a limited period of time. In order to secure that this time is really used for JOBS let other things not interfere with it (organisational issues, finishing of other tasks of the students etc.). Try to be punctual and make the students to be punctual. The JOBS programme deserves good time management.

4. Creating a good atmosphere
The majority of tasks within the JOBS programme have to do a lot with the students' personalities, opinions, characteristics, talents, skills etc. Most of the tasks involve working with other colleagues. Students will need an atmosphere characterised by trust and respect in order to speak and work freely about their personal issues. It is your task as the teacher to create and promote this atmosphere by avoiding competitive structures among the students but facilitating co-operative behaviours.

5. Individual coaching
The students in the JOBS programme are already capable of working on their own and should be able to understand written instructions or work together with colleagues. Nevertheless, your task as the teacher will be to provide individual support to those who need it. In the course of the JOBS school year your role will develop more and more into being a coach rather than being a lecturer.

6. Communicating goals
Every booklet, every day and every task in the JOBS programme include descriptions of goals that should be reached by task-based learning. When explaining a task and giving oral instructions to the students it will still be very important to communicate the objectives. Only then will students understand why they are doing what they are doing.

7. Giving direct feedback
Results of various research studies about influencing factors on students' achievement show that the most important factor is personal and direct feedback given by the teacher. During the JOBS programme, make sure that you reserve enough time for giving feedback - not only in written form but also during lessons - to your students.

8. Do not expect anything that you would not do
Various tasks in the JOBS programme are closely related to the students' individual person. Exposing oneself can be a delicate thing to do. Make sure you do not force the students to any actions that you yourself would not do. In order to reinforce this being-on-eye-levelness JOBS suggests using your person as the teacher as the model for different tasks every now and again (e.g. mindmap, model interview etc.)

9. Watch diversity!
Depending on the region, town or area your school is located in the population of students might be very heterogeneous. When tackling the different topics of JOBS and when talking about the different perspectives of the students' individual futures it is important that you bear in mind their different backgrounds. Talking about individual talents, skills and interests will probably turn out differently in a class that consists of many students from low socio-economic backgrounds or ethnic minorities because of their limited experiences due to fewer past possibilities.

10. Orientation towards reality
JOBS is a programme that links school with the business world. JOBS' core aspect is establishing contact to a local business/company. Within the JOBS booklet work students are asked about their personal perspectives and visions for their professional career. Depending on the region your school is located in opportunities or perspectives can be limited due to a weak economy or a focus of the local market on only one professional field. Be careful when encouraging the students to fantasize about their dream jobs or their preferred careers not in a sense of destroying dreams but in a sense of not deceiving them from reality.