The importance of teachers as mentors and role models for students
Juergen Siebel, Head of International Business, Siemens Professional Education
The European Commission has said that every young person should have a practical entrepreneurial experience before they finish school. As entrepreneurship education is yet to be embedded in the national education strategy of each member nation we need to look at teachers as important crusaders for this important objective.
Teachers play a very important role in shaping students’ future career choices, as well as their attitude and spirit. However, before teachers can act as mentors for their students, it is important that they themselves are informed about the variety of jobs available, skills needed and professional training opportunities.
Developing a more entrepreneurially oriented community
Teachers don’t have the responsibility to create entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurially-minded young people that will be able to tackle the new societal challenges and transform their communities as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. In order for teachers to step up to the challenge investments need to be made in their preparation as well – they need support for content that can be delivered in the classroom, programmes that ignite their students’ entrepreneurial spirit, innovative teaching methods and professional training that will help them develop new skills.
A bridge between skills needed on the labour market and what traditional education can offer
Young people have a difficult task when looking towards their future professional life – they are preparing for jobs that have not been invented yet, they step into a very uncertain labour market and the traditional school system doesn’t always give them the appropriate skills they need to succeed. Teachers are the ones that can play a vital role in pointing students in the right direction, but they also need to be up to date with what is needed on the labour market.
Being in touch with the business environment is very useful for teachers! Therefore Siemens keeps a very close and constant collaboration with almost 100 schools in Germany with its “partner school program”. The program provides teachers and students with a variety of technical and economical projects and activities to increase interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and entrepreneurial subjects that better prepare young people for their later work life.
The impact for both sides is clear:
- Teachers/Education: greater understanding and knowledge about the working world and the skills needed in a specific industry/field;
- Business/Industry: learn about the needs, requests and ideas of teachers and schools.
Informed and prepared teachers is essential for a smooth walk on the career path of young people from education to employment.Category : entrepreneurship education, education, teacher role Posted : 14 October 2015 11:26 UTC