Setting up certifications and SHSM programming can be onerous and time-consuming. There's a lot to think about!
The good news is that there are also lots of ways to make it easier!
Teachers are always tight for time, and so are students, so if you can pack more value into a single day with your SHSM programming, everyone wins!
With so many certifications, Career “Reach Aheads”, “Experiential Learning”, and the new SPCE (Sector Partner Contextualized Experiences) to fit in, it’s worth thinking about how you can create events that will do double (or triple) duty!
As you think ahead for next year, here are 3 ideas to help you plan smarter!
Option 1: In-School Workshop Day
2 Certifications, Plus an Optional Lunchtime Social or Career Panel.
Benefits: Cheap, simple, no permission forms, students still have lunchtime to do other “school things”
Drawbacks: “Same old school” feel
The In-School Workshop Day is a great way to get up to 50 students two certifications with ease. The convenience of having a Beanstalk facilitator come to your school and work around your schedule makes this model the most common type of SHSM programming. This can also be shortened to a half-day morning or afternoon session if you only require one workshop, and fits within your bell schedule.
Option 2: On-Site SHSM Conference
2 Certifications, Partner Site Tour, Lunch, Career Panel Reach-Ahead, Experiential Learning Opportunity
Benefits: Exciting new venue, extra-engaging for students, and more boxes checked in a day!
Drawbacks: More organizational effort - permission forms, transportation, can be more costly
On-site conferences are a fun and engaging way for students to be part of a full-day event that combines a reach-ahead tour and career panel, two SHSM certifications, and potentially even an experiential education piece (though this usually requires the teacher do a bit of follow up). The number of students may be limited based on what the partner/venue can accommodate, but it's usually possible to find a partner that can accomodate 30-80 students. It requires more planning and transportation, but we think it's worth it; students get so much more out of the experience than just certifications! In the past, The Beanstalk Project has partnered with CoMoption - Hamilton's premier co-working space, as well as the Toronto Marlies. We co-hosted a SHSM Day at the Ricoh Coliseum while the team practised a few feet away!
Option 3: Multi-School SHSM Conference
2 Certifications, Career Panel Reach-Ahead, Motivational Keynote
Benefits: No limit on numbers, multiple schools and/or sectors in a single day, choice of certifications, bigger event is inspiring, opportunity to meet students from other schools, shared & memorable experience across the board, cost savings by combing resources.
Drawbacks: Need the right venue, transportation, logistical planning.
If you're looking to collaborate with other schools, this is a great model. You get the impact of a large event with the convenience of an in-school workshop. You provide greater choice in certifications by having two or more facilitators run concurrent workshops, and a big keynote finale (or opening) is a great way to get students feeling inspired and motivated by their experience. Plus, students love meeting new people and seeing that they're part of something bigger! Planning considerations include deciding which school (or other venue) is the best equipped to be the host, as well as allowing time within the school day for busses and transportation. But, schools can benefit by pooling their resources and giving students the most choice in achieving those SHSM seals!