Although I can clearly identify my lack of singing talent, it doesn’t stop me from belting out any tune that enters my head.
My desk at school used to be alongside a good mate of mine. This guy has only musical bones in his body. He can sing and play guitar effortlessly and always holds a crowd when he’s got an instrument in his hand. This guy also ended up being my business partner.
Another important trait that you need in a business partner is honesty. It became a running joke that while I was working at my desk and subconsciously singing, Hemi would turn to me and say “not in your range, bro”. Lucky I’ve got a thick skin and it didn’t hamper my passion, as I’d be belting out another banger within a few minutes, often, only to hear the same line “not in your range, bro”.
As a teacher I never put my hand up to take the choir. I never took a house singing practice and I definitely didn’t moonlight as a guitar teacher after hours. I left that to the professionals, I’ve got the passion, just not the talent.
When it comes to outdoor education camps and trips, both locally and abroad, it’s important we look to professionals in that area too. Firstly because professionals have the skills to teach students ‘hard skills’ such as paddle technique or how to rock climb, but also because they possess the skills and knowledge to ensure the outdoor activities are physically and emotionally safe for all students as well.
The consequences of an untrained person taking the choir won’t have too many lasting physical or emotional results. The same cannot be said about the outdoors. I often hear stories from students about how they “hate camp” due to past experiences. More often than not this is a result of untrained teachers and parents pushing too hard or structuring activities at an inappropriate level for the child.
All the benefits of outdoor education are reversed in this scenario. Students don’t learn valuable interpersonal skills, or gain a sense of self worth and self esteem. They don’t make the links between persevering to overcome an obstacle in an outdoor setting and how that may apply to other aspects of their life and they don’t gain an appreciation of the natural world and their role in protecting it.
The message I’d like to leave you with is if you or your staff have the passion, experience, expertise, time and qualifications to create a meaningful outdoor experience for students which will compliment their academic development, then great. If you can’t tick one or more of those boxes then look to professionals who can, and can also ensure the physical and emotional safety of your students. This will limit schools' liability should any accident occur (assuming due diligence is done) and ensure students get an experience which compliments their personal growth.