Lessons from The Apprentice


In this article DHS drama teacher and ‘Learning Leader’ Lesley Graney  reflects on the most recent episode of The Apprentice……..

I don’t watch much telly to be honest but I do watch The Apprentice. Not for Lord Alan Sugar’s (Sir Alan used to sound so much better) put downs, Nick’s eye brow conversations or Karen’s knowing stare, no, I watch The Apprentice to ;

a) make me feel better about myself

b) try and work out what I would do on the task and if I would be PM.

What type of beer would I have made, what would my farm shop look like and if I was to build a piece of flat pack furniture what would it be like.

So this week I was in my element, boy was I going to be PM, and yes we would have won!

This week was difficult to watch for husband and I, as he does training in the corporate world. For me it was a template of how not to deliver a session, or in our language, teach a lesson.

I loved the idea of a theme; we all have an “umbrella idea” within our lessons, however, we have to have it make sense and be relevant. I liked the idea of a school day and probably might have done it if I was PM, but the session would have been from lessons in school.

Geography – creating a physical world map with random objects as a team, egg dropping as a team in a physics lesson, that sort of thing; unless there is a school which had wine tasting and cupcake making on the syllabus, because I would have been amazing in that educational environment.

At this same school they had flame effect machines and pink plastic flamingos. Sounds great! The idea of creating an environment is what we all want, a space which reflects the themes and learning to come, but it has to be done right.

The brief, or in our case the exam syllabus, wasn’t really considered throughout the session. It was all about team building, listening and communicating. Surely archery, although fun, is a solo pursuit and nothing to do with the above. We saw a series of activities which didn’t lead on from each other and showed no progression. Most importantly, which didn’t feedback to the theme or the client’s requirements

Engaging the delegates as they arrived was done with tea and cake, which would be great for me for the whole session but as people arrived they need to grab their attention set the sense for the learning to come. I was already with my mix tape of music from my school days, Kids in America, Baggy Trousers, Hungry like the wolf  and Don’t Stand so close to me.

I would have been handing out the timetable of the day, written in a school timetable style. Done some research and got delegates exam results and make people match the person to the results.  Got the delegates to create teams by talking to each other and finding something in common from their school days; all this group came together as they were all head boys/girls. This team came together as they all failed French (I would have been in the team)….You see I was really thinking about it!

‘Why are we doing this?’ was one comment made by a delegate as well as ‘I am bored’ from another. Although how you would get bored of wine tasting I will never know. We have to be clear why we are doing the activities and what the learning is about. People need to know and understand the journey with the sessions and the day as a whole.

Fun is good and people liked the Sergeant or should I say Colonel character of Alex ,but it can’t be just for the sake.

What did go well; not much…although using the lawn games which people like playing, but changing how they were played to fit in the ‘brief’ worked well. Here is a croquet game, but the challenge is you are blindfolded and have to work as a team to play, was successful. We shouldn’t  be afraid of doing activities which we know well and adapting them.

There was so much in it. So if you haven’t seen it go watch it on catch up, it will;

a)      Make you feel better about yourself

b)      Give you a template of what NOT to do when planning and delivering a lesson.

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2 Responses to Lessons from The Apprentice

  1. Pingback: Educating Yorkshire | Class Teaching

  2. Pingback: Reflecting on Mindset | Class Teaching

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