April 11th, 2019
In Ted Russell’s World History Honors class, students recently completed a project that will give them valuable life skills which go beyond the classroom. Russell organized a mock Job Fair that involved students impersonating a character from A & E’s 100 Most Influential People list, creating a modern resume for the character, and then doing a mock job interview with their peers.
To learn a little bit more about the Job Fair, we asked Russell a few questions below:
What was the inspiration behind having the students create a resume and do mock interviews?
A & E came out with their list of the 100 Most Influential People over the past thousand years in 2000. For many years, I showed the students A & E’s video about each person on the list and had them take notes. In 2010, I created a project where the students drafted someone from the list, researched their person and gave an oral presentation where they defended why their person belonged on the list. It taught some valuable skills such as research, defending with evidence and giving a presentation, but I still wanted something more interactive. In 2013, the day before the State Championship volleyball game, our team did speed dating questions as a team bonding activity. It was a hit and the next day we upset Westminster to win the championship. That same week, I had been updating my own personal resume. The thought occurred to me that perhaps I could somehow combine the skills we were already teaching the students in this project with the creation of a resume and then somehow fit the fun of the speed dating concept into this project. The technological age has made face to face communication a lost art, so I felt it was important to find a way to expose the students to something different. That was how the Job Fair was born. Students research their person, determine what skills that person possessed, create a resume for a modern job and then interview for that job, assuming the identity of their person, with their classmates. There are so many valuable life skills taught in one project.
How do you relate the project back to what you're doing in the classroom?
A large portion of the people included on this list show up in our curriculum throughout the year. In addition, this project hits on the many life skills we hope to teach students in the Social Sciences department such as research, critical thinking, persuasive writing and public speaking. It also teaches them how to make a good first impression and to be a good listener.
What are the student reactions after having completed the project?
They really enjoy assuming the persona of another person, dressing up, and learning how to make a resume and interview. They don’t say it, but I think the students enjoy acting professionally with one another. They really take it seriously and do a great job. It is something that former students are always excited to reminisce.