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Educators Guide to the Speakers Bureau

Welcome to the Speakers Bureau

As an educator using our Speakers Bureau you will be able to provide experiential learning opportunities for your students by requesting community volunteers to share their various career journeys and life experiences either virtually or in person.

Request a Speaker

Educators Guide to the Speakers Bureau

This guide helps you get started using the Speakers Bureau, understand the expectations for educators, and sets your expectations for our speakers.

  1. Goals of the Speakers Bureau

  2. Next Steps & Process

  3. Expectations and Guidelines

  4. What you Can Expect from the Volunteer 

  5. FAQs

  6. Ways You Can Help

Goals of the Speakers Bureau:

  • Youth feeling more informed about career/employment options (what jobs are, what skills they require, and how they fit with strengths/interests)

  • Youth seeing a positive future for themselves in the workforce 

  • Youth understanding proactive steps they can take to achieve their goals 

  • Youth feeling valued and supported by our community

  • Assist educators in adhering to curriculum specifications

Next steps & Process

First search the Career Profiles section of our website to see if any of our volunteers featured are of interest and fit your goals/expectations, we will do our best to recruit these individuals for you if at all available on the requested date(s).

By clicking on the link to submit a request, you will complete the educator request form providing all the details including the names of any specific volunteers from the directory that you are interested in. 

Once we receive your request, we will review it, contact you if clarification is needed, and then an email will be sent to you when the review is complete. 

If all is accurate, then BEP Waterloo Region’s staff will search the volunteer database to find a suitable match, according to the information submitted. 

Once a volunteer is confirmed. You will receive a confirmation email connecting you to your volunteer with a finalized date and time. Typically, this takes at least 2 weeks.

When you receive this email, please contact the volunteer(s) no less than one week prior to the confirmed date to finalize logistics (parking, meeting place, etc.) and provide any additional guidelines, expectations etc. that are required to provide the best results from this experience for all.

If their presentation is virtual, then ensure the necessary information is provided for them to log on and other instructions to the platform being used and school logistics for virtual talks. Also, please send link to [email protected] so they can observe.

You will receive an email reminder one week prior to the event date. If your schedule or the volunteers has changed try to reschedule it if possible.

Please email [email protected] to ensure we are aware of the change or if another speaker needs to be scheduled.

After the presentation, you will receive a thank-you email and links to a survey for both you and the students to provide feedback. It is greatly appreciated as this assists with making the experience the best for all as we will share this with our volunteers. Volunteers are provided with a feedback link. We will provide you with any feedback we receive that would be helpful.

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Educator Expectations & Guidelines

General Preparation

Requests for volunteers should be submitted at least one month prior to requested date.

Take steps to ensure that some degree of alignment is achieved between the curriculum and the speaker.

Use the time before and after the guest’s appearance to establish connections between the speaker’s area of expertise and the learning objectives of the class. Check out this resource of pre and post activities for ideas. 

Be prepared with supplementary activities if a speaker has to cancel last minute or does not fill the class time allotted.

Communication

Connect and communicate with speaker prior to speaking date (discuss classroom dynamics, goals & expectations, parking, meeting place in school, exact times of class and exact timing for their presentation).

Typically, length of in-school presentation are 45 - 60 minutes, virtual are 20 – 30 minutes but please discuss length with your volunteer so some kind of expectation is set.

Encourage the guest expert to tailor their remarks toward specific learning goals that the students are actively pursuing.

Supervision

Speakers are not expected to enforce classroom supervision or behaviour management. As the teacher, we ask you to set the tone and expectations with students before the speaker arrives and to ensure those expectations are respected during the presentation.

Classroom teacher or alternate faculty acting in a supervisory role is requested to be present in the classroom during the entire duration of the speaking engagement.

Resources & Evaluation

Thanking them verbally after the presentation plus a card or email if possible (student thanking is a great touch and appreciated by volunteers).

Provide feedback form (provided in confirmation and thank you email received). This ensures our program is meeting your curriculum needs and speakers appreciate feedback so they know how to ensure their presentation is effective and suitable for the students.

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What you can expect from the volunteer

The volunteer will share their career journey from being a student to their current career including some of the following points:

Their Background - What were their career interests while in high school? How have these evolved?

Their Education – What is the necessary education path for someone in their position? Where did they go to school? How important is math and English, post secondary education, lifelong learning and continual training?

Their Journey – What was the career path, what influenced the journey, what would they change, what was the most important lesson

Organization – What does their company/organization do/produce/provide to clients? How many people work there and what are the working conditions like, hiring practices and future prospects?

Their Specific Role – What does their position entails such as daily activities and responsibilities? What are the benefits and drawbacks? What obstacles did they have to overcome and how? 

Trends Affecting Their Career – What work-related trends are impacting the future affect their future? For example, what is expected in new technology such as automation? What changes in the economy or lifestyles do they see having an impact on their field of work. How has the the pandemic changed their work moving forward?

Volunteers may bring work related materials with them such as equipment, tools, promotional materials or samples. Make the volunteer aware of any limitation on what can be brought into the school (i.e. food samples).

Volunteers may have audio-visual requirements, please discuss these needs in advance of the visit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can any educator access BEP Waterloo Region programs?
Our programs are geared towards students (and educators) in the Waterloo Region and Waterloo Catholic DSBs. Along with corporate and municipal partners, their funding makes these learning opportunities possible.

How much time is required to access a volunteer?

Requests for volunteers are accepted for 2 weeks in advance; however, to increase the likelihood of a successful match, you should plan to request a volunteer at least one month prior to the proposed date(s).

What kind of jobs are found in the Speakers Bureau?
The Speakers Bureau features people from across the Region of Waterloo working in a range of industries and roles. The majority of our Speakers have opted to create a career profile on our website, but we have many other volunteers available to you who are not listed there.

Whether you are looking for a speaker to represent a specific field or just a range of speakers for a career day at your school, we can help you connect to community members who are ready and willing to help!

How are volunteers screened?
Prospective volunteers are subject to a review of their application, including an interview, prior to participating in BEP programs.

Volunteers are required to follow the practices defined in the Program Terms and Conditions for Volunteers.

Program Terms and Conditions for Volunteer Speakers

According to the policies of our local school boards, volunteers are not required to receive vulnerable sector screening for in-school volunteering because they remain under the supervision of an educator. As such, participating educators must agree to ensure appropriate supervision by an assigned school staff, in addition to other Program Terms and Conditions for Educators.

Program Terms and Conditions for Educators

Is it possible to find volunteers for virtual activities, instead of face to face?
When requesting a Speaker, you can indicate whether your request is for in-person or virtual volunteers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, educators are expected to only request volunteers for in-person volunteering when it is allowed by their school or school board.

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Ways You Can Help

Share with your colleagues about your speaker visit and encourage them to access the Speakers Bureau too.

See what other programs and services we have available for educators.

To stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. You can post about your volunteer experiences (avoiding or covering student faces on any images) be sure to use the hashtag #BEPWR or #MakeEveryDayCareerDay.

Thank You

Thank you for using our Speakers Bureau to enhance young people’s eyes to a wider range of possibilities for their future. Together, we make every day Career Day.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call us at 226-642-0880 x.1.

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